To defend means so many things but for the sake of this message i have these few dictionary definitions: it means:
To ward off attacks against; to fight to protect; to guard.
To ward off, repel (an attack or attacker).
To prevent, to keep (from doing something).
To prohibit, forbid.
AND IN SPORTS:
(sports) To focus one’s energies and talents on preventing opponents from scoring, as opposed to focusing on scoring.
(sports) To attempt to retain a title, or attempt to reach the same stage in a competition as one did in the previous edition of that competition
Jdg 11:1-33 KJV 1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah. 2 And Gilead’s wife bare 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. 3 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. 4 And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel. 5 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: 6 And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon. 7 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? 8 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. 9 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. 11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh. 12 And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my land? 13 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 Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan: now therefore restore those lands again peaceably. 14 And Jephthah sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon: 15 And said unto him, Thus saith Jephthah, Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon: 16 But when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness unto the Red sea, and came to Kadesh; 17 Then Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land: but the king of Edom would not hearken thereto. And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moab: but he would not consent: and Israel abode in Kadesh. 18 Then they went along through the wilderness, and compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab. 19 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place. 20 But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his coast: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and pitched in Jahaz, and fought against Israel. 21 And the LORD God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country. 22 And they possessed all the coasts of the Amorites, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan. 23 So now the LORD God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and shouldest thou possess it? 24 Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess? So whomsoever the LORD our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess. 25 And now art thou any thing better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them, 26 While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time? 27 Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon. 28 Howbeit the king of the children of Ammon hearkened not unto the words of Jephthah which he sent him. 29 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon. 30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, 31 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. 32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands. 33 And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.
Jephtah was the son of Gilead the Gileadite. He was a mighty man of valour. How did he become that? He was born of a harlot even though his father had other wives and children. His brothers and sisters drove him out of the house because they said he was a son of a harlot. The word ‘harlot’ there actually means a strange woman, a woman from a foreign country or somebody who is not properly married.
So Jephtah was driven out, he was rejected and pushed out. The Bible says there were vain men gathered there to him. These were men that were poor, had no home, destitute and he became their captain. You remember the story of David that when he ran from Saul, certain men were gathered to him; those in debts, destitute, and the good news was that the same men later became David’s mighty men we read about later. God can transform anybody, don’t write them off. May God transform your life in Jesus’ name.
1Sa 22:2 KJV And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.
In the process of time, the Ammonite made war with the children of Israel
Jdg 11:4-5 KJV 4 And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel. 5 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:
The Bible says that the Gileadites went to fetch Jephthah from the land of Tob. Why will they do that? They were the one that rejected Jephthah and drove him from the house but now they were looking for him begging him to come to their aid.
Ladies and gentlemen, you might have been rejected by your family members, spouse, somebody that promised to marry you but suddenly turns around and says nope, your boss might have said no to you. All these not because you are arrogant, proud or have attitude problems but just for no cause, you have been turned down.
Let me announce to you that in the place where they have rejected you they will come back for you after the order of jephthah in Jesus name. Jephtah became a sought out after. There are problems that will come up and it is you and only you that will be able to solve it. Keep developing yourself, don’t kill yourself becaue of rejection. Jephtah developed his skills of war and made himself indispensable. He became relevant, useful and significant. Strive for excellence brother, don’t be mediocre and justify the reasons for rejection but prove your adversary wrong that you have all it takes. Some spouses reject mates, the mates should feel it may be that they don’t value you.
The good news was that it was Jephtah that was now dictating the terms of engagement now. He said he will be their leader. They said yes, come and be our leader. May the Lord lift you up and promote you in life. May He exalt you beyond your peers in Jesus name.
After the people agreed, Jephtah did one thing that is not common today.
Jdg 11:11 KJV Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh.
In order words he presented the matter unto the Lord. There are many Christians today who don’t do this kind of thing. It is wrong. When a guy proposes to you don’t give an answer until you utter it before the Lord and seek the face of God. It doesn’t matter how juicy the contract or work is, utter it before the Lord. Tell your Pastor about it. Some people would have agreed with the person and then later come to the pastor. What do you want the pastor to do now? Is it for him to say no or rubber stamp it?
God must be brought in as a party to this transaction; and therefore Jephthah uttered all his words before the Lord-the terms made with the elders and the people on which he had accepted the command of the army; and, being sure of the Divine approbation, he entered on the work with confidence
It was after Jephtah knew that God was in the business before he proceeded. He sent messengers to the king of Ammon to argue his case that the man had no right to fight them or come to take their possession.
Jephtha narrated how the Children of Israel tried to pass through the highway in Edom but the Edomites refused them passage in Num 20: 21 they had to turn away and that prolonged their journey. May your journey to your destiny be no longer delayed in Jesus name. They circumvent Edom and get to the brother of Amorites, where a river Arnon forms the boundary between Moabite and Amorite. They sent a messenger to Sihon king of Heshbon to allow them to pass through the highway but he too refused and to make matters worse he gathered his army to fight against Israel and God said fight him and possess his land.Deut 2:24. They fought him and possessed his land.
It is now 300years later that the King of Ammon is now coming and saying to Jephtah and Israel that the land the children of Israel is occupying belong to him.
The subject of the quarrel was a claim of right advanced by the Ammonite monarch to the lands which the Israelites were occupying.
Jephthah’s reply was clear, decisive, and unanswerable;—
- first, those lands were not in the possession of the Ammonites when his countrymen got them, and that they had been acquired by right of conquest from the Amorites [Jud 11:21];
- secondly, the Israelites had now, by a lapse of three hundred years of undisputed possession, established a prescriptive right to the occupation [Jdg 11:22; Jdg 11:23 (refs2)];
- and thirdly, having received a grant of them from the Lord, his people were entitled to maintain their right on the same principle that guided the Ammonites in receiving, from their god Chemosh, the territory they now occupied [Jud 11:24].
Jephtah said our God has given us this land for inheritance. Will you now come and take what God has given unto us?
Jdg 11:23-24 KJV 23 So now the LORD God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and shouldest thou possess it? 24 Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess? So whomsoever the LORD our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess.
It was a legitimate warfare.
Ladies and gentlemen you must defend what God has given you otherwise you may lose them. You must be able to present your case why certain things must or must not happen. Jephtha knew the history.
So what did Jephtah do to defend Israel’s possession?
Jdg 11:29 KJV Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.
Jdg 11:32 KJV So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands.
The Spirit of the Lord came upon him. The Spirit of might. This kind of battle is not fought without the aid of the Holy Spirit. It was the same way He came on Samson in his days but praise God. He doesn’t just come on us but He lives in us permanently.
He did not wait for them to come but he crossed over unto them to fight them and the Lord delivered them into his hands. May God deliver your enemies into your hands in Jesus name.
Remember what God told the children of Israel, He said they should cross the River Arnon into the Amorites territory. It is the same thing here. Jephtha crossed over. God wants us to launch an attack and not wait for the enemy but rather take the war to them.
Isa 28:5-6 KJV 5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people, 6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate.
The gate of hell shall not prevail against the advancement of the church Mat 16:18
Mat 16:18 KJV And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Ladies and gentlemen the best form of defence is offence in warfare. Rather than repelling an attack or defending your ground after the enemy has come, the best way is to go after them, launch an attack against them in their territory.
Many Christians don’t share this value, they wait until they are sick before declaring and praying, they wait until they lose their job or business before praying. Some wait until there is trouble in the family before they start running to church to see the pastor. What is wrong with that kind of approach is that you will be fighting with apprehension, fear, and from a point of defeat. But one of the ways to move from glory to glory and grace unto grace is to anticipate possible attack and attack before you are attacked. However, if the enemy has come now, defend your possession. Don’t yield it to the devil. It cost the Lord Jesus great before he procured our health, prosperity and peace. It is not free. He paid for it and please don’t allow the devil to intimidate and steal your job, health, business, progress in life.
The reason why the devil is having a field day is that many people don’t value what they have, they look down on it. They say “is it me that will be managing this small thing” Zechariah says who art thou that despise the day of little beginning. That thing that you call small, some are dying to get it and the devil wants to take it from you.
HOW DEVIL ATTACK?
He attacks your mind with doubt and fear.
he tells your God won’t do it for you because you didn’t qualify for it
He makes you doubt the willingness of God to use His power on your behalf.
he attacks the mind first before attacking any other thing like body, job, etc.
When doubt and fear comes and evil suggestions from the devil, cancel or resist it with the word because he wants to steal the word and faith from you
The Lord Jesus said in Jn 10:10 that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. The devil steal two types of inheritance and possession:
- the tangible possession we have now
- and possession you just received by faith.
- The tangible possession includes your body, health, prosperity, wealth, children, husband and wife, land and houses.
- While possession by faith are things you believed and received from the Lord but they are yet to come into physical manifestation. The devil can still steal them through doubt and unbelief.
Jas 1:7 KJV For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
This is the admonition of the Spirit as recorded by John:
Rev 2:25 KJV But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.
He was talking to the church of Thyatira about the pure doctrine of the Gospel, hold fast till I come-till I come to execute the judgments which I have threatened.
Rev 3:11 KJV Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
The same is said unto the church at Philadelphia to holdfast either her grace in the exercise of it, as her faith, patience, or rather the doctrines of the Gospel, and the ordinances of it, which she had received, as delivered by Christ and his apostles: and which she had held in the truth and purity of them, and is now exhorted to hold them fast,
Paul and Jude admonished us too
2Th 2:15 KJV Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
2Ti 1:13 KJV Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
Heb 10:23 KJV Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
Jud 1:3 KJV Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
It is not because God has not given but he failed to receive because he allowed the enemy to steal it and so it did not materialize.
Some people have been healed before and suddenly they start noticing the symptoms of that sickness but rather than fight it back and defend their healing they give in to wrong confession and open the door wide for the devil to come and steal.
CASE STUDY OF NABOTH
1Ki 21:2-3 KJV 2 And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money. 3 And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.
HOW DO YOU DEFEND AND KEEP YOUR POSSESSION?
- Commit it into God’s hand. Act 20:32 KJV And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. The word “commend” is ‘paratithemi’in Greek and it means to place alongside, that is, present (food, truth); by implication to deposit (as a trust or for protection): – allege, commend, commit (the keeping of), put forth, set before. Everyday I commit myself and all that pertains unto me into His hand. 2Ti 1:12 KJV For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. The word “keep” in Greek is “phulassō” and it means to guard, to watch, keep watch, to guard or watch, have an eye upon: lest he escape, to guard a person (or thing) that he may remain safe, lest he suffer violence, be despoiled, etc. to protect, to protect one from a person or thing, to keep from being snatched away, preserve safe and unimpaired, to guard from being lost or perishing, to guard one’s self from a thingWhere there is no committing or commending there is no keeping Psa 121:4-5 KJV 4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. Where it is not kept with the LOrd,you can’t hold Him responsible.
- Resist the devil. Jas 4:7 KJV Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
- Fight the good fight of faith. Apart from compelling our rebellious situation to line up with the word. Fighting the good fight of faith also means defending what you have with all you have. 1Ti 6:12 KJV Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. This means making them to remain consistent with the word of God and this is done by confessing and using the word of God over yourself and all that pertains to you.
- Put on the whole armour of God.Eph 6:12-18 KJV 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: 18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; The armour comprises both defensive and offensive weapons. Only one offensive which is the word of God. Rev 1:16 KJV And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. I believe this is symbolic of the word of God which is sharper than two edged weapons. Heb 4:12 KJV For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
If you defend it will last for you for a very long time. For instance defend your body you have control over it, it is your vehicle or canopy or tent. Don’t allow any encroachment of sickness and disease. Defend your money, the devil delight in poverty and penury and make people live below what God has destined them to be. Defend that business and job you have. It is what you have that from there God God will take you to greater height. Your personal ministry holds it fast.