A few readers have emailed me dubbing these posts as the Sunday sermons. I’m not so sure I like that but I guess I better flow with it since they used it in a positive light. Sermon is often a negative word, did you realize that? Oh well on with my message, friends. My message.
I fight battles every day. Why not start this one out by airing my own issues? Apparently, being vulnerable is the new awesome.
I have issues with myself –
- I beat myself up when I misstep in the kitchen (another Girl Scout cookie, Amanda?)
- When I think I should have gone harder and longer at the gym (who cares if you can’t breathe you did so much better a month ago!)
- When I parent (there will be no mom of the year award after that screaming match)
- When my husband chooses to stay in his building instead of spending time with me
- When I break my no spending rule and buy a $5 project.
I also battle some other little hellions-
- I battle giving a little money or food to the guy on the corner who I question whether he really is in need or not.
- I battle moving on from a situation that did not turn out the way I wanted it to. Sometimes I want to be angry for longer than I should be. I find myself to be split – at peace but not at peace. Accepting but second guessing.
Every day is a battle in some small way or large way. Do the right thing, do the wrong thing, do the what-was-I-thinking-thing! Ugh!
Joshua battled, ransacked towns and groups of people,who all ended with -ites, all over the Jordan. He battled doing the right thing all the time. Only one time have I read that the man slipped. One time. Give this guy a freaking cookie! I slip every day and it isn’t up to me to eliminate nations in the name of Israel.
This week as I was reading my devotion (First 5, Proverbs 31 Ministries) I was introduced to five women. They were the daughters of Zelophehad. This guy didn’t have any sons (which was a huge issue back in the day) and therefore the women had no right to any land provisions. However, these women were bold, strong, and bright.
Prior to Joshua being in command a man named Moses was leading Israel. If we skip backwards to the book of Numbers we find that these five sisters were first introduced to us in Numbers and they had brought forth their petition to Moses and the High Priest Eleazar.
Being that these five women were born to a father who died while the Jews were in the wilderness and that they had no male siblings; they believed they should not be forgotten when it came time for the land that was promised to be divided out among the tribes of Israel.
However, women were not permitted to have land. Remember in ancient days many societies viewed women as second class and today many countries still do – especially those in the Middle East.
Here are five females coming before Moses and the Eleazar to say – We don’t think it is fair that you forget us because our dad didn’t have a son. Furthermore, we think we deserve our portion even if if our dad is dead. (Paraphrased of course!)
When I really sit and think about these women – Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcha, and Tirzah – I think about what a battle this could have been for these women. This was around 1400 BC when they came to some very important figures in Biblical and World History! They basically said something that was totally unfitting for their times – We deserve our portion of land. We shouldn’t be punished because our father had no sons.
I have been known to stand my ground and let things fall out of my mouth that could easily get me slapped. But guys, I’m not sure in 1400 BC I could roll up to Moses and say, “Look, man. You cannot keep me from my portion of land because I’m a girl.” I will be honest I would probably follow it up with a threat to kick in a very delicate spot if I didn’t get my promise of land.
But these women – they kept their cool, they brought their petition, and they changed the rules.
Moses inquired with God (how I wish I had that ability to have a conversation like Moses did) and God responded.
God changed the rules. He said women could get their land. And he went a step further and said that even if those women married they could keep their land. The string attached to that was they had to marry within their tribe. (We could go off on an exploration of that but I kindly digress right now.)
Because of five sisters, who were bold and brave and knew God was loving, kind, and found joy in those who served him wholeheartedly, He changed the rules. The impact was not just for Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcha, and Tirzah. The impact would be for all Jewish women who had no brother. This was a step in the direction of equality between God’s daughters and sons.
The sisters were not afraid of God.They knew they had been diligent to his commands and look what all they had went through! Slavery, lost in the wilderness, and now battling in every town they came to make it to the promised land. They didn’t run in fear. They didn’t threaten to kick people in delicate areas, ahem. They followed the rules, they worshiped, and they knew the promise God had tucked into their hearts.
Maybe you aren’t going through a land battle. Maybe you are going through a personal battle of what is right and what is wrong. Are you in the thick of it or just on the edge of an issue that will not seem to resolve itself?
I can identify with you if you are on the edge. I teeter away from it and stay to myself. But for reasons, mainly relational, I get sucked into the drama here and there. Vowing time and time again to stay out of it because I have my own daily life events to conquer. I find myself totally torn. Should I pick up the phone and call so and so? Will my words do any good? Should I stop by and talk to this person? Will that just make things worse?
Or maybe I should remember the promise tucked in my heart. God instructs us to pray – 1 Thessalonians we are told to pray continually. I just keep finding that is the promise tucked into my heart and swimming in my brain. Pray for the parties involved in the war they are waging and when it is time be like Zelophehad’s daughters and do what is needed with grace. God gave them the courage to take their petition before Moses. If God sees fit for me to make an advance of contact on what is going on face to face he will instruct me to do so.
And I do believe that instruction will be clear as a bell.
As a recovering hot head I can tell you it is hard to stay away when you feel so passionately that you can help! Often those passionate feelings of “help” translates to making it worse. See: hot head. As a girl who believes in the promises of God and the power of prayer I can tell you when it is time to converse or time to stay away – you can often make things better. You can come with your petitions in peace and holding onto that peace with a white knuckled grip as temperatures rise around you yet you remain cool because God finally put the right words and actions on your heart.
You can be a sister. You can do what is right. You can win the battle.
Only with God.