Numbers 27, 36

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A beautiful illustration of the ways of God with His people-of His readiness to meet their every need-is found in the combination of these two chapters. In the first, the daughters of Zelophehad came to Moses with a complaint. Their father had died leaving no son, and they asked, " Why 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." (27: 4) Up to this time there had been no provision for such a, case. The son or sons were to inherit the patrimony, but nothing had been said concerning daughters where there were no sons. Moses did not act upon his own view of the case, nor upon what others might deem fair and equitable principles, but, owning that he had of himself no wisdom, he laid the matter before the Lord. Would that we all might follow his example when we fail to discover the mind of God' in any special perplexity. The Lord vouchsafed an answer immediately, saying, "The daughters of Zelophehad speak right;" and He directed Moses to "give them. a possession of an inheritance among their father's brethren," taking occasion at the same time to announce a statute of judgment for the children of Israel upon every such case that might arise.
Passing now to chapter 36 we find that another perplexity sprang out of the settlement of this question.
The chief of the families of the children of Gilead come in this instance to Moses. Their concern was for the inheritance of the tribe; for if these daughters of Zelophehad "be married," they say, "to any of the sons of the other tribes of the children of Israel, then shall their inheritance be taken from the inheritance of our fathers, and shall be put to the inheritance of the tribe whereunto they are received: so shall it be taken from the lot of our inheritance;" and furthermore, they proceed to say, when the jubilee arrives, the inheritance, so taken away, will be finally added to that of the tribe into which these women had married. Once again, Moses receives directions from Jehovah, who commands that the daughters of Zelophehad shall marry "to whom they think best," only it must be to those of their own tribe; and in this way was the difficulty, both on the present occasion and for all future time, completely removed.
There are some important principles connected with these histories worthy of indication. The first is obvious; viz., that nothing in relation to the people of God can be settled by human wisdom. Every difficulty or perplexity must be laid before the Lord. The second is, that if we lack wisdom the Lord is ever ready to give, and to give liberally. Nothing that affects the welfare of His people is too trivial to bring before Him; and for us to attempt to act, unless we have His mind, is to usurp His place. Then, thirdly, observe that the Lord did not anticipate the difficulty. He knew it would arise, but He waited until His servant brought it to Him before He gave His mind in the matter; He foresaw 'the second question equally with the first, but He would have His people in constant dependence, and thus only gave the word for the moment-the wisdom as it was needed. In like manner, if we would be imitators of Him, we shall never seek to forestall a difficulty. "Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." Lastly, it is beautiful to remark the ready obedience of all concerned to the word of the... Lord. His word was all they craved, and obtaining it they yielded to it a willing subjection. The chief of the fathers of Gilead, the daughters of Zelophehad, and indeed the whole of Israel, obeyed the word of the Lord they had received through Moses. Truly the path of obedience is the only way of blessing!