The temptation is great to ignore the first section of this text, and only address the tragic vow made by Jepthah and its consequences. However, Jepthah’s appeal to the king of the Ammonites deserves some consideration as well. He did what he could to prevent the conflict by appealing to history, and seeking a peaceful solution to the problem. Only when the Ammonite king refused to listen to reason and insisted on war did Jepthah resort to warfare.
LORD, forgive us for so quickly resorting to violence and conflict to solve our problems.