Let me tell you about a group of women who fully understood that there were people coming after them that would be affected directly by their actions. In scripture they are known as the Daughters of Zelophehad. Their names are Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah but I like to call them ‘The Daughters of Thunder’. Why? Jesus called two brothers, James and John, in his group of disciples ‘The Sons of Thunder’ because of their strength, these women are a feisty bunch of single ladies who weren’t afraid to stand up and fight for their rights.
Their story is found in Numbers 27:1-11. Their father died in the wilderness so they found themselves fatherless, motherless, brotherless, husbandless, penniless and not a little hopeless. The law at that time stated that if a man died without any sons his inheritance went to his brother regardless of wether he had a daughter as inheritance was passed from father to son and not from father to daughter. A woman was entitled to her husband’s inheritance but not to her father’s inheritance.
As single women these girls were facing complete and utter destitution. They were living on the wrong side of the law. What could they do? Surely this was the end. But somehow among the grief of losing their father and the fear for the future they stood up and decided to challenge the very law that was holding them captive. They went to Moses, the leader of Israel at that time and demanded that they be given the inheritance that they were entitled to.
Moses took their case before the Lord and He said that these women should receive their inheritance. By standing up and refusing to settle for what life had thrown at them these women made history. After the Daughters of Zelophehad made their request the law was changed permanently so that women could receive their father’s inheritance. Because these girls demanded what was theirs, generations of women following them would never be destitute.
The Daughters of Thunder fought a battle and it was a hard one but they were’t the only ones to benefit from the victory that was gained. They made way for many destitute daughters coming after them. In the end their battle wasn’t just about them it was about the people who came after them. I’m sure at the beginning Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah wondered, “Why us? Why does life have to be so hard. We have no husband and now we have no father which leaves us with no money. if we are going to get what we deserve we have a fight on our hands. Why does this have to be our fight?” Have you ever thought that? “Why do I have to fight this battle?” Let me tell you something. In the midst of your war remember these Daughters of Thunder.
Lisa Jane McAuley works as a Social Network Facilitator for an organisation who provide services to Disabled People in Northern Ireland. She uses her writing to encourage people in their walk with God and blogs at lisajanemcauley.wordpress.com.