The Power of Agreement
Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, we enjoyed the art of fine dining in agreeable company. Perhaps we took Tums at night because the spicy side dish didn’t agree with us. Fast forward to our predominantly disagreeable age where no cure seems available for our collective gut-level malaise, fed by virulent division and lingering distrust. Neither “lol” nor “omg” can stop the bellyaching. “Gosh” or “goodness” might fake the relief of a quick burp. But elevate the lower-case “g” and strengthen it with a possessive pronoun, and “Oh my God” could spell a Jesus text as in Matthew 18:19, “Again, I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
Forced to fight a global war against a terrible pandemic, we are baffled by the idea of “just” two prayer warriors. As if on cue, Gideon pops up in Judges 7 and crunches numbers based on God’s calculations. Tasked to take on 135,000 enemy warriors, he enlists 32,000 fighters, only to watch God thin their ranks to 300. Scared stiff on the eve of his first assault, the ever-self-doubting Gideon is told to go spy on the enemy camp, accompanied only by his most trusted servant. They overhear a soldier recall his dream of a loaf of barley bread – a known inferior grain – tumbling into their midst. Gideon and his “doughboys” soon turn the joke into the nightmare that eventually delivers Israel from the marauding Midianites that had oppressed them for seven years.
A more obscure story preserved in the Old Testament, reveals vital clues about the POWER OF AGREEMENT as modeled by “just” five girls. In Numbers 26:33 we meet Zelophehad, a father who “had no sons, only daughters, whose names were Malah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah and Tirzah.” Try to imagine the sibling dynamics with children named Sickly, Quiet, Partridge, Queen, and Delightsome, but put a wise, loving father in the picture. Sadly, he dies and the girls face a bleak future. Israel is preparing for its entry into the Promised Land and based on a new census, Moses and the top leaders are busy calculating the tribal allotments. Females have zero rights of inheritance.
Picture the consternation when Zelophehad’s fiercely loyal daughters show up to firmly demand land on their father’s behalf. To his credit, Moses takes their shocking request to “his God,” then reports back on His startling answer, “What Zelophehad’s daughters are saying is right. You must certainly give them property as an inheritance.” This becomes the nation’s law! What if we banded together – even with just one fellow believer – to proclaim with one unified voice the fame of our loving Father and His “only Son”? With His law in our hearts and His directive on our lips, we might pray our most “shameless” prayers ever and see our requests granted for His glory and the good of our nation. Why not start by asking for strong families and wise, humble leaders?