Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
He was from the tribe of Manasseh, and he had himself a quiver full of children. Five of them, to be exact. He was redeemed from Egypt and, just like almost everyone else who left there, he died before the Israelites crossed into the Promised Land. And, just like nearly everybody else, he had the promise of passing down his allotment of land to his progeny.
But for HIS children, it was a little more complicated. You see, they lived in a patriarchal society, and these kids weren’t…well…patriarchs. Zelophehad’s five children were all daughters. And according to their society, land was passed on to sons. So, as far as they could see, Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah were out of luck. Their father’s legacy—the promise of his ancestral lands in the Land of Promise—died with him.
|Not them, of course - Photo credit|
But these women were not ready to let that happen. They decided to approach the leadership about it.
I can’t imagine that this sort of thing happened very often, even less so with women. But they were willing to step out in faith before Moses and the elders for the sake of their father’s name.
They approached the entrance to the Tent of Meeting and stood before Moses, Eleazar the priest, the leaders and the whole assembly, and said, "Our father died in the desert. He was not among Korah's followers, who banded together against the LORD, but he died for his own sin and left no sons. Why should our father's name disappear from his clan because he had no son? Give us property among our father's relatives." Numbers 27:1b-4
If I had been one of those women, I probably wouldn’t have done a thing. Afraid of confrontation, I would have just melted into the background and let things be the way they were. Women don’t get land, I’d be thinking. No big deal.
And I would have been rewarded with exactly what I asked for: nothing.
But these women knew in their heart that the land should be theirs. And they approached with their petition, and it was heard.
So Moses brought their case before the LORD and the LORD said to him, "What Zelophehad's daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance among their father's relatives and turn their father's inheritance over to them. "Say to the Israelites, 'If a man dies and leaves no son, turn his inheritance over to his daughter. If he has no daughter, give his inheritance to his brothers. If he has no brothers, give his inheritance to his father's brothers. If his father had no brothers, give his inheritance to the nearest relative in his clan, that he may possess it. This is to be a legal requirement for the Israelites, as the LORD commanded Moses.' " Numbers 27:5-11
So these women stepping forward in faith changed not only their own lives, but that of many others. This request made it into the Law, and was an ordinance for the Israelites for all time.
Do you ask like Zelophehad’s daughters? Or do you act like I do, and avoid confrontation? Have you ever wondered what blessings you are missing because you neglect to come boldly before Him?
There are some requests that the Lord will only grant if we ask. Yet, sometimes we are too afraid, embarrassed, or proud to make that request.
And those five daughters were not disappointed that they approached Moses. Their father’s land WAS distributed to them once they arrived in the Promised Land.
Now Zelophehad son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Makir, the son of Manasseh, had no sons but only daughters, whose names were Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah. They went to Eleazar the priest, Joshua son of Nun, and the leaders and said, "The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance among our brothers." So Joshua gave them an inheritance along with the brothers of their father, according to the LORD's command. Joshua 17:3-4
And you won’t be disappointed either.
Heavenly Father, Help us to approach You boldly with our requests, no matter how daunting it may seem. We so want to have what You have to give us, Lord. Give us the wisdom to ask in Your will, and give us trust and faith that You will fulfill it, no matter how long we may need to wait. In Jesus’ name I ask this. Amen
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Scripture Stories: Timeless Truths