Thursday, March 15, 2007

Jephthah’s Tragic Vow (Based on Judges 11:29-40)

Oh LORD, little did I know when I made my vow, the tragedy that would befall my heart. Little did I know when I exclaimed in my piety that death would be the reward, death from my family. My heart burns, my mind has turned, anguish grips me like a mother her new born babe; like a sparrow the meat it craves. As a babe is plucked from the breast, and a sparrow taken from its rest, so now, my child, my life, torn from me. Little did I know when I made my vow.

It has been six weeks since my little girl arrived home. Six weeks since she tumbled through my door; hop, skip, jump, buoyant smile upon her face. My child, my only child. Radiant joy upon her face, lights within her eyes unlike anything this world has seen. She opened my world and rested my mind in the contentness of this galaxy, the momentum of time and space, of truth and peace. Mine. My own little girl. My only child.

Six weeks since my little girl appeared at my door; light in her eyes as always, two blinking cherishing reflective lights only for me. Its daddy! ‘Daddy, I’m home, I’m come. Daddy take me in your arms and hold me, Daddy. Daddy? Why do you stand there still? Why, you look so frail, Daddy, what’s wrong Daddy; aren’t you glad to see me daddy? Don’t taunt me Daddy, don’t forsake me Daddy, I’m home. I’m your little girl.’

So brave my little girl, so true, so open; so penetrable her gaze. Her eyes like daggers tore right through me. Her dance ceased, the tambourine died. ‘Speak to me daddy.’ I broke. ‘Oh my daughter, my little girl, see what famine you have bought upon my heart! See what fulfilment you have bought to my vow, oh death and pain and tearing loss! But I cannot shun my LORD, I cannot pronounce judgement upon Him. What can I do? My only child.’

So brave my little girl. ‘Daddy. Father. You must do as you vowed to do. You must pour this wrath upon my soul, I am a big girl. I am your only begotten child. I am. But give me leave Daddy, let me walk and wail, for I am untouched, unknown. I am as one barren, cursed by God and afflicted. Let me mourn, two months. I will return. I must return. I am your little girl. I am your only child. And little did you know when you made your vow.’ Six weeks now since my little girl arrived home.

Six weeks since she left, and she is to return in two. Little did I know when I made my vow that the LORD would take my little girl? Little did I know when the last Ammonite fell that I would be left alone. Oh LORD, my only child. My brave, willing, little girl. That she should prepare herself for sacrifice, so willingly, so brave my little girl. That I, that Daddy must give the last blow, see the last sparkle fade from her eyes, I wonder if it’s there now?

Daddy should not have to outlive his own child. Daddy must keep His vow, from it deliverance has come, from it we are saved, from it have we inherited. I must appease. But my only little girl, so much harder is her willingness. Her piety. Her trust for Daddy. My brave little girl. She opened my world and rested my mind in the contentness of this galaxy, the momentum of time and space, of truth and peace. Mine. My own little girl. My only child.

Oh LORD, little did I know when I made my vow, the tragedy that would befall my heart. Little did I know when I exclaimed in my piety that death would be the reward, death from my family. My heart burns, my mind has turned, anguish grips me like a mother her new born babe; like a sparrow the meat it craves. As a babe is plucked from the breast, and a sparrow taken from its rest, so now, my child, my life, torn from me. Little did I know when I made my vow.

37 comments:

John Peters said...

Wow yes that is so moving!
But just think God the Father did know what was in store when He "vowed" to save us. I see something of the willing submission of Yeshua in Jephthah's daughter.

Keep up the good work Tim.

John Peters
Alfreton

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