This one year study thru the Bible for kids is designed to hit the highlights and provide practical application. I encourage you to read the whole section of scripture (Judges 11) while we focus in on just a few verses.
Background: After the nation of Israel took control of the Promised Land, Joshua their leader died and the 12 tribes were left to completely conquer their remaining enemies in the lands they had been allotted. The 12 tribes fell away from worshipping God and God therefore allowed their enemies to defeat them. When Israel finally cried out to God for help, God sent Judges (leaders) to help them. One of these Judges was named Jephthah and even though he was a good man he made a foolish vow.
Ask the children…
What did Jephthah vow to the Lord?
“And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord. He said, ‘If you give me victory over the Ammonites, 31 I will give to the Lord whatever comes out of my house to meet me when I return in triumph. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.’” (Judges 11:30, 31)
Jephthah made a foolish vow that God did not ask for. Who came out of Jephthah’s house to meet him when he came home after his victory and how did Jepthah feel?
“When Jephthah returned home to Mizpah, his daughter came out to meet him, playing on a tambourine and dancing for joy. She was his one and only child; he had no other sons or daughters. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes in anguish. ‘Oh, my daughter!’ he cried out. ‘You have completely destroyed me! You’ve brought disaster on me! For I have made a vow to the Lord, and I cannot take it back.’” (Judges 11:34, 35)
Jephthah could have taken the vow back. It was pride that kept him from admitting that he had done wrong. He didn’t want to humble himself before the Lord and those people who had heard him make the vow.
Ask your children if pride is keeping them from humbling themselves from admitting they have said or done something wrong? Ask them what the consequences of not humbling themselves could be? Encourage them to repent and turn back to God and ask for forgiveness of God and anyone else they may have wronged.
Feel free to share your own stories below in the comments section.
If you like what you read about ways to teach children the Bible, check out the children’s book, Hooked on the Book, on this website. It is great for parents and kids because it provides the Big Story of God’s miraculous plan for His children in all 66 books in the Bible. CHECK OUT A FREE SAMPLE OF CHAPTER ONE BELOW.