Have you ever done something that caused someone to look at you with their mouth agape? Jaw dropped? Completely and totally shocked?
I have. And I’m fairly predictable.
I was probably fourteen at the time, maybe fifteen. I had been attending a little church near my house for a few years and was very involved in the children’s ministry. Most people who know me would probably consider me calm, kind, and perhaps unflappable. (Isn’t that a fun word!?)
This particular day, I was outside with the younger children on the playground during Vacation Bible School. Some of the older kids were outside as well, and they were tossing rocks. Yep. You guessed it! One of the precious little ones got hit and came crying to me.
My heart broke for him and I lashed out at the boys responsible. And yes, their jaws dropped and they simply stared for a few moments, never expecting me to respond in this way. Yet I couldn’t help but defend the otherwise defenseless child!
Yes, as an adult, I can see that perhaps I could have been gentler in my rebuke. Yet how natural it was for me to go into protective mode!
The good news is that these boys and I ended up as friends. They continued coming to the church even after Vacation Bible School ended and are, hopefully, still serving the Lord to this day!
Lioness: Mahlah's Journey
by Barbara M. Britton
Series: Daughters of Zelophehad #1
Published by Harbourlight Books
Publication Date October 18, 2019
Genres: Biblical Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Israel Creation to the Judges
Main Character Ages: 15-18
Written for: Adults
Fiction from Numbers 27:1-11 and 36:1-13 "Go Forth With God"
While the Israelites struggle to occupy the Promised Land of God, Mahlah bat Zelophehad is orphaned and left to care for her four sisters. But daughters of the dead are unable to inherit land, and it will take a miracle for Mahlah to obtain the means to care for her sisters and uphold the vow she made to her dying mother.
Mahlah must seek Moses, the leader of her people, and request something extraordinary—the right for a daughter to inherit her deceased father’s land. A right that will upset the ox-cart of male inheritance and cast her in the role of a rebel.
I would like to thank Barbara M. Britton for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
One of the reasons I enjoy reading Biblical fiction is the opportunity to take a deeper look at accounts of men and women spoken of in Scripture. And sometimes, being able to see things differently than I had pictured.
I have often read about the daughters of Zelophehad and haven’t actually thought much about them. I mean, they asked Moses for an inheritance, he asked God, God said okay. Not much there, right?
Depends on who is looking, I guess! Barbara M. Britton brought so much out of this Biblical account! I loved seeing her thoughts on what might have driven the girls to make such a bold request. It had never occurred to me that to have them approach Moses instead of the leader of their tribe was a huge break from tradition. Or that the elders just might not have appreciated their request. Or the way this affected them afterward.
I loved the gentle Mahlah who was fierce when it came to protecting her sisters and loved ones. She was given the nickname Lioness by an unexpected source, and it was well deserved. This sweet young girl was an imperfect heroine with a tic in her eye and was considered unattractive by her kinsmen. Quite a difference from many stories where the focus is on perfectly attractive characters! Her faith in the face of danger and difficulty was quite admirable.
Whether you remember mention of the five daughters of Zelophehad or are merely curious about their identity, I highly recommend this delightful story full of insight and history. And a little romance, too!