“Come and be our leader, that we may fight against the Ammonites” (11:6). In the dark times of the judges, the Israelite tribes looked for any leader that would give them temporary peace and defense against their enemies. Jephthah was from Gilead, a powerful clan that rivaled Ephraim and briefly conquered the Ammonites (ch 12). However, without a strong king to unite the tribes and without a Temple to unite them spiritually, the Israelites had as much internal conflict as external (12:4).
Our natural tendency is to self-destruct, as selfishness, anger, and pride create chaos within families as well as nations. Because He loves us, God calls us to submit to His ways and flourish.