The people have one last issue to raise with Moses. They want to know what happens to the inheritance that a woman receives when her father had no sons.
This was a special circumstance that was brought to Moses when the daughters of Zelophehad died. He had five unmarried daughters who would have been left out in the cold with nothing. They asked that they be allowed to inherit their father’s portion. God consented to this but now the people have another question regarding this exception.
This is the only time a woman is allowed to inherit property and anything that the woman owns when she is married transfers to her husband. The people of the tribe of Manasseh were afraid their territory would end up looking like a jigsaw puzzle with several pieces missing.
The division of land into sections for each tribe was supposed to be a permanent. The boundaries were to be fixed and even if portions changed hands at times, when the jubilee came, all would be restored to its original condition. But that can’t happen if the land is transferred through marriage.
To keep things in balance God ruled that when a woman inherits property she has to marry within her own tribe so that no other tribe can claim a portion of what God gave them. The tribes were pretty big at this point so finding a suitable mate wasn’t too difficult. Marriages were generally arranged by the fathers and the daughters went where they were told.
This commandment brings me back to when I was a teenager and dating. My mom told us that we were not allowed to date anyone who was not a Christian. She set this rule to prevent us from getting entangled with someone who would influence our hearts away from God. I don’t know about my brothers and sisters but my “dates” learned to “play along.” I didn’t realize it was an act until much later. I put on my blinders and dutifully drove everyone to our church every week.
I held onto my basic relationship with God through thick and thin but pieces of “my inheritance” went missing along the way. I “sold out” in areas where I shouldn’t. Issues of sex before marriage and divorce entered into my life. My heart was permanently altered because I didn’t follow my Father’s and father’s directions.
Praise God that He forgives and restores! My heart isn’t perfect but His “jubilee” has returned my heart to His intended boundaries. I don’t know what tomorrow holds but I will hold onto His directions for my life. I don’t want any more holes in my territory! No more selling out and letting Satan lay claim to portions of my heart.
Satan tries to “stake a claim” in so many ways. I only focused on two of my most personally damaging ones. We all have to watch what we “join with” because it has lasting consequences. Are you “married” to your job? Have you “sold out” to the pursuit of some material possession? Are you in a “committed relationship” with something outside of God’s will and plan for your life? Break those ties! This is a “divorce” I’m certain God would approve of. He wants ALL our heart, not just bits and pieces of it. Keep your “territory” intact. And if it gets broken up ask Him to restore it through His power; His jubilee.
Father God, thank You that nothing is beyond Your reach. You made my heart new. You didn’t just throw a Band-Aid on it and tell me not to look underneath. You mended my heart and made it stronger than before. You also helped me learn from my scars. They are not ugly either because You transformed them into works of art and works of heart. Thank You for the lessons I have learned along the way and that You used each of them to craft me into who You made me today. I know I’m FAR from complete but the lessons You have walked me through will stay with me and help me as I walk into what You have still ahead for me. I’ll be just fine so long as I leave my hand in Yours.