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I will bless the Lord, Who has given me counsel; yes, my heart instructs me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. (Psalm 16:7-8, AMP)

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Good Role Model
Published on 08-30-2013 , 5:42 PM

There is something about Moses that has always resonated with me. He had it all, and ended up a fugitive far from his former life in Egypt. The man who had gown up in a palace was transformed into a shepherd wandering alone with his wooly charges. He made do in his new life. He married and had children. Life was quieter, but still good. But after forty years leading sheep around under the blazing sun, Moses was handed a completely new destiny. I can empathize with the dismay he felt and the resistance he gave to God's stated agenda.

But eventually he took up the challenge that God gave him, because it is really hard to say "no" to God for very long. After springing his people from their Egyptian slavery by means of God's miraculous actions, Moses led them on a wilderness journey that lasted another forty years. One day, when they were getting close to their goal of the Promised Land, five women came to see Moses. They had a request of him.

In those days, possessions were passed down from father to son. The wandering people were nearing their destination and would soon divide up the territory that God had given them. The division of land was to be by tribe and family. But there was one man, Zelophehad, who had no sons to inherit his possessions. Even worse, Zelophehad had died leaving five daughters behind. Those daughters were named Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. With their father dead, his family line had died with him. Due to his death, there would be no land in Canaan for Zelophehad or his five daughters.

This did not seem fair to them, so Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah went to see Moses. First, I find it interesting that Moses agreed to see them, but even more interesting is how he responded to their request. You see, they asked to be given the share of land that would have been given to their father, if he were still alive, or a brother, if they had one. You and I might find this request to be more than reasonable. But in those days such a petition was unheard of.

What I find to be most illuminating is how Moses responded to what would certainly have been viewed as a fairly outrageous proposal. You see, Moses did not kick them out or make a snap judgment, either for or against them. Instead, Moses took the case to God. This was the man who was in charge of over a million people! Yet he did not tackle this petition on his own. He did not exert his patriarchal role and make a ruling without first asking God for His help.

What we see here is a wise man, because he is humble enough to recognize where his wisdom stops and when God's should begin. And God's answer was wise. Moses came back and told the daughters of Zelophehad that they would be granted land in their father's name, with the proviso that they only marry within their tribe so that the land would not pass over to another. The women agreed and the situation was solved. All because Moses did not try to handle a completely new problem on his own, despite his 100+ years of experience and high rank amidst the people.

I guess in order to become as wise as Moses we will first have to become as humble. For most of us that is a tall order. But God is up to the task.