18 Jun The Inheritance
As we celebrate Father’s Day this weekend, I thought it would be timely to explore the relationship between fathers and daughters. We may not all have sons, brothers, or a husband but as women we are all daughters of our fathers.
When researching the scripture to find a biblical example of a father / daughter relationship I found a story of a father, Zelophehad and his five daughters, Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah, and Tirzah. The details of the story, although limited, appear to be important enough that it was repeated three times in the Old Testament (Num 27:1-11, Num 36:1-13, Joshua 17:1-6).
According to the laws at the time, when a man died, his share of the property would be passed on to his sons. Zelophehad died without sons and the law did not allow for his five daughters to receive an inheritance. His daughters went to Moses, the priests, the leaders and all the assembly and asked that their father’s name not die with him and that they would receive the possessions among his father’s relatives. Moses took the request to God and God commanded that they receive their inheritance and then went on to tell Moses to change the laws to allow for this provision for future generations.
An interesting point in the scripture is the genealogy of Zelophehad. Zelophehad was a descendent of the clan of Manasseh, the son of Joseph. We all recall the story of Joseph and how he overcame many trials through integrity, faith and excellence to become a man of great influence. Undoubtedly, the same strength and character of Joseph was passed down to the future generations of Zelophehad and his daughters. Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milkah and Tirzah were not afraid to confront the establishment to get their due. These women were obviously raised to be confident and strong ladies who knew their worth and were not afraid to fight for it. Their courage would not only impact their lives but the lives of women for generations to come.
As a father, Zelophehad had material possessions that could be passed down to his daughters but he also had a good name that they wanted to hold on to. He also apparently had some strength and courage that he inherited from his ancestor Joseph that he, in turn, passed on to his daughters.
We are all daddy’s girls that have inherited something from our fathers. Even if you don’t have a relationship with your earthly father you have a heavenly Father that desires to give all of His daughters an eternal inheritance. So this weekend, let us celebrate our fathers and those who are fathers to our children and the inheritance that they are passing on for generations to come.