So you see, it was the Lord, the God of Israel, who took away the land from the Amorites and gave it to Israel. Why, then, should we give it back to you? You keep whatever your god Chemosh gives you, and we will keep whatever the Lord our God gives us. Are you any better than Balak son of Zippor, king of Moab? Did he try to make a case against Israel for disputed land? Did he go to war against them?
“Israel has been living here for 300 years, inhabiting Heshbon and its surrounding settlements, all the way to Aroer and its settlements, and in all the towns along the Arnon River. Why have you made no effort to recover it before now? Therefore, I have not sinned against you. Rather, you have wronged me by attacking me. Let the Lord, who is Yahweh Hashapet, decide today which of us is right—Israel or Ammon.”Judges 11:23-27
Yahweh Hashapet: The Lord is Judge
Israel had been living in the land for three hundred years. No one had questioned their right to be there; they had won it, fair and square, by the will of God. The return policy had long expired, and everyone knew it. So why now?
This was not a matter of setting things right as the king of Ammon had demanded. It was too late for that; the people the land had belonged to then had been long dead, and a new generation had arisen to create their own world. This was a matter of loopholes; the king of Ammon wanted land that belonged to someone else, and so he looked for a way to rationalize taking it. ‘Well, it was ours first,’ was a fair excuse, right?
But Israel had a long memory, too. And knowledge the king of Ammon did not have; the knowledge of who God is. Jephthah, Israel’s judge, knew that it had been Yahweh Hashapet who had given the land to them, and he knew God would not let anyone overturn his decision. It is not anyone’s right to decide but His; He is Yahweh Hashapet, the Lord the judge. ❤