Today’s Wednesday Writers guest is Biblical fiction author Barbara M. Britton. Barbara will be talking about saying “Good-bye” to her characters. be sure to check out the book excerpt at the end of the post. Welcome, Barbara!
Faith Among The Faithless: Saying Good-bye to Historic Sisters
by Barbara BM. Britton
A few weeks ago, I said farewell to five historic sisters. The daughters of Zelophehad were a recent new-to-me Bible story. How had I missed these brave sisters in Scripture? Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah were orphans who went before an assembly of men and asked to inherit their deceased father’s land. To his credit, Moses sought God, and God said the girls were right. If a man died without a son, his daughters could inherit his land. How had I missed this story? (Numbers 27:1-11)
I was going to leave these sisters before the battle of Jericho and only write a single book, but their story became three books. I followed these historic girls through the book of Joshua. While their initial story is in the book of Numbers, these girls are mentioned in Joshua 17:3-6 where they remind Joshua of their inheritance. Bold? Maybe. Though these girls would need to be strong in their faith for their tribe settled in Canaan where kings had been slain, but faithless people remained.
In my final book “Claiming Canaan,” I show what it might have looked like to settle among a people who do not know God. Milcah, the lead sister in the final book, has to navigate being a landowner and staying true to God without compromising her faith. Milcah chops down wooden carvings of false gods on her land. She doesn’t accept coins with foreign gods inscribed in the metal. She allows widows and orphans to glean on her land but insists that no idols are brought on her land and that names of false gods are never uttered among her plants. Remaining faithful to God takes work.
Even today, our world has been drawn away from God and His promises. Many have followed the lies of Satan and the empty promises of media, music, and mankind. Our idols have become status, wealth, power, beauty, and the list goes on and on. I am heartened that during recent events, many have spoken God’s name and given witness about their faith.
The theme for my daughters of Zelophehad series is “Go Forth With God.” As unmarried women in Bible times, these sisters embraced God who is their true Father. I placed them on land where their faith could be a beacon to the godless. My hope is that their faith is a beacon to us today.
What idols do you see people following today?
“Claiming Canaan: Milcah’s Journey.”
Biblical Fiction from the book of Joshua.
by Barbara Britton
When the tribal elders make marriage a requirement for claiming her land, Milcah bat Zelophehad must find a betrothed straightaway. The only problem in finding a husband is that all her suitors were slain while conquering the land of Canaan. Men avoid her in order to stay alive.
After praying to God to send her a bold suitor, a man from her father’s clan plummets from a tree right on top of her. Is this God answering prayer, or a foolish antic by Eli, the war-scarred brother from one of her clan’s rival families?
Will settling in Canaan sort out Milcah’s troubles, or have her woes just begun?
Milcah and her sister Tirzah venture into the pagan city of Megiddo searching for jars…
Before Milcah could balance her basket of grapes on her hip, women gathered round her and Tirzah. Some reached at the clusters with bony fingers. They clutched coins barely larger than a plump raisin. Hoglah would have no problem selling her cakes in the city.
Eager, or desperate, the women pushed closer. A barterer held a coin in front of Milcah’s face. The image of a false god scowled from the bronze.
Milcah’s cheeks burned hotter than a bad sunburn. “Do not take their coins, Tirzah. Not if there is a false god etched onto them.”
“There are so many hands.” Tirzah’s back pressed against Milcah’s. “How will I know?”
Milcah held her basket over her head. “Do not pay with images of your gods. We serve the One True God.”
“We need jars.” Tirzah slapped at an overzealous woman. “Didn’t you hear? Jars.”
On tiptoe, Milcah cast a glance and saw Eli engaged in a brisk conversation with a merchant.
Milcah shook her head covering and flailed her arm like one of Tirzah’s tantrums.
“Bring us jars or something to trade.”
A full-faced woman with a brightly embroidered robe pushed to the front of the raucous crowd.
“I have what you seek. Come.” The woman smiled with teeth as thick as a mosaic tile. “Over here.” She waved for Milcah and Tirzah to follow.
With Tirzah clutched to her clothing, Milcah dipped past wide turbans and dodged scurrying children toward a table loaded with sandals, pouches, and leather bracelets designed like the ones Noah wore.
Their impressive shiny-haired leader whisked back a curtain and displayed three tall vessels, identical to the ones in the storehouse. This woman or her husband had ventured outside of the city and traipsed across the vineyard.
Before Milcah could ask the price, a shriek rose above the din of the marketplace.
Want to read more? You can purchase “Claiming Canaan” on Amazon or wherever books are sold. Libraries can order the series too.
About the Author
Barbara M. Britton lives in Southeast Wisconsin and loves the snow—when it accumulates under three inches. She is published in Biblical fiction and enjoys bringing little-known Bible characters to light in her stories. Look for Barb to venture into Christian Historical fiction in June with “Until June.” Barb is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Romance Writers of America and Wisconsin Romance Writers of America. Barb has a nutrition degree from Baylor University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate.