3 Lessons From Five Brave Women in the Book of Numbers
Today we are going to examine the lives of 5 brave women – the daughters of Zelophehad.
The name Zelophehad (which is almost impossible to pronounce Lol!) means “protection against fear.“
What protects us against fear?
There’s just one thing.
Imagine this scene from Numbers chapter 27 with me.
The five daughters of Zelophehad boldly approached Moses, Eleazar the priest, the chiefs and all the congregation at the Tent of Meeting.
This was unheard of in this day in age! Women going before the male leadership to question the law of inheritance – just did not happen.
If you look back at Numbers chapter 26, you will see that God called Moses to take a census of the new generation of Israel, who were about to enter the Promised Land. Within this list you will find all the names of the males who were the heads of the tribes, clans and families.
The women were not numbered.
So this took great faith for the five daughters to approach Moses before all of the congregation of Israel!
The five daughters wisely made their plea to Moses.
Once the leaders and congregation were listening, they made their plea. I am sure they had butterflies in their stomachs and a tinge of fear, but these women were very wise.
First, they cleared their fathers’s name by declaring he was not a rebel.
“Our father died in the wilderness. He was not among the company of those who gathered themselves together against the Lord in the company of Korah.” (v.3)
Then they made it clear, there were no sons to inherit the father’s land and asked if they could have their father’s inheritance.
Moses took their case before the Lord.
WOW! Moses listened and had compassion on these women. He took this matter straight to God Almighty, the creator of the universe!
The Lord declared:
“The daughters of Zelophehad are right.” (v.6)
Gasp! The creator of the universe heard the plea of these women and declared them as right and gave this statute and rule for all time to Israel:
“‘If a man dies and has no son, then you shall transfer his inheritance to his daughter.” (v.8)
Then they were granted the inheritance of their Father.
Because they had great faith.
There are 3 Lessons we can learn from these 5 Brave Women
1.) They had faith as they trusted in God’s provision for them.
These women were single women. They could have played the victim card and moped about being orphans with no brothers and no land. They could have gone from tent to tent complaining. They could have rushed into marriage to solve their problem themselves. But they did not. These were noble, godly women who trusted that God would provide for them and were willing to courageously step outside their comfort zone to see this happen. They trusted the leadership of Moses and God to be gracious and just and because of their faith – they were protected against fear.
Do we have this sort of faith? Sometimes I am tempted to talk about my fears or complain about them rather than face them with faith –head on. We must not run from things that are hard – especially when we know we are doing what is right. Let’s take strength from these women today and ask God to be used for change in this world!
2.) They did not live for the present. They had faith in God’s promises of a land to come.
This land these women were asking for, they had never seen. In chapter 26, the Promised Land was being divided amongst the people. The generation that went before them were fearful about entering the Promised Land and as a consequence they all died in the wilderness and did not get to enter the Promised Land.
The daughters of Zelophehad believed in a land to come. They believed it was good and they wanted an inheritance there.
Do we have this sort of faith? Jesus told us of a place He is preparing for us – another land – heaven. This world is not our home. We are just passing through. We must not live for today but for eternity. I cannot wait to enter the Promised Land of Heaven!
Oh that we would have the faith of these women – believing and not doubting, confident and sure that for those who are believers – heaven awaits us.
Jesus said: “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”
3.) They had faith they could be used by God to bring about change!
These 5 women had the courage to approach leaders to make a change! As a result of their faith, they were given a portion just the same as the men. They not only gained an inheritance for themselves but for ALL women, in this situation, for generations to come!
Do we have this sort of faith? Oh that we would imitate the faith of these women! Without faith we cannot please God. (Hebrews 11:6) They were young and focused. Life had dealt them a difficult hand as they had suffered a huge loss without their father’s protection. But clearly, this father had raised them to walk with the Lord and to have faith. They knew right from wrong which is why their request was granted from the Lord.
Sometimes I think we assume that once we are saved, blessings should just pour down from heaven on us. This is not the case.
Sometimes blessings do not come until we have walked a painful road.
Sometimes blessings do not come until we have prayed hard to God, begging for change.
Sometimes blessings do not come until we step out in faith – way outside our comfort zone – and watch God work through us, despite our feeble selves.
Sometimes blessings do not come until we gather the courage to confront something that is wrong, to make it right.
I love this acronym for faith:
Will you forsake all today?
Will you dare to challenge something in this world that you know is wrong and push to make it right? Are you willing to make a difference for generations to come? Are you living for eternity today?
Step out in Faith today.
Walk with the King,
Do you struggle with fear?
Is God speaking to you today about something you should do?
What else did you learn in your quiet time this week?
Do I struggle with fear? YES!!! It’s literally one of the BIGGEST struggles I have. I have fear that stops me in my tracks in living the life God wants for me. Crazy, irrational, what-if fears. Fears that take my focus off God, my husband and son and monopolize my thoughts. I want so deeply to be free of the strong hold of fear. I imagine given the size of my fears, if I were able to let go of them and fully live in faith- my life would be stunningly amazing in what I could experience in relation to my walk with God. I suppose it’s such a deep part of who I am that I don’t even know where to begin in fully letting go of the fear that so often and daily controls my thoughts, actions, and heart.
Dear friend ask God incessantly to change this, to remove this feeling, He is the manufacturer and He is the only one able to change our heart! God bless you!
Very challenged by these daughters of faith that God is looking upon me to stand up as they did
Hi Ashley I know how fear can be so crippling, I too have struggled with fear but I got free when I applied 2 Timothy 1:7 for God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. Gods word is the only thing that can break those mindsets in Our lives, I declared that scripture over And over until it broke off of me. I believe that Jesus will do it for you too.
Thanks for sharing that wonderful scripture. I’m sure by sharing it, you have helped many. I know it has for me. I will meditate on it. Thank you.
Another great lesson Courtney! I love how you make the scriptures relevant to our times.
By persistently praying, asking, begging, pleading, crying, even bargaining…you will receive the help you need to conquer your fears….never give up the power of prayer is the gift that “keeps on giving”
‘Sometimes blessings do not come until we have walked a painful road’…this really resounded with me, thank you!
One of the best lessons I have ever gotten from the Bible.
Wow this has blessed me because for me in the last couple of months it’s just been a valley, but I do realize that God takes those storms and teaches is through them. I have Learned a long time ago to ask God every time I go through anything, God what is it that I can learn from this? And normally there is something everytime?
Thanks Courtney! Again you have made me smile, stop and wonder, and think about my relationship with God. Thank you so much for your obedience and sharing your wisdom with us!!
I love the sermon very encouraging may God bless you so much I’m blessed with my family.
Wonderful teaching! Yes I have struggled with fear, some days are still hard for me to step out on faith but remembering Gods promises have helped me get to the point where I am today. Thank you for the teaching ☺️
I have been struggling with extreme fear of addressing my husband’s addiction and other issues. I have been looking the other way out of fear. But God just spoke to me recently that it is His will that I stop enabling and address the issues at hand. This is the hardest thing I have had to do in my life and I am praying for so much strength right now. But I know it is what He wants me to do. This story of the brave women spoke to loud and clear to me. Thank you.
Bless you Jennifer as ypu confront this issue. I have been where you are at. There is hope on the other end and I’ll pray for receptive ears and heart for your husband.
The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26
Hello, I just read your post and just read the reading as well and was blessed. We have unfortunately had to deal with an addiction problem with our son. This was traumatic to us. We still struggle with the thought he went down that route. But we too were led strongly by God to deal with it and placed him in a rehab. He was not happy about it but we knew he couldn’t continue on that path and it would only destroy him and us. God is walking us through this journey but it is a difficult one. Enabling doesn’t help them but only feeds the problem. The Lord is faithful and He will give you the strength to get through this. Every day he is on my heart but I must keep TRUSTING CHRIST that He will provide and restore. God bless you and hold on to Jesus tight.
Thank you for pointing out how these women had great faith and they stepped outside of the box to get what they thought was theirs. That took great courage and it goes to show we have to act on our faith and know that God is true to His word. The scripture “God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind” is one of my favorites and use all time especially when fear comes upon me. So ladies step out in faith and do all God has called you to do. For it pleases God when we act in faith.
Also this book of Numbers has really opened my eyes.
Thank you Courtney!
Your post seem to always have perfect timing!!
Christ-like minds think alike, as I shared some this when I did my SOAK on FB. It is not only a great demonstration of faith and pushing past fear, but another example of how loved and values women are to God. Feminist would have you to believe otherwise, but when we seek the Lord’s truth, through his word, we’ll quickly see all he has done for our protection and spiritual growth. Thank you for this posting.
What a blessing! That’s the first time I’ve ever heard of the faith acronym.
We all have fear of may be breaking the commandments by lust but god loves us and guide us away that guilt in us is from god so follow it amen
Excellent review of women with courage. Stepping out on faith is the ability to trust God when you can’t trace HIM.
I so agree with this. I know the Holy Spirit led me right to this place in my morning quiet time today as I had some questions and decisions to make and the ‘God of suddenly’ led me to this. I had to copy it as is for the platform I often share on ( you will be acknowledged that this is from this page- the Shulammite Parlour) and I do not mind giving my name. Noria Mashumba
One of the best lessons I have ever gotten from the Bible.
This is great. I was greatly blessed reading this. God bless you.
What a blessing!
Women are indeed dearly loved by God, even though the world today makes it seem nearly impossible for us. Stepping out in faith. Stepping up in God’s promises, stepping out of comfort zone can bring change not only ourselves but for generations to come! Thank you Lord for such an exposition! More grace for you!!
It’s high time we step up as women and allow the Lord to use us as He has planned. This will not happen when we sit down idle. We need to step up our game as women, stop the complaining and channel it to God in prayer, challenge yourself by going the extra mile ie take that course, start that business with the little you have, trust in him for your spouse and watch and see if the Lord will just sit there quietly on His throne unconcerned. Rather He will be moved and grant you that desire. Am challenged to be a channel of change for His kingdom.
Thank you Jesus, I have been blessed
Thank you for this article. I have been richly blessed.