There are many times we offer up conditional situations up to God through our lives. If you can just get that guy to notice me i will stop fighting with my mom. If you will just make my child happy i will give you more than 10% each month. If i could just pass this test i will stop bitting my nails. So many silly things we say in order to make God do something. Is it a lack of faith, or just our silly human self.
There is a story like this in Judges 11. About a man Jephthah who is a great warrior who has been asked to fight for Gilead just after he was run out by his brothers (sounds like a great plot for a movie eh?). Long story short in vs 29 it says the lord came upon Jephthah, and he led the men. He made a vow to the lord, "If you give the ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when i return in triumph from the ammonites will be the Lord's and i will sacrifice it as a burnt offering"
Now here my mind starts to think..what did he think would come out of his house? An animal, His wife? was he wanting a divorce an thought this would work? Maybe the houses back then included way more than just the people of the family, maybe animals and stuff. Just seems like a strange vow. And of course as the story unfolds, his only daughter comes out to great him. Dancing and singing all excited her dad had come home. He thus tears his clothes, weeps and explains to his daughter what vow he had made.
I love her response, don't think i would have responded this way if my dad said this to me, but she says "My father you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me just as you promised, now that the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites. But grant me this one request, give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because i will never marry."
The Lord did what he asked him. Now he must do as he promised. The daughter was obedient to her father as Jacob was to Issac. No complaining, no fighting, no name calling. Obedience. I see this story as about the girl, who loved her earthly father and trusted him and followed his heart to God.
It says at the end of the chapter that it has become an israelite custom that each year the young women go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite. Wonder if they still do?
We should watch our conditional remarks to God and each other. We should obey what our Father tells us no questions asked. Thought it was an interesting story and wanted to share.