by Frans Bakker
Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father. —Numbers 27:4b
The Lord caused the history of the daughters of Zelophehad to be recorded for others. It was intended for the church of the Old Testament, but also for the church of the New Testament. Their account is especially intended for those who feel they are left out. They are the spiritual orphans who believe salvation is possible for everyone else but not for them. They cry out that they are lost and it seems that all the evidences of God’s favor are dispensed to others while they themselves are left out. The Lord knew that they would consider that salvation was impossible for them. Was this distress not worked by God Himself? That is why the same God gives comfort when He records the answer to this request of the daughters of Zelophehad.
Now the important question is whether we have become spiritual orphans. By virtue of our birth we are not like that. We would rather have an earthly inheritance than a spiritual inheritance. We prefer a place of earthly favor rather than one of heavenly favor. By nature we have no delight in any spiritual inheritance. That is why we do not rise up with the daughters of Zelophehad to do violence to the kingdom of heaven. That is because we have false rest. We think all is well with us because we rest on some notion of universal grace. Still others say, “We ourselves can never do anything to gain salvation.” But none of these joins in with those who petition God for a crumb of God’s favor. They do not ask for an inheritance with God. When it really comes down to it, it is worthless to them. They do want a place in heaven, but what is heaven without God? Surely you cannot be an heir of an unknown God, can you?
Are you also one of these people? Then it is high time that you face the reality of your totally depraved condition. You are spiritually dead and that is why you have no desire for an inheritance with God. Death cannot desire; death has no need; death cannot wrestle; death does not plead. Oh, awake, you that sleep, and arise from the dead, before you soon have to say, “God was willing, but I was not willing.” Then it will be too late. Then the land of promise will have already been divided, divided forever. Then you will knock at the door of the heavenly Canaan, but the answer will be: “I never knew you. I never saw you alone before My presence, pleading for a place of grace.” Will you, a son or daughter of the new dispensation, be one of these? Has it never been proclaimed to you? Wake up, before your eternal inheritance is in the kingdom of darkness where the worm dies not and the fire will never be quenched.
From The Everlasting Word by Frans Bakker, compiled and translated by Gerald R. Procee. Reformation Heritage Books and Free Reformed Publications, 2007. Used by permission. For further information, click here.