a Warning from History Jdg 11:12-28
Jephthah acted with great prudence. Before rushing into war, he endeavored to argue the matter at issue in peaceful and courteous terms. In answer to the contention that Ammon was only trying to regain its own territories, he insisted that, when Israel came on the scene, they wrested the land, not from Ammon, but from the Amorites. Besides, the occupation of 300 years, which had never before been challenged, surely disproved the claim of the Ammonite king.
When a nation has right and justice on its side and is fighting against aggression, especially when the choice between two ideals is in the scale, there is every reason why it should appeal to the Lord, the Judge, to vindicate its cause. It was a question whether the worship of Jehovah or of Chemosh should dominate the country; on that issue there could be no vacillation nor hesitancy. It is interesting to notice how accurately Jephthah had studied the sacred annals of his people and how reverently he alludes to God. There is more religion in the hearts of men like Jephthah than certain Pharisees and priests give them credit for!