Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah
The story of Zelohehad’s daughters shows God’s love for those whom society does not esteem. When Moses went to the Lord, He supported these women in a time when they did not have rights. God’s proclamation, “If a man dies and has no sons, then give his inheritance to his daughters.”, was revolutionary. Previously, only sons had the right to inherit their father’s land and possessions. Not only was God taking care of these daughters of Zelohehad, but He also declared that this would be the law moving forward.
We see here the importance of advocacy. Although I tend to be conflict-avoidant, over the years, I have learned to advocate for myself and my family when necessary. (Mama bear has come out on more than one occasion.). I don’t believe God wants any of his children to be marginalized or treated unfairly. Sometimes we are in situations where we need to stand up for ourselves. It may be an abusive spouse or an unfair teacher or boss. There is a difference between being humble and being a doormat. To determine when we need to take action, we should first pray and seek counsel. If action needs to be taken, go about it respectfully, as these women did. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will also probably yield better results if we are calm, rational and back up our case with concrete examples. Follow an appropriate order of escalation, first going to the person directly, and escalating it if that does not yield change. Recognize times where we may need to bring in someone to help advocate for us. Notice in this story how Moses (their leader) brought their case to the Lord. Be willing to advocate for others when appropriate. We may be in a position to help support a parent, friend, or colleague. If our children are in a situation where they are being treated unfairly, we have an opportunity to guide them through what respectful advocacy looks like.
While on the subject of advocacy, I would be absolutely remiss not to talk about Jesus Christ, our ultimate advocate.
"But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore he is able once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He loves forever to intercede with God on their behalf."
Hebrews 7:24-25 NLT
"My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins- and not only our sins but the sins of all the world."
1 John 2:1-2 NLT
Let’s be honest, “if anyone does sin” is really “when anyone does sin”. We all exhibit the human tendency toward sin. We all need Jesus, our savior, our redeemer, our advocate. He came down from heaven, lived here on earth, fully God and fully human, suffered a criminals’ death on the cross to purchase our freedom and salvation and continues to intercede with God on our behalf for eternity. What a gift. What a savior.
1. Do you remember a time when you had to advocate for yourself? How did you go about it and what were the results?
2. Think about the people in your life. Is there anyone who needs your help as an advocate?
3. Take a moment to reflect on Jesus as your advocate. Thank Him for His willingness to intercede on your behalf. If you have not accepted Jesus as your savior, I would encourage you to consider this amazing gift of salvation He wants to give you and take that first step of entering into a personal relationship with Him.