A daughter’s confident, but respectful request of her father and how it relates to how we can ask God, our Heavenly Father.
16 And Caleb said, “Whoever strikes Kiriath-sepher and captures it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter as wife.” 17 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it. And he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife. 18 When she came to him, she urged him to ask her father for a field. And she got off her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” 19 She said to him, “Give me a blessing. Since you have given me the land of the Negeb, give me also springs of water.” And he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.Joshua 15:16-19
12 And Caleb said, “He who attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it, I will give him Achsah my daughter for a wife.” 13 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, captured it. And he gave him Achsah his daughter for a wife. 14 When she came to him, she urged him to ask her father for a field. And she dismounted from her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” 15 She said to him, “Give me a blessing. Since you have set me in the land of the Negeb, give me also springs of water.” And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs. –Judges 1:12-15
When something is repeated in the Bible, we had better pay attention and so it is with this story. An illustration of how we can approach God, our Heavenly Father.
Caleb offers his daughter, Achsah in marriage to the man who conquers Kiriath-sepher and so Othniel, the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother is successful. The newly married couple also received an inheritance of land, but Caleb’s daughter recognises that there isn’t much water in this land and so she urges her new husband to ask her father for a field. This would have been in addition to the land they’d already been given. We then see how it is not Othniel, but Achsah who approaches her father. Othniel was a brave man, after all he’d just captured Kiriath-sepher and won Achsah’s hand in marriage, but perhaps he felt they’d been given enough and he was too timid to ask for more from his father in law.
Achsah honours her father by climbing down off her donkey (a sign of respect). Knowing his daughter, Caleb could see she’d come to ask for something. When he asks her, ‘What do you want?’ Achsah asks for a blessing. Note that Achsah has already received the blessing of a Godly, brave man in marriage, along with land as her dowry, yet she is wise and discerning enough to recognise that they would struggle if they do not have water for this land. Achsah asks not just for water, but for springs, so that the provision of water would be a constant flow. Caleb responds by not only giving her what his daughter asked for, but far exceeding her request and giving her the upper and lower springs.
What we can learn
This is a beautiful example of how God, our heavenly Father generously blesses us, far above and beyond what we ask.
Come boldly, yet humbly. Don’t settle if you can see you will struggle. Know what you want and what you need. Acknowledge what you’ve been given and give thanks. Then, ask with confidence and receive all that your heavenly Father gives you.
© 2021 by Ruth O’Reilly-Smith