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Numbers 27 – God’s Provisions for Inheritance and Leadership Succession

Some thoughts for meditation following our daily devotional Scripture reading that is provided each week.

Five daughters from the tribe of Manasseh went through the proper channels to ensure they would retain inheritance rights. Their father had no sons, only daughters, and inheritances passed from father to firstborn son, thus their concern. The Lord told Moses inheritances in such cases would pass to a daughter. The Lord also detailed how other similar situations would be dealt with.

The Lord reminded Moses of his eventual death because of his rebellion at Meribah. Moses asked the Lord to appoint another man to lead Israel in his place so the people would have proper guidance and direction. The Lord answered his request, appointing Joshua, a born-again Israelite. At a public ceremony Moses officially appointed Joshua as his successor. However, Joshua was unlike Moses, who communed directly with God. Consequently, Joshua would instead learn God’s direction for Israel through the high priest.


  1. God provides direction for the fulfillment of his promises to Israel. Zelophehad’s daughters understood that inheritance rights passed from fathers to firstborn sons. Such inheritances included privileges of prominence in the family clan and land ownership. While this may seem insignificant to us, this was essential to the Abrahamic covenant which the theocratic nation expressed and worked out. Thus what ultimately was at stake was the fulfillment of God’s promises to Israel.
  2. God’s people can and must go to the Lord for direction and guidance. God’s revealed will through his Word has always been the source of his direction and guidance, and prayer is the means for receiving it.
  3. Neither sin nor death prevent the fulfillment of God’s promises.
  4. God provides needed godly leadership for his people. We must ask God to provide godly leaders through prayer (Matt 9:38), for he gives such good gifts to his people (Eph 4:7-11).
  5. Godly leaders learn God’s will and obey it (ex. 1 Sam 23:9; 30:7). They don’t adapt it to the times and circumstances, for godly leaders know they serve but the Lord and Creator of time and all creation.
  6. Godly leaders must know the Lord. Without the Spirit the things of the Lord will not be received or welcomed (1 Cor 2:13-16).
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