1Then came the daughters of Zelophehad, the son of Hepher, the son of Gilead, the son of Machir, the son of Manasseh, of the families of Manasseh the son of Joseph: and these are the names of his daughters; Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah. 2And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying, 3Our father died in the wilderness, and he was not in the company of them that gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah; but died in his own sin, and had no sons. 4Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father. 5And Moses brought their cause before the Lord. 6And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 7The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father’s brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them.
As we are taking time to focus on God over these next few weeks, the mountains that seem so huge in our lives suddenly become manageable rocks as we gain a deeper understanding of how amazing our God is. In this passage the sisters focused on a loving and just God, and not the huge obstacle that they had to face. They were about to lose their land and property according to the laws of inheritance. The law was the obstacle, set to deprive them of their identity, and would leave them impoverished.
The five sisters however knew their law and they also knew their history. They understood their circumstances yet argued compellingly, highlighting their father’s loyalty to the Lord. For the women to approach not only Moses, but also the priest and leaders of the assembly took incredible courage. Despite being women with very few rights and no authority, they asked Moses to do something unprecedented: to change the law. They could have sat in their tents lamenting at the unfairness of their lives, no doubt struggling to reconcile the Yahweh they had been taught about and experienced throughout the desert – a God of love and fairness – with their impending displacement. Instead they chose to ask. Moses went to God, and God’s response demonstrated all that the sisters knew to be true of their Yahweh. When our prayers align to the character of God, history is made. Obstacles are removed. Change happens.
What obstacles are you facing in the year to come? How are you responding? Are your prayers aligned with God’s character? Do you believe that God can bring change?
Father, help me to have an even deeper understanding of who you are, and help me to trust you even more as I give you the mountains and obstacles in my life. Thank you that there are no obstacles too big for you, and that you do bring change. Amen.