Daily Thought for: 10th March

THE DAUGHTERS OF ZELOPHEHAD

Numbers 27. 1-11; 36. 1-13; Joshua 17. 3-4

‘Give me/us’: Caleb desired a mountain; Achsah springs of water; the daughters an inheritance. They exhibit faith, and resolution. Zelophehad’s daughters make their request known to Moses and the leaders of Israel in a positive, responsible way, Num. 27. 1-11, when Israel is yet in the wilderness, with Canaan not entered, let alone conquered. Their confident trust in God and His promises are evident; as HENRY/SCOTT remark: ‘Five wise virgins’(Matt. 25. 1-13). Their oneness of purpose is also commendable—‘Give unto us’. Had all Israel exhibited such faith and resolution, all the inheritance would have been possessed. 

Their concern for their inheritance, God-given, is very different from the prodigal’s, who also said, ‘Give me’, Luke 15. 9. To make comparison: (1) the younger brother wanted his inheritance whilst his father was alive, showing disregard for God’s providential ordering of his life—the young women act in the intelligent recognition of this, Num. 27. 3-4; (2) he wanted it for his own pleasure: they for productiveness (cf. Achsah—springs of water, irrigation); (3) he leaves his own country to benefit himself, in an independent spirit—they show a dependent spirit (note their reference to Korah), desiring a possession ‘among their brethren’; (4) what was his father’s he squandered, what was to have been their father’s they wish to preserve; (5) he wanted to be free from his father’s restraints—they accept the special restraints of their situation, Num. 36. 10-12. 

Gilead’s leaders feared the potential loss of their tribal inheritance, what God had given to them and to their children of succeeding generations; see Num. 36. We may compare, ‘The things thou hast heard of me . . . the same commit to faithful men . . . to others’, 2 Tim. 2. 2: here are four generations—the teaching is to be passed on intact. 

Acceptance of restraints is a mark of spirituality. The daughters, allowed to marry only within their tribe, gladly did so. All God’s restraints are for our, and others’, good, whilst serving to remind us that we are under authority. Throwing off restraint is a feature of the last days, 2 Thess. 2. 3. 

 

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