Job’s Daughters & The Inheritance of Sons

You know those period pictures where a daughter in a poor family with no brothers needs to go marry some wealthy lord because she has no inheritance? In most cases, the wealthy dude starts off like a real jerk and makes faces like this…


But eventually, so the story goes, he falls madly in love with the poor man’s beautiful daughter, sweeps her off her feet, and they live happily ever after and she shares in his vast inheritance.

The Bible, from the very beginning, has a lot to say about sonship and inheritance. Isaac, Abraham’s son, inherits the blessing of his father. Jacob, Isaac’s son, through deceit, gains the birthright and blessing of the firstborn Esau. It is the sons who get the property of the family, and it is the firstborn who inherits a “double-portion” of the father’s house (Deut. 21:17).

However, one of the earliest books in the Old Testament canon, tells the story of another wealthy man named Job who follows a different pattern. At the end of the story Job shares the inheritance of his house with both his sons and daughters.

“And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 Nowhere in all the land could women be found who were as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance alongside their brothers.” (Job 42:13-15)

Toby Sumpter elaborates on this,

Job’s sons remain nameless, but his daughters are named and we are told that they are the most beautiful daughters in all the land (42:14-15). Not only this, but Job gives his three daughters an inheritance among their brothers. In other words, Job gives them an inheritance of sons. In Job’s family, there is neither male nor female. (Job Through New Eyes: A Son for Glory, 196)


Here, as far back as the book of Job, we see a father giving all of his estate to his sons and daughters. This is a startling picture of the eternal purpose of the heavenly Father in granting the abundance of his kingdom to his sons and daughters. Now God doesn’t switch-up the pattern entirely. After all, it his Son, Jesus, the firstborn of all creation, to whom belongs all of his Father’s estate. And it is this Son whom we–male and female–are united to by faith in him.

Therefore there is no difference between the wealth of the kingdom, salvation, and eternal life that men and women who have trusted the firstborn Son inherit. All who are in the son–both genders–inherit the entirety of the Son’s estate. Furthermore, the sons and daughters share in the very glory of the Son (Ro. 8:17).

Jesus is better than Mr. Darcy.

The book of Ephesians reveals this at another glorious angle. Not only do men and women share in the whole portion of Jesus’ inheritance and share in his glory, the chosen sons and daughters are the inheritance of God himself.

We inherit God and his cosmic victory in Christ, and God inherits us (Eph. 1:18). We possess the possessions of God and God possesses us. We are his personal possession. The beloved of the Triune God. His chosen. And this from all eternity.

Whether you are a poor single mom or the unsuccessful brother surrounded by successful brothers, if you are trusting Jesus, “all things are yours…and you are Christ’s and Christ is God’s” (1 Cor. 3:21-23).

The Goal of Life is Not to Be Liked

Here is an edited version of something I wrote on a previous blog.

Pop culture author extraordinaire, Chuck Klosterman, identifies our relentless desire to be “liked”:

“…being likable is the only thing that seems to matter to anyone. You see this everywhere. Parents don’t act like parents anymore, because they mainly want their kids to like them; they want their kids to see them as their two best friends. This is why modern kids act like animals. At some point, people confused being liked with being good. Those two qualities are not the same. It’s important to be a good person; it’s not important to be a well-liked person.” IV, 275

To make your personal mission being liked by everyone in the world sets you up for a life of frustration and depression. You will end up living your life based upon others expectations and your discernment on what is right and wrong will fly out the window as the litmus test of everything becomes what will and will not make this or that person happy.

The goal of life is not be liked.

The compulsion to be liked by anyone is actually the fear of man. Your sinful desire for likability is actually a revelation of your own fear. Humans were only made to fear one person–God. And when your value becomes defined by what other people think of you, you will not be “a good person” nor a “godly person”, but a narcissistic person who needs the praise of others for self-fulfillment. This will always disappoint.

Fearing God is what you were made for. His opinion of you is the only thing that matters and fulfills, and God’s good news for our culture is that his value-system does not fluctuate on your likability. Because he does not like–he loves. And the measure of his love is seen in the crucifixion of his Son for unlikable, no, rather, hell-deserving sinners.

The love of God on display here is not the like of God. God did not die to affirm you, but to save you. His love is never based on your good actions, but always based on the perfect work of Jesus. For those who trust Christ, God’s likeness of you never fluctuates because it is never mere likeness but is wrapped up in his eternal love for his own Son, Jesus.

God loves you with Jesus-sized love. Knowing and experiencing this love is human wholeness and brings radical freedom. It frees you from the desire to be liked, and imparts the experience of being loved by the Creator of the universe forever. It’s not that important to be well liked, but it is eternally important to be in the favor of God.

I doubt Klosterman would agree with my Christian perspective here, but it is the only ultimately satisfying remedy to the cultural problem that he sees. People act like animals not just because their not liked, but because as sinful human beings created in the image of God they have traded the glory of God for the idolatry of likability.

The Truthiness of Young American’s with a High View of the Bible

Robert Wuthnow, professor of Sociology at Princeton University, in his book After the Baby Boomers: How Twenty- and Thirty-Somethings Are Shaping the Future of American Religion, reveals disturbing trends among young adults who are considered to be biblical literalists and believe in the trustworthiness of the Bible. According to this professor’s research the high view of the Bible that these young Americans affirm (at least in comparison to other young adults) are not as high as one might think. Their beliefs are filled with caveats and contradictions. Three beliefs in particular emerge:

We like to believe the Bible is our authority, yet when it comes down to it we really are.

  • Belief #1: I understand God through the Scriptures, but its possible that you may understand God some other way. Wuthnow writes, “…about four in ten (42 percent) relativize their view that Christianity is the best way to understand God by saying it is the best for them personally and not necessarily best for everyone (105).
  • Belief #2: I believe the Bible is true and inerrant, but a person can also know God by emptying one’s mind and looking inside yourself. Wuthnow states, “A majority of biblical literalists (58 percent) also hold the interesting view that ‘God can only be known as people empty their minds and look inside themselves.’ In short, whatever faith one has in the truth of the Bible is tempered by the view that one should not think very much about it–or anything else, apparently” (105).
  • Belief #3: I believe the Bible is God’s trustworthy word, but I don’t feel the need to read it all that much. Wuthnow continues, “Another notable aspect of biblical literalism that is evident here is the large proportion of biblical literalists who read the Bible at home less than once a week. To be sure, they read it more often than nonliteralists do; nevertheless, a majority (51 percent) of biblical literalists do not consult the Bible on their own even once a week. believing the Bible, again, appears to be an item of faith, more than something grounded in knowledge” (105-106).

This research confirms that many young adult Christians are attempting to hold to orthodoxy and unorthodoxy at the same time. They are double-minded. Wuthnow’s concludes the following,

People don’t reject [orthodox beliefs] because they can so easily be hedged. Cognitive bargaining of this kind can take many forms. People can believe the Bible should be interpreted literally and yet regard it as one truth among many, as a private belief, and as one that a person should not even think about very much. None of this diminishes their sense that the Bible is true. It just gives them a way to negotiate their relationship with the truth (106-107).

The implications that Wuthnow draws from his research reveal a troubling diagnosis among emerging adults. As young Americans, we want to have our cake (the Bible is true) and eat it too (well, not so much). We believe in, to use Stephen Colbert’s aptly coined word, the “truthiness” of the Bible. That is, when the Scriptures reinforce what we want to believe, we believe it; and, when it doesn’t, we can always liberate it to be interpreted according to what we desire. This gives us the comfy position of being over God’s word–picking and choosing what we may like according to personal preferences; not under God’s word– submitting to whatever it says in faith and humility. We like to believe the Bible is our authority, yet when it comes down to it we really are.