Life does take unexpected turns doesn’t it? If you had told me this time last year that I would be potato printing in my bible I probably would have laughed in your face, or at least coughed and politely moved away to talk to someone else. But just supppose you had, bizarrely, predicted such an odd occurrence then you would have been well and truly correct! I know there are all sorts of wonderful bible journalling resources out there – so many clever creative people producing beautiful and truth-filled workbooks and kits, but all you really need is your bible and the Holy Spirit, then even an old potato can be useful. Isn’t that encouraging? Sometimes I feel like an old potato but God can shape me and use me to add colour and creativity where and when it’s needed. Anyway I digress….
Joshua chapter 17 we see more of the division of the land as inheritance for the different tribes. I was struck by the way that although everyone gets an inheritance it isn’t identical. Each tribe and family is allotted a unique portion. Now generally, in this culture, inheritance was a son-ship thing but amidst the lists of names we come across one that stands out, and not only for it’s unpronouncableness. Here we meet a man named Zelophehad (another great baby name for you!) who had no sons but only daughters – five of them to be presice. These girls were obviously well brought up and courageous…
“They approached Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun and the leaders and said “The Lord commanded Moses to give us an inheritance along with our brothers.” So according to the mouth of the Lord he gave them an inheritance among the brothers of their father.” Joshua 17:4
Now I come from a family with only daughters and I am the mother of 3 beautiful girls so I love the fact that this family was not excluded from recieving an inheritance but “the daughters of the tribe of Manasseh received an inheritance among the sons!” It’s like a little parable or a foretaste of what was to become ours in Jesus!
“For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through Faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female for you are all one in Christ Jesus . And if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.” Gal 3:26-29
What was remarkable for Manaseh’s tribe, for Zelophehad’s famiy, has become our normal – that our daughter’s are sons of God and heirs of the inheritance Jesus won for them at the cross! Can I get a whoop whoop? To my dear girl friends reading this I want you to know today that you are not disqualified from recieving the promises of God because of your gender. God has good plans for you and a glorious inheritance both in this life and the next.
Reading on to the end of the chapter I was also provoked by the people of Joseph who complained that they hadn’t received enough land! Joshua tells them they can have the forest-covered hills as well because they are “numerous and powerful”. I don’t know about you but I think steep slopes and thick foliage might feel like a bit of a short straw. But Joshua knows that they have what it takes to make the inhospitable terrain habitable. Sometimes we can feel short-changed when we compare our lot to each other’s (don’t do it, it’s always a disaster!) but here it seems that the short straw was actually a compliment. God never allows us to walk through more than He gives us grace for. If He asks a lot of you it’s because He knows you can do it! Let’s quit moaning about how hard-done-by we feel and pick up our axes and get chopping down those trees to create the spacious place He knows we can obtain. And you know what else? – in the mentime you get shelter, loads of resources provided, fitness training included and not to mention the view!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read. Hope you all have a great week. Love Rach x