Numbers 35-36: Faithful Women and Their Faithful God

Numbers closes with a return to the story of Tirzah and her sisters. This time, in chapter 36, the men of their tribe come before Moses with a concern regarding their promised inheritance. You see, if they were to marry men from another tribe, their land would transfer to that tribe. This is not a terrible problem today, but if land that was promised by God to the tribe of Manasseh goes to another, then God’s promise to them is at stake. So, out of faithfulness to God and their people, the daughters of Zelophehad marry within their tribe.

This may sound like a kind of forced marriage, but in reality, it is a way for God to graciously extend the inheritance of the tribes to the women while remaining faithful to the tribes themselves. These young women make a relatively small sacrifice sacrifice (there were about 32,000 men in Manasseh – not exactly a small pool of men to chose from), but in doing so, they honor God, their father, and the whole tribe. They were faithful with little and rewarded with much.

May we be as they were, faithful to look past ourselves and serve the Lord and His people with joy because of what He has done for us in Christ.

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