Hashtag fact. Hashtag truth. This is why you read and learn history, people. To put people in their places! Jk. But I bet Jephthah felt pretty good after spouting off all that history to the Ammonite king. Unfortunately, “the king of Ammon paid no attention to Jephthah’s message (v. 28).” I know a few people like this. No matter what kind of fact you present them, they won’t believe it. They always have a conspiracy theory on the ready, just inviting dispute. A few of these people I could talk to for days. Others, however, I have no time for. Jephthah had no time for the king, either. He tried reasoning with him. He even approached the king first and flat out asked him, what do you want with our land (v. 12)? That’s civility right there. Jephthah may have been the son of a prostitute, but he was an educated son of a prostitute. Go, ma! He knew the stories by heart. He knew his people’s history. He knew EXACTLY how and why the Israelites were where they were and how Ammon had no claim to fame. His message made me want to jump up and cheer and go, “BAM! In yo’ face, Ammonite king!!!” Doing that would have felt pretty good in that moment, but pretty poopy by the end of the chapter because while Jephthah may have been a civil leader, he wasn’t a brilliant forward-thinker, or at least not in this story. His daughter soon becomes the hero after the victor’s return. Maybe we should call her a martyr rather than a hero, but to me, she’s kind of both. And we don’t even know her name.
Writing prompt: no name
Some of us will go down in history like Jephthah’s daughter, having done sacrificial acts of which few people are aware. Write a fictional story about Jephthah’s daughter (and give her a name if you want!), or write about an act of kindness or sacrifice you’ve made or know about that few others know about as well.