And Jephthah came to Mizpeh to his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with tambourines and with dances…
In Jephthah's vow we see two things —
1. A good feeling overcoming the judgment.
2. A sense of right leading to an enormous crime.
I. JEPHTHAH SACRIFICED HIS DAUGHTER TO THE TRUE GOD. But what are many modern parents doing? Why, offering up their children to false gods!
1. The god of idleness. Indolence is ruin.
2. The god of worldliness.
3. The god of ambition.
II. JEPTHAH SACRIFICED ONLY THE BODY OF HIS DAUGHTER. But parents in these modern times are found immolating the souls of their children; they are made to prostrate their powers, and to yield the Divine sentiments of their nature to idleness, pelf, vanity, fashion.
1. Soul immolation is more gradual.
2. Soul immolation is more mischievous. It is the ruin of the whole man.
III. JEPHTHAH SACRIFICED HIS DAUGHTER FROM A NOBLE IMPULSE. No such high feeling prompts parents in these days to sacrifice the souls of their children even to the false and ignominious divinities. They do it either from the spirit of custom, vanity, greed, or ambition. It is a cold-blooded, soulless immolation. If there is any feeling, it is the mere lust of the eye and pride of life.
IV. JEPHTHAH SACRIFICED HIS DAUGHTER WITH A TERRIBLE REGRET. But modern parents lay the souls of their children on the altar of worldliness, vanity, and sin, not only without any compunction, but with an utter indifference. They see the souls of their daughters running into grubs, butterflies, swine, and heave no sigh of regret.
V. JEPHTHAH SACRIFICED HIS DAUGHTER WITH HER FULL CONCURRENCE. Were worldly parents to say to their daughters at the dawn of their intelligent and moral life, "We intend to take all the innocency from your young loves — all the sensibility from your young consciences — all the religious poetry from your young natures — and to make you the dolls of fashion, the devotees of a sham life, the victims of a pampered animalism, and thus rifle you of your birthright as immortals" — this would be honest; this would bring the question so thoroughly home to the young heart as would, we think, rouse opposition to the fiendish plan.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.