JEPHTHAH (A judge [leader and hero] of Israel)

Illegitimate, and therefore not entitled to inherit his father’s property

Jephthah was illegitimate, and therefore not entitled to inherit his father’s property
Judges 11:1-2
11 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah.
2 And Gilead’s wife bare him sons; and his wife’s sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father’s house; for thou art the son of a strange woman.
Jephthah was the ninth Judge of Israel. He was born an illegitimate child, but judged over Israel for a period of six years (Judges 12:7). He is listed in the Book of Hebrews as one of the heroes of faith (Heb. 11:32). After his death, he was buried in a city of Gilead. Read Jephthah’s story in Judges, chapter 11, and chap. 12:1-7. The Heavenly Father used him in spite of his birth.

I am not sure how we can know these children are illegitimate. It requires deeper study.
https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Illegitimate_Children/
Other Examples of illegitimate children:
Deuteronomy 23:2 “A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord.”
Hebrews 12:8 “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.”

Escapes the violence of his half-brothers; lives in the land of Tob

Judges 11:3

3 Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him.

Recalled from the land of Tob by the elders of Gilead

Judges 11:5

5 And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob:

Made captain of the army and head of land of Gilead

Judges 11:5-11

5 And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob:

6 And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.

7 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father’s house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress?

8 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.

9 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the Lord deliver them before me, shall I be your head?

10 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The Lord be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words.

11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the Lord in Mizpeh.

His message to the king of the Ammonites

Judges 11:12-28

12 And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my land?

13 And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan: now therefore restore those lands again peaceably.

14 And Jephthah sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon:

15 And said unto him, Thus saith Jephthah, Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon:

16 But when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness unto the Red sea, and came to Kadesh;

17 Then Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land: but the king of Edom would not hearken thereto. And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moab: but he would not consent: and Israel abode in Kadesh.

18 Then they went along through the wilderness, and compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab.

19 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place.

20 But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his coast: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and pitched in Jahaz, and fought against Israel.

21 And the Lord God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country.

22 And they possessed all the coasts of the Amorites, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan.

23 So now the Lord God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and shouldest thou possess it?

24 Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess? So whomsoever the Lord our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess.

25 And now art thou any thing better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them,

26 While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time?

27 Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the Lord the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.

28 “Howbeit the king of the children of Ammon hearkened not unto the words of Jephthah which he sent him.”

Leads the army of Israel against the Ammonites

Judges 11:29-33

29 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.

30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,

31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the Lord delivered them into his hands.

33 And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.

His rash vow concerning his daughter

Judges 11:30-31

30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,

31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

Judges 11:34-40

34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.

35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back.

36 And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the Lord hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.

37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.

38 And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains.

39 And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel,

40 That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

Falsely accused by the Ephraimites

Judges 12:1

And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire.

Leads the army of the Gileadites against the Ephraimites

Judges 12:4

4 Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, and among the Manassites.

Leads Israel for six years, dies, and is buried in Gilead

Judges 12:7

7 And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

Faith of

Hebrews 11:32-40

32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:

33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,

34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.

35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:

36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:

37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;

38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:

40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

(Outline is from Nave’s Topical Bible, Electronic Database Copyright © 1990 by Biblesoft, Inc. and TriStar Publishing)

Beth Johnson

Chennai Teacher Training School

Women’s Studies

Muliebral Viewpoint

Articles and Books by Beth Johnson

HARD QUESTIONS – HARDER ANSWERS

Can members of the LORD’s body, the church, take each other to court?

1 Corinthians 6:1-8 KJV Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? 2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life? 4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. 7 Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? 8 Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

Christians have a higher law. Their lives are governed by principles not known to, or accepted by the world. As you read the following scriptures, ask yourself if worldly people would pay any attention to these commands.

Matthew 5:9-12 KJV Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. 10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Matthew 5:21-22 KJV Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

Matthew 5:23-26 KJV Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; 24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.

Matthew 5:27-30 KJV Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Matthew 5:31-32 KJV It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Matthew 5:33-37 KJV Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

Matthew 5:38-41 KJV Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

Matthew 5:42-48 KJV Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. 43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 7:1-5 KJV Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

It is a well-known fact that doctors and medical personnel must be careful not to reveal personal information about patients? Even employers are held to strict rules regarding employee privacy.

There might be many other situations where people have a right, according to civil law, to bring a suit against a medical person, an employer, or even a personal friend when their privacy has been breached.

As far as the world is concerned, the HIPPA laws and FERPA laws regulate our physical privacy, but who is there that will protect our spiritual privacy? What can a Christian do about malicious character assassination?

Shouldn’t preachers and elders be held to more strenuous standards when church members entrust them with personal information about events in their private lives? Should a preacher or elder spread news about sins when members have confessed and asked for help? If such privacy is disclosed, and the brother’s reputation is destroyed, what can the man or the church members do to help make peace and save that soul?

Matthew 18:21-22 KJV Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

We humans tend to assume the worst about our fellowman, but what if the man offended has determined to live above his past sins? What if he is genuinely trying not to repeat his error? Would public disclosure so discourage him that he could not lift his head in public?

While asking first one Christian and another how they felt about this issue, more than one said they would definitely feel compelled to warn everyone who might come in contact with the offender if the sin were financial dishonesty, sexual assault or pedophilia.

In one congregation we had worked with for a while, the treasurer was exposed for misappropriation of funds.  We were in the mission field and knew nothing about the matter first hand, or so we thought.  As it turned out someone from that congregation contacted us to ask if we had recently lost several sources of support.  Sure enough, a man whom we had hired as a printer for our tracts and Bible course lessons, used to take liquor to the local postman and in return get mail and US addresses from the postman. The printer used the information he gathered from our mail to write to each of our supporters and have the money directed to himself. How did that pertain to the treasurer in the US? The men who were auditing the books realized those checks were not coming through the treasury anymore, and they assumed the treasurer was the one who had cashed them. That accusation against him was false, but as it turned out, he was proven guilty of embezzlement in other ways. That rather lengthy research exposed two men—one in the mission field and one in the US.

The treasurer in the US congregation did not confess his sin at that time. He simply decided to move his membership to another congregation. When they thought the treasurer was not in any way repentant, several men of that congregation wrote letters to us and to the new congregation to warn that he could not be trusted with financial affairs. But what if he had repented and confessed early on? No doubt he feared he would be forced to return the money, so to try to help him repent and to make peace, the men told him they were not going to demand a repayment.  At that point he confessed and went forward to ask for forgiveness.

Was this situation dependent on his confession? When he tried to hide his sin, the men were still doing their best to search out the gigantic loss of funds.  However, after he confessed and repented, there was no reason to talk about it anymore.

What if the treasurer had confessed right away? What if he had confessed specific sin and been forthright about what he did with the funds? Why would anyone need to spread the news farther?

Back during the Boston-Crossroad movement, there was a man who came to a congregation where we worked and of courses he had to sing better, work harder and baptize more than anyone.  He was quite professional at making converts within the state prison facility. He had had experience at converting men who stood to gain the most from being released. He taught them how to stay out of trouble until they got rewards for good behavior.  Then, when they were released he quite often prevailed on members of the church to invite them to stay with them in their homes until their probation time was over. Of course there was always the emotional appeal of the baptism and the “recovery” history.  Many things were said that did not need to be said if the person had truly repented and wanted to leave that past behind.

I know one preacher who delights in retelling what all he gave up or left behind when he became a Christian—almost as if he is proud of those things. There seems to be no shame.

REGARDING SEXUAL SINS…

If anyone’s past includes documented sexual sins; marriage divorce and remarriage records; and such like, his history will be posted on searchable government records also HERE and HERE.  An individual may warn others merely by passing along a public website.

John 8:3-9 KJV And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

SOMETHING TO PONDER FROM THE OLD LAW:

Deuteronomy 19:15-21 KJV One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. 16 If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong; 17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days; 18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; 19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you. 20 And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you. 21 And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

Proverbs 16:32 KJV He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Beth Johnson

WHAT IS PERFECTION IN THE SCRIPTURES?

  • 2 Peter 2:1-3 KJV But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

MANY today try to use the word ‘mature’ instead of the word perfect or any of its synonyms, but ‘maturity’ is not a synonym nor a definition of the word ‘perfect.’ It is not even a word used in Old Testament or the New.

NOTICE THAT MATURITY IS NOT A SYNONYM OF PERFECTION.

https://www.freethesaurus.com/maturity (see a graphic example of synonyms)

Webster defines maturity thus:

Synonyms & Antonyms for maturity

Synonyms

Antonyms

Examples of maturity in a Sentence

His behavior shows a lack of maturity.

He reached emotional maturity late in his life.

According to Strong’s Concordance, SYNONYMS OF PERFECT OR PERFECTION are COMPLETE, COMPLETED, FINISHED.

Look at all the Scriptures that mention perfect, perfectly or perfection and see that the meanings all agree:

Matthew 5:482 Corinthians 12:9Hebrews 9:11
Matthew 14:362 Corinthians 13:9Hebrews 10:1
Matthew 19:212 Corinthians 13:11Hebrews 10:14
Matthew 21:16Galatians 3:3Hebrews 11:40
Luke 1:3Ephesians 4:12Hebrews 12:23
Luke 6:40Ephesians 4:13Hebrews 13:21
Luke 8:14Philippians 3:12James 1:4
Luke 13:32Philippians 3:15James 1:17
John 17:23Colossians 1:28James 1:25
Acts 3:16Colossians 3:14James 2:22
Acts 18:26Colossians 4:12James 3:2
Acts 22:31 Thessalonians 3:101 Peter 5:10
Acts 23:151 Thessalonians 5:21 John 2:5
Acts 23:202 Timothy 3:171 John 4:12
Acts 24:22Hebrews 2:101 John 4:17
Romans 12:2Hebrews 5:91 John 4:18
1 Corinthians 1:10Hebrews 6:11 John 4:18
1 Corinthians 2:6Hebrews 7:11Revelation 3:2
1 Corinthians 13:10Hebrews 7:19
2 Corinthians 7:1Hebrews 9:9

Some also try to say that when someone wants to obey Matthew 5:48, that he/she is actually talking about becoming ‘sinlessness’ (quoting Romans 3:23 and Romans 5:12) “all have sinned.” Instead of acknowledging that Scripture does not define the word that way nor does it teach that perfection is sinlessness anywhere, these unlearned people claim ‘sinlessness’ is the meaning, and that is why Christians can never become perfect.

We know the apostle Paul sinned when he was covetous in Romans 7:7-9, yet he was finally able to overcome that sin and become complete (fight the good fight, finish his course, keep the faith) before he died (2 Tim. 4:7-8). And there was a crown laid up for him.

  • Matthew 5:48 KJV “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
  • Romans 7:7-9 KJV “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. 8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. 9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.”
  • 2 Timothy 4:7-8 KJV “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

RETURNING EVIL FOR GOOD

How does God view those who return evil for good? 

Returning evil for evil is a natural response for most men. God requires a higher standard of his children, commanding us not even to return evil for evil (1 Thess. 5:15).

In fact, we are commanded to return good for evil even to our enemies (Matt. 5:44-45), and in so doing, overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:21).

On the other hand there are those whose hearts are ready to return evil for good. The Lord warns those who return evil for good that “evil shall not depart from his house” (Pro. 17:13).

Another kind of heart feels fully justified in speaking evil of what they do not understand (2 Pet. 2:12). The Jews in Ephesus believed they were fully justified in teaching the Law, but they did not understand either what they said or what they affirmed (1 Tim. 1:7).

Still others speak evil of God’s favored and anointed. David was plagued with this kind of people. “False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. 12 They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul” (Psa. 35:11).

David, on the other hand genuinely loved the souls and testified that “…when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting and my prayer returned into my own bosom.” David further testified:

14 I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother. 15 But in mine adversity they rejoiced, and gathered themselves together: yea, the abjects gathered themselves together against me, and I knew it not; they did tear me, and ceased not: 16 With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth (Psa. 35:14-16).

Though we may think that David had an easy and prosperous life in killing Goliath and winning all the battles, nevertheless, he testified that many spoke against him.

For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful are opened against me: they have spoken against me with a lying tongue. 3 They compassed me about also with words of hatred; and fought against me without a cause. 4 For my love they are my adversaries: but I give myself unto prayer. 5 And they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love. 6 Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand. 7 When he shall be judged, let him be condemned: and let his prayer become sin (Psa. 109:2-7).

David comforted himself by his faith in God. First he describes those who love evil and then declares God’s judgment on those same souls.

Thy tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp rasor, working deceitfully. 3 Thou lovest evil more than good; and lying rather than to speak righteousness. Selah. 4 Thou lovest all devouring words, O thou deceitful tongue. 5 God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah” (Psa. 52:2-5).

The prophet Isaiah warned those who perverted judgment. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight” (Isa. 5:20-21).

Is it possible to know the real hearts of these people? Jesus declared:

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit (Matt. 7:16-18).

God promises to judge us by our words.

36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned” (Matt. 12:36-37).

He encourages us to turn away from evil to do good and promises: “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile: 11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it” (1 Pet. 3:10-11).

He warns us that those who hate cover their hatred with good words.

24 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;

25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.

26 Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation. (Proverbs 26:24-26)

Again our Heavenly Father warns us about gossips. Those who flatter us are likely to be the same ones who are speaking perverse things behind our backs.

19 He that goeth about as a talebearer revealeth secrets: therefore meddle not with him that flattereth with his lips (Proverbs 20:19).

What should we be doing?

But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ” (1 Pet. 3:15-16).

If we are truly pleasing to God, we will have a tongue that is choice silver. “The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked is little worth. 21 The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom” (Pro. 10:20-21).

We should never be like the person whose tongue is like the piercings of a sword.  “There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health. 19 The lip of truth shall be established for ever: but a lying tongue is but for a moment” (Pro. 12:18-19).

Do we want to have a wholesome tongue?  “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit” (Pro. 15:4).  “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. 24 Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath” (Pro. 21:23-24). “For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile” (1 Pet. 3:10).

–Beth Johnson

Women’s Studies

Muliebral Viewpoint

Articles and Books by Beth Johnson

BIBLE WARDROBES AND THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING – LESSON 12 – THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING

Lesson 12 – THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING

All Christians (men and women) should adorned themselves inwardly and outwardly with only what is fitting for one of God’s children.  Our outward appearance should never shame the name of Jesus or our Heavenly father, nor should we have moth-eaten clothes or nakedness instead of the spiritual clothing God has intended.  We know that man looks on the outward appearance while God looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

So where should our focus be?  Should we think only about our outward appearance?

Continue reading BIBLE WARDROBES AND THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING – LESSON 12 – THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING