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The Grace of Problem Solving

Numbers 36:5-7a
And Moses commanded the people of Israel according to the word of the LORD, saying, “The tribe of the people of Joseph is right. This is what the LORD commands concerning the daughters of Zelophedad: ‘Let them marry whom they think best, only they shall marry within the clan of the tribe of their father. The inheritance of the people of Israel shall not be transferred from one tribe to another.”

Do you remember back in Numbers 27 when the daughters of Zelophedad came to Moses and asked for their father’s inheritance? Remember how wonderful it was when Moses brought the request before the LORD and the LORD said, “The women are right”? Well, now the plot thickens. Now there’s a kink in the hose as it were. Now, men from the tribe of Joseph suddenly realize that if these daughters marry men from other tribes, then their families will have double the inheritance of everyone else, effectively making them preeminent in the commonwealth. And the blessing that first bloomed as a rose is now pricking like a thorn.

Throughout the books of Moses, God has given His people more than just promises and prophecies and rules and ceremonial instructions and inheritances, He’s also given them solutions. Delight in the winsomeness of Moses’ reply to these tribal chiefs, friend. He doesn’t say, “What’s done is done! If you end up with less, just be glad you’ve got any inheritance at all!” That would’ve entangled the tribes in bitter rivalries. Nor does he say, “Listen, ladies, these men are right—it isn’t fair for you to inherit more land than the others; keep the land, but you can’t get married now.” That would’ve transformed the initial gift into a heavy burden, placing these women’s future prospects at risk. So with divine clarity, he finds the resolution that’s best for both parties. The women can marry men from their own clan, and the tribal chiefs can walk away happy knowing that they aren’t getting the short end of the stick. Problem solved!

Friend, as you close this wonderful Book of Numbers today and embark on a new chapter of your own faith journey, lean on the LORD for wisdom in all your ways, for all your decisions, trusting that He has the solutions you need for your conundrums as well!