-There were a couple of things that happened in this chapter that were of significant importance in the nation of Israel moving forward in the economy of Almighty God. The first had to do with the law of inheritance. Five daughters of Zelophehad, who was of the tribe of Manasseh of Joseph’s double portion, stood before Moses and Eleazar the priest with a petition. They acknowledged their father died in his own sin in the wilderness, and related the fact that he had no sons for whom to give the inheritance that was to come in the Promised Land. They wanted a possession for their family name among their father’s brothers. “So Moses brought their case before the LORD (Numbers 27:1-5).” God spoke to His servant and told him that they indeed were right in their statements. He commanded that they be given a hereditary possession among their father’s brothers, and transfer the inheritance of their father to them. He gave further instructions that if a man has no son, the inheritance will always transfer to the daughter. If there is no daughter (in other words no children at all), the inheritance will go to his brothers. If there is a case where there are no children or brothers, the father’s brothers will gain the inheritance. If the father has no brothers, at that point the inheritance would go to the nearest relative in his own family. This would be a statutory ordinance to the sons of Israel by command of the LORD (Numbers 27:6-11).
-Now in a turn of events, God said to Moses, “Go up to this mountain of Abarim, and see the land which I have given to the sons of Israel. When you see it, you too will be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother was; for in the wilderness of Zin, during the strife of the congregation, you rebelled against My command to treat Me as holy before their eyes at the water (These were the waters of Meribah of Kadesh in the wilderness of Zin, Numbers 20:8-12; 27:12-14).” Moses pleaded with “the LORD, the God of the spirits of all flesh,” not for his life, but to appoint a man over the congregation that would lead them out and in with power and authority as he had been chosen and able to do. He loved his people and wanted to make sure that they had a shepherd who would guide them under the mighty Hand of God into the Promised Land. The LORD appointed Joshua, the son of Nun, who had the Holy Spirit IN (emphasis mine) him. He laid his hands on him and had him stand before Eleazar the priest and the entire congregation and then commissioned him in their sight. Moses put the LORD’s authority on him for the purpose of obedience by the people during this critical stage of their national and redemptive history. Moses did exactly what the LORD commanded in regards to this (Numbers 27:15-23).
-*Application* First, we see fairness in the LORD with regard to the laws of inheritance that He gives. We can understand from this that God is reasonable, and does all things equitably. Don’t be afraid to take your petitions to the Judge of all the earth. Secondly, while we see the sadness of Moses’ mistake and that it cost him the chance to lead his people into the Promised Land, he still had the right perspective. We should in the same way keep a mind for the future and those who will come behind us. Let us raise up God fearing leaders, whom the LORD can use for His glory. We must be intentional about this and diligent. There was a certain formality to the process that we see here and a public demonstration of the transfer of authority. When God calls you to pass the baton, be as willing as Moses was to follow the commands of the LORD. Love your people and make sure they are shepherded properly for the next generation. God does have a plan for this and we need to have the right kind of heart.
Verses to Memorize: Numbers 27:12-13, 18-20