After the battle of Jericho we find the Israelites continuing to make conquests, and continually subduing those lands they took over. We find four scriptures among all of these conquests and land divisions, about Achsah, Caleb’s daughter. Glancing over the verses her story gets lost very easily, but when we take a closer look we find a woman brave enough to make a simple request, brave enough to just ask.
In Joshua 15:16. Caleb, an integral spy and warrior for the Israelites, offers his daughter as a reward to the man who can overcome a place known as Kirjath-sepher. Regardless of all the behind the scene emotions and possibilities of being offered as a trophy, she becomes the wife of Othniel, the victor. Here is where it gets interesting, verse eighteen leads us to believe she persuades her new husband to ask for something in addition to receiving her as a bride, to request a piece of property from her father, perhaps a like a dowry. Something that would sustain their lives and the family she anticipated in the future.
In study this stopped me for a moment. She could have just accepted her place as a new bride, but she wasn’t satisfied with that. She knew and recognized the value of all her father possessed enough to make a request of him.
I realized there is a parallel hidden in this story. Like Caleb, Achsah’s father, we have a heavenly father who possesses everything we need, and at the times in our lives when change is occurring, all we need to do is ask Him for whatever we need to handle the change. Matthew 7:11 says if we in our imperfection and sinful nature, know how to give good gifts to our children how much more can we expect our heavenly Father to supply when we ask Him!
And that’s what Caleb does, he agrees to give the newlyweds a southern portion of land. However, as the events unfolded a thought came to Achsah, enough to cause her to move out of her current position and make another request. She says to her father, “Give me a blessing; for you have given me a southern land; give me also springs of water. “
She understood, and in wisdom realized, that the property he gave them could be cut off from water if the northern property owners chose to block the streams. I can see Caleb smiling a little, as he realized the intelligence of his daughter. In his graciousness he blesses her with upper springs, always guaranteeing they would have water coming down from the mountains, as well as lower springs that would be readily accessible.
I can think of another woman in John 4, whose story is for another day, but who Christ spoke to and offered her springs of living water from a well that would never run dry. This unnamed woman had spent her life looking for love, in all the wrong places, and the sources kept drying up. As she drew water from the well she learned how to quench the thirst within her soul.
Jesus is offering that same living water to you today. All you have to do is ask Him. Not just a one-time request, but if and when you are experiencing situations in life where perhaps your joy, your strength, or your faith seems to be drying up simply ask for a fresh drink. God will supply, and like Caleb did for Achsah, your heavenly father will reward you with what you need now and what you need in the future.
John 4:14 Jesus answered and said whoever drinks of the water I shall give him will never thirst, it will become a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. He will satisfy completely.
John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, rivers of living water will flow from his heart. His joy and strength will flow in you and out of you spilling over into every part of your life.
Revelation 22:17 Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. He already paid the price for your peace.
Isaiah 58:11 And the Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
He will never fail you, there will always be enough to meet your need.
Biting her lower lip, Achsah rehearsed the words in her mind for the hundredth time and prayed they were the right ones. In just a few moments she would leave her father’s tents to live with her husband and his family.
She glanced shyly at the man she’d married only a day ago, as he gathered their small caravan together and attempted to pack her belongings, generously bestowed by her father Caleb, in what little space they had available. Othniel was a good man, known for his wisdom and knowledge of the Law of Moses, and the surprising victor over Kirjath-sepher which also won her hand in marriage. He had not been the strongest, or most skilled, or wealthiest of the warriors who fought for that right but his cunning resulted in the victory.
They would still be residing with her father Caleb if she had not persuaded him to ask for land. And the request, to their delight, had been answered with a sizeable amount of land that almost equaled what her brother’s would inherit someday.
But the property boundaries could not boast their own spring of water.
And now she practiced the words once again that she would bring before her father. Laying a hand on her stomach to ease the nervousness within, Achsah, took a deep breath. She could do this, she must do this, and they would need more water to sustain any crops or herds. How hard can it be to ask? She thought.
Asking for something did not come naturally, in fact, growing up with only brothers she figured out early on how to do things herself, instead of waiting for one of them to agree to do anything. Her father boasted of her capabilities and independence, and now she thought to brave tradition and asks for a blessing usually reserved for the male line.
Activity bustled around her as Othniel approached. “Are you ready then?” he asked, holding out his hand for hers, eyes lit with the new love blossoming between them. Taking his hand he led her to the small donkey she would ride and helped her get seated. She knew she should have asked to speak with her father but found her mouth too dry to speak. Othniel turned to find his place at the front of the line and a small group of servants and family began to call their farewells.
Looking up, Achsah saw her father standing not too far away, his hand raised in farewell. Now, she thought, I have to do this now or there may never be another chance. Sliding off her donkey, she made her way to her father’s side, and stood staring at him.
“What’s this, my little one? You cannot miss me so much already.” He chuckled and pulled her into his familiar embrace, the scent of cedar wood engulfing her. For a moment she realized how much she would miss him, and leaned into his embrace.
Pulling away, the words she so carefully planned came out in a rush, all mumbled and sounding nothing like the confident voice she so carefully practiced.
“What is it you wish daughter?” Caleb asked a look of confusion written on his face.
She slowed her speech and began again. “You have given us land and I am so thankful, but I ask for a blessing. Give me also springs of water.” Achsah held her breath waiting for his response.
Caleb’s eyes twinkled, and a grin played on his lips, although his next words he spoke with a seriousness and authority for all to hear, “Alright. I give unto you my daughter, Achsah, the upper spring from the mountain and the lower spring that it creates.”
Thrilled, she looked to found Othniel looking at her in surprise, and feared he would be angry at her boldness. Instead he called from his horse, “Thank you Caleb, for the springs, and the blessings of a wife who thinks of things I do not. Now come Achsah, the sun grows higher in the day.”
She hurried toward her mount, but then stopped, turning she ran back to her father and threw her arms around him, “Thank you, Abba Father, I am a woman most blessed.” He hugged her in return and Achsah basked in his embrace.