Today we meet the daughters of Zelophehad. They go before Moses, Eleazar the priest, and the leaders of all the congregation with a request to inherit the land of their deceased dad who had no sons. This is a bold move for these ladies and one done in faith. The daughters are asking for land they have not yet acquired, but they are trusting that the Lord will do what He said He will do and give the children of Israel the promised land. Moses, once again proving to be a wise leader, brings the request of the women before the Lord. And the Lord, once again proving to be fair, just, and gracious, honors the request of women of the congregation. The Lord not only honors the request from the daughters of Zelophehad, but He also makes a new rule for all the children of Israel, that the inheritance of a deceased father with no sons goes to the daughter. So stepping out boldly in faith paid off for the daughters of Zelophehad as well as others.
The Lord then tells Moses he can see the promised land but reminds him that he won’t enter it due to his rebellion – “For in the Wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to hallow Me at the waters before their eyes.” Moses, who is more concerned for the people than himself, responds – “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, who may go out before them and go in before them, who may lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be like sheep which have no shepherd.”
Moses knows he is about to die, and he doesn’t want the people to be left without a good shepherd. Therefore, the Lord gives the Israelites a faithful leader, Joshua, who will bring them into the promised land. Joshua will encourage the Israelites to trust God, who is working His plan through them to bring the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. And when Jesus arrives on the scene He will say, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep… and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:11-16). Jesus is coming to lay down His life as a Good Shepherd does for His flock to provide a way in which we may enter green pastures of rest and eternal life – “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:7-19).
After the inauguration of Joshua, Moses gives the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual laws of the sacrificial system and worship of the Lord to the new generation of the Israelites who are camped outside the promised land. Tomorrow the Israelites have some unfinished business to settle with the Midianites who used their women to make them stumble with idolatry and sexual sin. Keep reading. (Numbers 27:1-29:40)