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Hand in Hand

Numbers 27:8b-11
“‘If a man dies and has no son, then you shall transfer his inheritance to his daughter. And if he has no daughter, then you shall give his inheritance to his brothers. And if he has no brothers, then you shall give his inheritance … to the nearest kinsman of his clan, and he shall possess it. And it shall be for the people of Israel a statue and rule, as the LORD commanded Moses.’”

Part of the reason our generation is so far removed from basic, intrinsic understanding of virtue and genuine liberty, while touting both, is because the abstract idea of ‘freedom’ has come to imply the eradication of rules. The pop idea today is that liberty is the removal of law and order, that one’s inalienable rights implies autonomy from authority, rather than properly measured authority. Which is why later enlightenment thinkers like Nietzsche eradicated God from society, because, to him, God was just a big rule-maker in the sky, always impeding rather than inspiring man’s progress. However, contrary to that self-destructive view, God’s statutes are actually gifts to His children. Gifts that, when received through obedience, always lead to greater flourishing in life both for the individual and for the community.

Numbers 27:8 might be a small step for four women—the step of standing in line, that is—but it’s a giant leap for womankind. Remember: this is still a world where firstborn sons are given the rights of their fathers, where sons carry on their father’s occupations, and where men, not women, are counted in a census. But in a narrative where women can sometimes seem lost in the margins, peripheral to the advancement of the commonwealth (which of course is not the case), God takes a moment to enshrine their agency into law as He directly responds to the request of these four sisters. He doesn’t say, “Sorry girls, but you’re not boys; so give your land to Moses and he’ll divvy it up as he pleases.” No! As a perfectly loving Father, He gives His precious daughters their due as well.

See how much better God’s vision for society is than the post-modern theorists of our generation? A flourishing society is one where individual freedom and civic authority are not at odds but work hand in hand.