So whatever the Lord our God takes possession of before us, we will possess (Judges 11:24).

In the days of the judges of Israel, every man did what was right in His own eyes. This kind of attitude led Israel in a constant struggle with sinning against the Lord. The people of Ammon rose up against the Israelites who dwelt on the east side of the Jordan River and harassed and oppressed them for eighteen years. Afterward, they decided to attack Judah, Benjamin, and Ephraim. Israel cried out to the Lord in repentance saying, “‘We have sinned! Do to us whatever seems best to You; only deliver us this day, we pray.’ So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the Lord […] and the people, the leaders of Gilead, said to one another, ‘who is the man who will begin the fight against the people of Ammon? He shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead’” (Judges 10:15-16,18).

Jephthah was a mighty man of valor whose mother was a harlot. His dad’s wife’s sons drove him from his father’s home, saying, “you shall have no inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman” (Judges 11:2). When the people of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to get Jephthah from the land of Tob. Jephthah who had been the object of scorn and hatred was now needed. He was offered headship over Gilead which he accepted and was formally made head and commander over them.

Immediately “Jephthah sent messengers to the king of the people of Ammon, saying, ‘what do you have against me, that you have come to fight against me in my land?’ And the king of the people of Ammon answered the messengers of Jephthah, ‘because Israel took away my land when they came up out of Egypt, from the Arnon as far as the Jabbok, and to the Jordan. Now therefore, restore those lands peaceably’” (Judges 11:12-13).

Jephthah took ownership of the problem and proceeded to give the Ammonite king a history lesson concerning Israel’s exodus from Egypt and how they had been denied passage through Edom, Moab, and the Amorite territory. Sihon, the king of the Amorites, ruthlessly attacked Israel and was defeated by them with the result that their land was taken. Jephthah said, “thus Israel gained possession of all the land of the Amorites, who inhabited that country. They took possession of all the territory of the Amorites, from the Arnon to the Jabbok and from the wilderness to the Jordan. And now the Lord God of Israel has dispossessed the Amorites from before His people Israel; should you then possess it?  Will you not possess whatever Chemosh your god gives you to possess? So whatever the Lord our God takes possession of before us, we will possess” (Judges 11:21-23).

My prayer for us is that we will take ownership and possession of all that the Lord has placed in our hands.