Achsah

Text: Judges 1:12-15


Julie Herrera-Maxwell
Have you ever met a girl whose father is well known or important? This was the case with Achsah. She was Caleb's daughter; yes, Caleb the spy! Caleb, along with Joshua and ten other men, was sent by Moses to spy out the Promised Land; but only two of them -- Caleb and Joshua -- gave a good report. Despite the fact that there were "giants" in the land, they said: "Do not rebel against The Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them" (Num 14:9). While the Israelites were shaking and afraid, these two men proclaimed the power of Jehovah.
 
Forty years passed, as the Israelites were forces to wander in the desert, and only Joshua and Caleb were allowed to enter the Promised Land with the new generation of Israelites. Caleb was an old man and yet he declared to Joshua: "Here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I'm just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that The Lord promised me that day" (Joshua 14:10-12). Caleb boldly claimed God's promised inheritance!

Caleb's daughter, Achsah, inherited her father's boldness. After Achsah was given in marriage to Othniel, she urged her new husband to ask her father for a field. Othniel refused and so Achsah got down off of her donkey and went to her father herself. Achsah already had land that her father had given her, but she asked for even more blessings. And guess what? Achsah's bold request paid off. Her father happily gave her more land -- the upper and lower springs.

Did you know that you can do the same with your Holy Father? Yes, He has already given you forgiveness and salvation through Jesus, but you can ask Him for even more. You can ask for spiritual things from above (upper springs) like gentleness, faith, compassion, etc. and you can ask Him for earthly things (lower springs) like a new job, health, family, etc. He is our father and He invites us to come down off our donkey of pride, insecurity, or doubt and come with boldness laying our requests before Him.

 

Suzy Silk
Achsah is an unusual woman in the Bible. Despite having many brothers (see 1 Chron 2:42-50, or 4:15), Achsah is given land by her father. During this time period, Israelite women were rarely given land, unless they had no brothers to carry on their father's name and territory. (See "the Daughters of Zilophehad" for more on this.) Yet here is a woman who is abundantly loved and valued by her father -- even more than his society expects. He not only gives her land, but wants only the best and bravest man to marry her. This man must attack a city full of "giants" (the Anakites whom the spies feared forty years earlier) and successfully capture it. Not only is Othniel a brave and wise leader, but he eventually becomes the first judge of Israel, bringing forty years of peace to the tribe of Judah. Caleb wants only the very best future for his daughter.
 
Growing up with a father who sees and adores her, Achsah has no qualms asking for even more of an inheritance. She is thankful for what she has -- land in the Negev near Hebron -- but she knows that (1) her land is mostly desert and without springs of water, and therefore will quickly wither; and that (2) her father is a wise and abundant man who loves her. So she asks - boldly! There is no hesitation, no groveling, no manipulation, no flattery, no bargaining, no apologues. She has nothing to fear and nothing to lose.

We may not always realize it, but we have a father even better than Caleb. Our Heavenly Father has given each of us an inheritance -- even though we do not deserve it and have done nothing to earn it -- an inheritance that is imperishable and eternal. And, Our Father wants only the best husband for His people. He gives us His Son, Jesus, who has bravely defeated every giant, every captor, every evil at work in the world, and even Death! Jesus will come to judge the earth and bring everlasting peace. And you and I, we get to spend eternity with Him in the New Jerusalem where the rivers of life flow forever.

In light of this, let us run to Him with boldness and ask Our Father for the things we need and desire (Heb 4:16). Jesus tells us to ask, seek, and knock because God gives good things to those who ask Him (Matt 7:7-11). Our Father deeply loves and invites us to become the kind of daughters who fearlessly hope in Him.