In Joshua 14, we read about Caleb asking Joshua to keep the promise made to him by Moses and ensure God’s assured blessings. Now, in Joshua 17, we see Zelophehad’s daughters – all five of them – are asking Joshua to fulfill Moses’ directives on their inheritance. Their claim to their estate, and not the author’s opinion, is recorded for all future generations to read.
What did the Biblical writers want us to know or learn from the demand these sisters made to what is rightfully theirs? When we read through the Bible, we see at least three different approaches taken by God’s children. First, some of God’s children claim what is rightfully theirs, as did Zelophehad’s daughters. Second, like Joseph, others patiently wait for God to intervene and give what is rightfully theirs. Third, some, like Jacob, use deception to get what God has already promised them.
When we use deception to get what God has already promised, we add mental, emotional, and even personal difficulty and anguish to ourselves and those around us. The Bible never encourages us to practice duplicity or deception to get what we know God has promised us.
However, God never condemns anyone asking what is rightfully theirs. God expects us to use our power and position to ensure others get what is theirs, especially if theirs has been promised to them by God.
Finally, when we patiently wait for God to intervene as Joseph did, we can be sure that God will come to our rescue. Sometimes, as in the life of Apostle Paul, God’s deliverance might be our entry into our eternal life with God. Those unwaveringly endure suffering and wait for God to rescue them are God’s children who, time after time, do what is right. They are the people who live their lives with integrity – just like Joseph. They are the people who trust God to keep His word even if they cannot see the joy that is in store for them when he or she closes their eyes on earth before they open it in the presence of God. I pray that you and I will be like Joseph or Apostle Paul and wait for God to give to us what is rightly ours.