“And Jephthah made a vow to the LORD …” (v30). Jephthah was a “mighty warrior” (v1) who lived in a time of chaos and violence, when the Law was not being followed, and he didn’t really know the God of Israel. Jephthah believed that God was powerful, but he also believed other gods were powerful (v24), and he thought that he had to manipulate or bargain with God to win victory (v30-40). Tragically, Jephthah’s misunderstandings led to him making a terrible vow, and he lost his only daughter.
“The Lord, the Judge” (v27). The Israelites called God the Judge, but Jephthah didn’t know Him as our merciful Father. What we believe about God matters; He is holy and compassionate.