Drew & Jephthah

Last week at Awana the kids in Drew’s class were assigned to read Judges 11:34-40 and answer a question (Did Jephthah do to his daughter what he vowed to do? i.e. did he sacrifice her?). We, his parents, didn’t hear about this, but last weekend at Opa’s (Grandpa’s) house he asked Opa to read him the story and talked about it. Well, ask a seminary professor a Bible question and you’re liable to get a seminary answer! Opa, who is astute and thoughtful beyond measure, gave Drew his take on the matter (which happens to be my take as well): God did not allow human sacrifice–in fact he explicitly forbade it of Israel (Leviticus 20:1-5, for example), the passage is somewhat ambiguous–Jephthah “did to her as he had vowed”, not: “sacrificed her”, Jephthah is honored for his faith in Hebrews 11:32 (would a human sacrificer have been so named?). This is a minority view, and the decision could go either way. And Drew, being fairly astute himself, understood Opa’s explanation. Well, the next Wednesday night at Awana, they were asked the question (I have no idea of the context or the story or the teaching point) and wrote down their answers. Those that were correct got an ice cream bar…and Drew, what did he write? “It’s hard to be certain from the passage, but probably not.” And was he commended for his thoughtful handling of Scripture and awarded an ice cream bar? He was not! (oh, the travesty of justice!)

So naturally, when we reported to Opa that his thoughtful teaching moment had cost his grandson an ice cream bar, he stepped up to the plate and made a special home delivery.

The moral of the story: be very careful about teaching your kids (and grandkids) the nuances of studying Scripture. The costs might be steeper than you’d expect!

Update, 4-2-2010: On Wednesday night, his teacher gave him a Snickers bar. She said when she went home she talked with her husband (a seminarian) who told her there are other opinions and that Drew had probably heard from his parents the other side of things. So, very sweetly and unnecessarily, she brought Drew a Snickers. I hope she didn’t read this tongue-in-cheek complaint and feel guilty!

2 Responses to “Drew & Jephthah”

  1. 1

    Way to go, Drew!! This Grandma is very proud of you for answering the question correctly in spite of losing a reward. Opa was determined you would get the ice cream. We love you so very much!

  2. 2

    Awwww, that’s special to read. But I definitely think they need to be careful what they’re teaching in that class (‘course I grew up thinking he did sacrifice her). Glad Dad got Drew an ice cream cone!

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