Those Gutsy Girls

Have you ever heard of Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah? Possibly not. Yet they were world changers. They are the five daughters of Zelophehad who stood up for their rights in a patriarchal society. They decided that they would not allow their lineage to be wiped out just because their father had no sons. They boldly stood before Moses and all the leaders and asked for an inheritance among their father’s brothers. God sided with them, and the law was amended in their favour so daughters could inherit their father’s property. (This was no mean achievement for even in the England of Jane Austen women could not inherit and the nearest living male relative got the goods).

Even today too many women are missing out on their inheritance in God because there are no males for them to connect their destiny to. They do not dare step out and say ‘here we are’. To all my sisters out there who are standing on the sidelines hoping some man will take notice of them so they can get their inheritance through him, forgive me for being blunt, but you are wasting your time. Don’t waste your life, you are not an appendage, you are a person. Shake yourself up, get on your knees before God, stand up before men, stake your claim and take your place.

After attending a church planting conference with zero women represented a Christianity Today writer asks in an article ‘Where are the women? Are there no women engaged in church planting? And his question set me thinking. in particular about single women,  who do not have the ‘distinction’ of being  the wife of… Even I barely know any, yet I know masses of women sitting on church pews waiting to get married so they can do ministry alongside their husbands, getting sidelined by pastors who prefer to either work with men or with couples, or by pastor’s wives who live in mortal dread of a single woman in any form of proximity to their husband.

These sisters grow older and increasingly more frustrated, as the call on their lives shrivels and dies. It is a crying shame. The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few, yet a good portion of those still do not have the good sense of the five daughters of Zelophehad. Sisters, there is much to be done, do it; preach the gospel, plant churches, build ministries, walk in your inheritance. You will face prejudice, misunderstanding, chauvinism, disdain, criticism, from men and women alike, so what? No doubt some of the people, male and female, thought it odd that women were being granted an inheritance in Israel.

Make no mistake, there will always be somebody who disagrees with your purpose. Just make sure that God is on your side, and like Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah all will be well. Above all, remember, the Lord needs you.

2 thoughts on “Those Gutsy Girls”

  1. Absolutely true! I was stunned too by their courage. They were not afraid of making a mistake. They dared to talk because they felt their case was unfair. They could have been stoned, or cast out from the camp if they had not had God’s favor (especially in those days). Women did not have much right at that time, particularly if they were not married. But God backed them up! Thank you Pastor and thank you Helen for your remarks. We, women, don’t need to wait for a husband to do God’s will on eath, no matter the criticism. There is so much to be done. And no need to wait for a husband to start buying a house or to begin huge projects. He has poured the same Spirit both on men and women. Alleluia!

  2. Nice one Pastor Bola! May we all be like the Zelophehad daughters and enter into that which is ours regardless of the hinderances before us. The daughters had a double whammy before them – I learnt that the name ‘Zelophehad’ meant in Hebrew, ‘the shadow’ or ‘terror/fear’ and they could easily have continued to dwell in the shadows and live in fear without going forth.
    It is also suggested that since their father died ‘of his own sin’, he could have been the one found gathering sticks on sabbath day and died (Num 15:32-36) or ‘presumed to go up unto the hill top’ (Num 14:44-45),
    as both events took place in the second year after the Exodus, the youngest of Zelophehad’s daughters at the time they claimed their father’s inheritance could have been at least forty years old.
    They were not married awaiting suitable men, but they choose to go forth regardless – God settled them eventually, but even if He chose not to – that did not stop them. Gutsy girls indeed!!!!

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