As men, we have all at one time been impacted by the sting of rejection in our lives. We may have dealt with it when we were young children when we wanted to play with some new friends we did not know. As we tried to introduce ourselves to them we were rejected by them because they felt we were different from them. We may have also experienced rejection when we tried to talk to a young lady we had a crush on but only to be rejected by her.
What can also be devastating to us is when we experience rejection as a young boy from our siblings, a close relative, or a parent. When this type of rejection happens in a young boy’s life the results can leave him heartbroken, suffering from low self-esteem, and even questioning what is wrong with him.
In Judges 11:1 we learn that Jephthah was a mighty man of valor but also was the son of a harlot”. We are introduced to Jephthah’s family drama by learning that his father was named Gilead but his mother’s name was not given to us. What we do know about Jephthah’s mother was that she was a harlot or what we would call today a prostitute. We also learn that Jephthah’s father was also married and his wife gave birth to other sons and when they became older and learn Jephthah’s mother they drove him away. The sons of Gilead felt and determined in no way would the son of a prostitute have a right to the inheritance of their father.
After being rejected by his half-brothers, the word of God tells that the brothers drove Jephthah away from his home into a land called Tob were he united himself with worthless men. These men alone with Jephthah went out raiding taking from others to support themselves and followed Jephthah as their leader. Later on, we read in Judges 11 that the Children of Ammon declared war on the Children of Israel which cause the elders of Gilead to go to Jephthah to be their military leader. The question that we must ask ourselves is how did Jephthah learn to overcome the rejection he experienced from his brothers? We must also ask ourselves when we experience rejection of how we will overcome it in our life. I believe there were three reasons why Jephthah was able to overcome the rejections from his half-brothers. The first way I believed the Lord enabled him to overcome his rejection was understanding that his birth was not an accident. A second reason Jephthah was able to overcome his rejection from his half-brothers was understanding how the rejection had impacted his life. Finally, a third way that Jephthah was able to overcome rejection from his brothers was understanding that the Lord had freed him from the prison of rejection from men.
Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valor, but he was the son of a harlot; and Gilead begot Jephthah. Gilead’s wife bore sons; and when his wife’s sons grew up, they drove Jephthah out, and said to him, “You shall have no inheritance in our father’s house, for you are the son of another woman.” Then Jephthah fled from his brothers and dwelt in the land of Tob; and worthless men banded together with Jephthah and went out raiding with him (Judges 11:1-3).
Your birth was not an accident.
All of us as at one time have heard the saying what goes on in this house, stays in the house when we were kids. Our parents told us that our family business should never be discussed with others who are outside of our home or throughout the neighborhood. Our parents may have from time to time spoke with their close neighbor about what was going on in the neighborhood but would never share their family business with people on the streets. If other young children found out about other kids’ family business they could sometimes say hurtful things not knowing what the circumstances were in the child’s life. The sensitive information could have been about a child’s mother drug addiction or their mother having a promiscuous past with other men. The hurtful words about the child and their parents could cause them to feel ashamed or worst feel that them being born in their family was a mistake.
You ask Elder Strong how I deal with overcoming the rejection that I have experience in my past. The first way a person learns to overcome rejection in their life is understanding that their birth was not an accident. Though the word of God lets us know that Jephthah did not wrestle with the feeling of regret of his life being born, there are men today who struggle with those same feelings because of the wound of rejection in their lives. These men n sometimes are separated from their families when they were children and have to be raised in a foster care home. The young male child’s parents may have also given him up for adoption leaving him struggling later on asking why did his mother and father not want him in their lives. However, the word of God lets us know that we have been “fearfully and wonderfully” made by the hands of the Master even before our bodily form took shape in our mother’s womb (Psalms 139:15-16). The word of God also tells us that “before we were formed in our mother’s belly the Lord knew who we were and before we came out the womb”, the Lord set us apart for His purpose (Jeremiah 1:5). Our God will never reject you because He has accepted you in His beloved (Ephesians 1:6). Your life is not an accident young man because the Father has planted in your heart a divine sense of purpose that only God can satisfy and the pain of rejection cannot stop from coming to pass in your life (Ecclesiastes 3:11 AMP).
How rejection can impact you
The second way that a person learn to overcome rejection in their life is by understanding how rejection has impacted them. In the life of Jephthah the rejection that he experienced from his half-brothers cause him to react to it three different ways. The first way that the rejection of Jephthah half-brothers impacted him was causing him to be driven away from his home and his family. The second way that the rejection of Jephthah half-brothers impacted him was causing him to be united with other men that the world labeled as worthless men. Finally, a third way that the rejection of Jephthah half-brothers cause him to feel that he was abandoned by his father when his brothers rose up against him.
When a young boy is rejected by those who are his brothers his first reaction can sometimes be to run away from the place of his pain. When we look at the state of our young people and how so many of them are being reported missing in some case not all of them are truly missing. Our sons who have been rejected by family in their homes turn to the streets and they become runaways. However, the Lord does not want us to have a runaway spirit when are push away from others who have rejected us. The Lord does not want us running away from Him but running into His presence so that we can be healed. Another way that the rejection of men can impact a man is it causing him to unite with others who the world has labeled as outcasts and gang members. A young man who wants to find acceptance chooses to living on the streets over coming into the church. Though he has been abandoned by his father or the one who was supposed to cover him, our Heavenly Father love is greater and can break the spirit of abandonment over their lives
When our sons are on the streets uniting themselves with others the world has labeled them as worthless men it can cause them to feel they are not valuable and to have aggressive behavior toward others. The abandonment of their fathers can also cause them to not have a respect for authority and anyone they feel reminds them of those who hurt them they should hurt back. However, the word of God says in Psalms 27:9-10 that the Lord is our help and our salvation will not abandon us. When our fathers and mothers forsake or abandon us the Lord will be there to take us up and be the family that we need.
You have been freed from the prison of rejection
Finally, a third way that a man is able to overcome rejection in his life is understanding he has been freed from the prison of rejection from men. When men are incarcerated in prison for years of their lives when the time comes for their release, their attempts to learn how to function in society can be difficult for them. A man tries to find work but once an employer learns that he has a criminal record they are rejected and is refused employment. He also seeks to find a place for him to live and lay his head down at night but the only places he is giving an option to live at is being either at a shelter or halfway house. As he continues to be rejected and denied work and a better quality of life he ultimately feels being back in prison is a better option for him then being on the outside. Yes the man is a free man out of prison but emotionally, mentally and even spiritually he is still in inmate to the prison of rejection.
The name Jephthah in the Hebrew language means “to open, to release or God opens”. When the elders of Gilead reached out for help from Jephthah, though the word of God does not go into detail how Jephthah was able to move forward, he was able to not allow the rejection of his brothers stop him from being an effective leader. The Lord was able to take Jephthah’s hurtful past and raise him up in becoming a great warrior. According to some bible scholars they believe that Jephthah led the men who were described as worthless in the eyes of others to raid pagan nations and possibly the Children of Ammon. As Jephthah reputation as a leader spread the elders of Gilead came to the one who had past victories over the enemy which was now threating them. The lesson that we can take from the life of Jephthah is that we as men do not have to allow our past keep us as an inmate in our present. We have not been called to serve a lifetime sentence in the prison of rejection but to experience the abundance life through Christ (John 10:10). There is a leader in you my brother and the Lord has placed upon you the mantle of leadership for you to be in places he needs you in these end times.