OLD TESTAMENT CHARACTER SKETCH BIBLE STUDY
Name: Gertrude V. Johnson
Date: 13th August 2018
Subject: BIBLE 104
For this assignment, I will be studying the life of one of the characters from Courageous Faith. I will use a template developed from Chapter 36 of Everyday Bible Study to complete this character-sketch Bible study. I will seek to discover what can be learned from the character I have selected when I purposefully study his or her life using the technique of observation, interpretation, correlation and application.
For this character sketch Bible Study, I will be studying Jephthah, the Gileadite.
Step Two: Identify and list all the Bible passages on the person. You may find it helpful to use a Bible dictionary, Bible handbook, or a study Bible. Remember that some Old Testament characters are mentioned in the New Testament.
Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot; and Gilead begat Jephthah.
And Gilead’s wife bar him sons; and his wife’s sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, thou shalt not inherit in our father’s house, for thou art the son of a strange woman.
Then Jephthah fled from his brethren and dwelt in the land of “Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah and went out with him.
And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel.
And it was so that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob:
And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.
And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, “Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father’s house? And why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress”?
“And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.
And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, if ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your head?
10.And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, “The LORD be witness
Between us, if we do not so according to thy words.
Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made
“head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words
Before the LORD in Mizpeh.
And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon saying, “What hast thou to do with me, that thou are come against me to fight in my land”?
And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jephthah, “Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from Ammon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan; now there restore those lands again peaceably.
And Jephthah sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon:
And said unto him, thus saith Jephthah, Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon:
Step Three: Read through each passage, making general observations, based on first impressions. List in complete sentences at least 10 general observations from the passage on your character.
In the Book of Judges, Jephthah is struggling at the beginning of the chapter 11 with his identity.
All babies are precious in God’s eyesight, but in man’s eyesight well that’s another lesson for another day.
The way we walk, talk and act comes from our gene make-up DNA or 50% from our father and 50% from our mother makes you. And in making Jephthah when he came into this world, he was a son by a prostitute.
His own family didn’t care much about him.
And they didn’t want Jephthah to have any dealings with his inheritance.
At this point, his family took advantage of Jephthah’s goodness.
They really didn’t even have any opportunity to get to know this young man as a person.
The family used their mouth and tongues to talk about things pertaining to this young man that probably wasn’t true to begin with. In James 3:6 it reads “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell”.
In turn, Jephthah’s family disowned him, turned their backs on him just when he needed them the most.
Jephthah found peace of mind by living with a gang than living with his own family members.
Step Four: Ask key questions and observe other structural or Grammatical Elements
Observations related to Who? The Israelites are about to fight the Ammonites. The Israelites request Jephthah to fight for them and accept their request. Looking back over his life, he begins to think how his family betrayed him. He thinks about all the bad things that his family done to him when he was a child and a young man. Then a small still voice speaks to him, Jehovah Rapha gave me the power to heal physically, (2 Kings 5:10) emotionally, (Psalms 34:18) mentally (Daniel 4:34), and spiritually (Psalms 103:2-3). Jephthah said, I don’t have no doubt, My God will bring me out!
Observations related to What? Jephthah recognized the strength of the Ammonite army. He made a vow to the LORD, and said “If YOU will indeed deliver my people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’s and I will offer it up as a burnt offering”
Observations related to Where? Jephthah was obedient in doing what the Israelites wanted to do; and in turn asked the LORD for a blessing to grant victory on the Israelites providing that he keeps his end of the agreement that he set aside with the LORD GOD almighty.
Observations related to When? At the time of the agreement and the blessing of the successful victory, Jephthah arrived home from battle to find that his daughter running out the house first to meet him. Since the decision was made and said, he rented his clothing at that time and he was brought down to a very low state.
Observation to Why? Jephthah did offer a burnt offering to GOD, but not like they did back in Moses and Noah’s time. There was no human sacrifice. As Christians, we must learn that Jesus Christ holds us accountable for the words we say. We should never make promises that we are able to fulfill. When we do not keep our words, we lose credibility. Jesus also instructs us to seriously take the words we are go to say like this: It reads in Matthew 12:36-37 “But I say to you that for every idle word man may speak, they will give account of it in the Day of Judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will condemned.
Step Five: Construct a timeline that details the life of your Bible personality
Gertrude V. Johnson’s timeline consists of being a flexible person that always try to think of others. I put others before myself always that’s why I guess most people consider me a doormat to them. For they tend to take advantage of humble, kindhearted, meekness, patience people who do not mind going out of their way willing to serve others. This walk with Christ, he said it was not going to be an easy task, but he knows our hearts, mind, body and soul.
When we as Christians call on the name of JESUS, he hears, he understands, and he knows all about our troubles, pains, trials and tribulations. I know I must continue to be determined and put my best foot forward.
Step Six: Determine what Biblical wisdom can be gained from this character. Carefully look through your general observations based on general impressions, your deeper study, and your timeline. What Biblical wisdom can you gather about your character? Write out five elements that can be understood from your character. Provide a concise explanation of each of these elements.
Jephthah vow was fully performed. We do not know if his daughter was offered for sacrifice or not. Or if she was simply devoted to a life of perpetual virginity, which was a tragic fate for every girl that was Jewish. But we cannot judge since in verse 36 of Chapter 11 it reads, and she said unto him, my father, if thou have opened thou mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hat proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD has taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.
Jephthah’s vow was solemn and binding; in verse 30 of chapter 11 it reads Jephthah “vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, if thou shalt fail deliver the child of Ammon into mine hands. Christians tend to forget at times that the vows we have made before the LORD, GOD never forgets them, and it is for this reason that having made the vow we cannot go back. Once a person says something, the comment is out whether it is a good comment about someone or it is a bad comment. That comment cannot be taken back, nor can it be fixed. Once it out it is out. The ole saying still stands, think before a person speaks. That’s how feelings get hurt.
Jephthah’s vow was made at a time of crisis. As we are learning, studying, reading the Judges 11:30:31 when Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail and deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’s and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.. Despite of Jephthah’s vow, he wasn’t thinking of the outcome; but he was pressed and in desperate need of something good to come out of this endeavor. He needed God’s deliverance and help at this moment, not looking at the outcome which lied ahead. In 1 Samuel 1:10-11 it reads “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
Jephthah’s vow involved another life. Oh, how wonderful and true the noble life is. This new and terrible situation in Chapter 11 of Judges verse 36 says that she said unto him, my father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out to thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.
Another great example would be 1 Samuel 3:18 to match with #4. And Samuel told him every whit and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.
Step Seven: “Ask how this character reflects other truths found in the Scriptures?’ List and explain 3 truths from this person’s life that fit within all the Bible. Your explanation must note how these must note how these fit the framework of God’s Word.
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23. In this walk of life there are no little (u)s and no big (U)s. All God’s children are unique, special, and precious in his eyesight. Incredible heroes that he selected to serve as prophets, apostles, messengers, and servants of our LORD Jesus Christ is a marvelous task. We must be committed, willing and able to do what we are called to do. Most people look at the outward appearance of a man or woman, but GOD continues to look deep on the inside of a person, he examines our hearts.
To become a servant of Jesus Christ, we must be willing to be fully committed to this line of work. We must be willing to make a covenant with Jesus, or a vow with Jesus; in devoting some time to him. By devoting time to Jesus, we will be surrounding our life, our free will, our time, talent, and tithe, to Jesus. We need him in our lives daily.
We as Christians should be studying and reading our word daily. We are taking time out to mediate on his word; read scripture or daily bible readings, say a prayer before leaving for school or work; asking the LORD for protection through the day;
Step Eight: “Ask how this character’s life points me to Jesus?” List and explain 3 ways the life of your character can point to the person and work of Jesus Christ.
My character is Jephthah, he is well-equipped when he goes into battle against the Ammon army. He has the whole of Amour of God on ready, willing and prepared for the enemy to attack. In Ephesians 6:14-17 it reads “Stand therefore, having your lions girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Jephthah had faith that could mountains. Despite how his family treated him, all his trust and believe relied on Jesus. After looking back over his life and finding out that his family didn’t want anything to do with him, Jephthah got down on his knees and called on the name of Jesus and I know he heard his call, his cry and his plea. Jesus came to see about his rescue.
During the time when Jephthah’s family were taking advantage of him, Jephthah called on Jehovah-Rapha for healing all his sorrows and pains. When his family wanted to talk about one of God’s children Jehovah-Rapha gave Jephthah the power to heal physically, (2 Kings 5;10), emotionally (Psalms 34:18), mentally, (Daniel 4:34), and spiritually (Psalms 103: 2-3).
Step Nine: “What points of the application can be made using the Four Common Questions? List and explain 1 point of application for each of the Four Common Questions.
The Question of duty: Jephthah was known for being a judge. Judges must have foundations, on which to stand or they may fall for anything. Your foundation or your “rock” should be Jesus. He understands us, knows us, listens to us, hears our cry, dries our eyes, rocks us to sleep, our way maker, makes ways out of no ways.
The Question of character: Our character is prayer. Prayer changes situations, obstacles, guidelines. When prayer is involved in any situation at any given time, there is power. There is power in healing, love, joy, peace, understanding, kindness, meekness. Jesus is the foundation that Christians need to be standing on in a time of war, in a time of distress, misery, death and defeat, loneliness and despair, helplessness. Christians and sinners alike need the LORD Jesus; we need him right now; every day of our lives. If for some reason, a person doesn’t their mind is just lost.
The Question of cause Our cause as a people is to minister to each other every day. Our life that we live in front of each other is the best tool to gathering seeds together. So, in other words, the life that we live should be great in season and out. It should be pleasing in GOD’s eyesight. If not, we have time to repent daily, and ask for forgiveness. Yet we do not go back. Try to live a life that is pleasing to Jesus and not man. Word is it is hot in HELL, with no water, nor fan and no return. I want to live a good Christian life, so I can see my loved ones on the other shore.
The Question of discernment: Discernment is a gift from Jesus. It cannot be bought with money, diamonds, or furs. Only a few people that I know of have this special gift and most of them do not broadcast it. It is the ability to judge well. In my character’s case, I feel do not know if he had this gift or not only God know. the Gileadite was a mighty man of God who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ regardless of his struggles in life. He trusted on the Lord to bring his people out of bondage and oppression. Looking back over his life, Jephthah didn’t have a pity party, yet he was determined to rely on the Lord to bring him through difficult obstacles and situations that no one else could other than the Almighty God.
During his early young adult life, Jephthah relied on Jehovah-Rapha for healing all his sorrows and pains. When his family didn’t accept him as a child, he would “I will lift mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalms 121:1-2). Jehovah-Rapha has the power to heal physically (2 Kings 5:10), emotionally (Psalms 34:18), mentally (Daniel 4:34), and spiritually (Psalms 103:2-3).
Jephthah needed to be equipped with the necessary equipment to go into battle to fight and free his people that were in oppression. By being a judge, there must be foundations, rules and guidelines that must be met to meet the criteria of being the best judge and having faith at what is about to take place. In all our lives we will have some ups and downs, but we must seek God’s face and pray daily for him to lead and show us guidance. Standing on a firm foundation, having courage, with God being your main source of fighting your battles, knowing that the victories has already been won.
As a judge, Jephthah was well equipped with the whole Armor of God before his battle (Ephesians 6:14-17). “Stand therefore, “having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking “the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And “take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” once equipped with the armor then Jephthah needs some prayer before battle. Prayer changes things. When prayer is involved in any situation there is power. There is power in healing, love, joy, peace, understanding, meekness, kindness, obedience. Jesus is the foundation that a Christian need to be standing on, believing in, and trusting in. Jesus makes ways out of no ways.
When a Christian has a little talk with Jesus, he understands, listens, hears our voice, knows us by name, hears our cry, call, or plea. Jephthah went into his secret closet and talked with the LORD about things that were going on in his life and about his people. Jephthah needed the LORD to help him get through this situation and make everything alright. That’s when Jehovah Nissi came into the picture and made sure that Jephthah cry, plea and call was met.
Jehovah Nissi is “the LORD is my Banner” My LORD, his LORD, is protecting the camp, the soldiers, and his people from Amorites that are oppressing them. My LORD is our hedge of protection that surrounds us each and everyday of our lives. If Jehovah Nissi is leading the way in your struggles, your combats, your fights, then you are assured success, but if you are fighting your battle in your own strength, your defeat is imminent.
By putting the LORD first in everything a Christian does, things will work out if we will be obedient to the LORD’s word and keep his commandments.