Zelo’s Girls (A Story of Justice)

One of my favorite hidden stories in the bible is buried in Numbers 27:1-11.  There is a good chance you’ve never heard this story so let me share it and why its so important.  Zelophehad came out of Egypt with the rest of Israel and died in the wilderness with the entire generation.  He never did anything wrong except like the rest of Israel he failed to believe God and therefore died with the rest of them.  Unfortunately, he had no sons, only five daughters.  These five girls challenged Moses and all Israel before God.  They brought a claim that just because their father had no sons it shouldn’t block him from receiving an inheritance in the land.  When Moses brought their claim to God he agreed with them and told Moses their claim was just.  He then established a law with Israel that was to be passed down to every generation because it aligned with his intentions and desires for justice in the land.  The law declared that if a man had no son his land was to be passed to his daughter so that the inheritance of a family would not be lost.

Justice is God Getting What He Intended

It’s an amazing story that declares what kind of heart God has not only for justice, but also for his sons and daughters to receive all that he has for us.  We often think justice is about getting what is right for us and at the end of the day that is what happens, but justice is really not about us at all.  Justice is really about receiving what God intended.  When people don’t get justice they are not getting what God intended for them.  The number five represents grace and so these five sisters received favor that is undeserved.  No one in Israel deserved an inheritance, but it was God’s grace for them to receive it.  When Abraham believed God it was counted as righteousness so when Israel failed to believe God, he was unable to give them the inheritance that he intended them to have and that generation died without.  It’s a picture of what happens when people don’t believe, they miss what God had intended for them.

The Purpose is For God’s Name to Be Honored

These five girls recognized when something wasn’t right even when the entire nation didn’t see it and they had the gumption to boldly say something about it.  When you read their story they said it was about honoring their father not about receiving something for themselves.  They told Moses that it wasn’t justice for their father not to receive an inheritance this meant his name would be removed from the nation forever.  This whole story is a picture of the honor due to our heavenly father.  In the garden the enemy stole our inheritance, but in doing so, it was dishonoring to God because it is his name that would be affected.  We are his people and his inheritance.  So, like these five girls, Jesus comes to make a claim against the law (Moses) to restore our inheritance and bring us back into the family of God again to be with him forever.  This is to honor his father’s name.  Not that it was deserved it was given to us by grace.

It’s God’s Story

Most of us make the promises of God about us, but it’s really not about us.  All of this is God’s story.  He is the main character in his story and he intends to accomplish his purposes.  The amazing piece of the story occurs in the end, this story is the final act that Moses does before he turns the nation over to Joshua.  So the final act of the law was to declare the grace of God and make a way for the inheritance to be restored.  Moses represents the law, but in Joshua 17:3 Joshua whose name means Jesus making him a type of Christ gives these five girls their inheritance bringing them back into the family just like Jesus does for you and me.  He fulfills the law thereby causing the law to render a verdict that declares all of us are truly righteous and then restores our inheritance and places us back in the family of God.  All of this to bring honor to the father.  Not because of anything we’ve ever done.  It’s all a picture of God’s grace.

To sum up this story.  It’s a picture that God will give us exactly what he has promised.  God will make sure he gives me everything he intended for me to have.  Remember 2017 is the year of jubilee!  It’s an amazing story told in advance by five girls that almost no one has ever heard of and yet its one more amazing reason to be thankful in 2017! Selah