Thank you, Lord Jesus—your death purchased my inheritance. Because you rose from the dead, it is secure.
Read NUMBERS 27:1-11
27 The daughters of Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, belonged to the clans of Manasseh son of Joseph. The names of the daughters were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah. They came forward 2 and stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly at the entrance to the tent of meeting and said, 3 “Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among Korah’s followers, who banded together against the Lord, but he died for his own sin and left no sons. 4 Why should our father’s name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father’s relatives.”
5 So Moses brought their case before the Lord, 6 and the Lord said to him, 7 “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father’s relatives and give their father’s inheritance to them.
8 “Say to the Israelites, ‘If a man dies and leaves no son, give his inheritance to his daughter. 9 If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. 10 If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father’s brothers. 11 If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to have the force of law for the Israelites, as the Lord commanded Moses.’”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectYour inheritance in Christ is kept in heaven for you, imperishable, undefiled, and unfading (1 Peter 1:4).
Thousands of years before the British constitution granted succession to the throne by the oldest heir, regardless of sex (2013), the daughters of Zelophehad raised a question of interest to many women. Normally, daughters received a generous dowry from their father, but the family land would be distributed among the sons. This would preserve the family name’s deep connection with the promised land. But what if there were no male heirs?
I love these strong and intelligent women. Not only did they identify a legal loophole: they also anticipated their position when Israel came into the Promised Land (possibly anticipating that their tribe would be among the first to settle on the eastern side of the Jordan—see chapter 32). So their question, asked long before the land was conquered, arose from faith. God would fulfill his promises.
This passage shows us how laws which constitute so much of the first five books of the Bible were formed: a new situation arose for which there was no precedent, and Moses had to seek God’s wisdom. The Bible does not answer all our questions. We also, collectively, need to seek God’s wisdom, in line with what he has already revealed, when dealing with new situations. (Zelophehad’s daughters’ question raises further questions in the final chapter of Numbers.)
My future and security are not tied up with land, but with God himself. “I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him’” (Lamentations 3:24).
Thank you, gracious Father for your gift of the Holy Spirit, the guarantee of my inheritance in Christ. Thank you for the blessings of today, as well as for those waiting for me in heaven.
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