Assertiveness has never been one of my innate qualities. I don’t remember ever getting a spanking in my life, not necessarily because my parents were liberal-minded types against any form of corporate discipline; it may be more like you could look at me and make me cringe in fear. (I’ve improved with age, but not too much.)
So when I read the story of Caleb’s daughter, Acsah, I’m a bit intrigued. Caleb was on Joshua’s side when Moses originally sent in the crew to check out the Promised Land. Ten of the fellas came back with their tails tucked between their legs, intimidated by the people’s size and strength. Caleb and Joshua, on the other hand, were ready to go in with both barrels blazing.
Now, several decades down the road, Caleb is still in go-mode, and not someone to be trifled with. As was not unusual for the custom, this aged yet formidable warrior offers his daughter in marriage to the man who captures a particular city Caleb wanted to add to his present holdings.
“Othniel…was the one who conquered it, so Acsah became Othniel’s wife. When Acsah married Othniel, she urged him to ask her father for a field. As she got down off her donkey, Caleb asked her, ‘What’s the matter?’ She said, ‘Give me another gift. You have already given me land in the Negev; now please give me springs of water, too.’ So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.”
It seems that initially she wanted her husband to ask Caleb for it, but then ended up doing the bargaining herself. Check out Caleb’s response when his daughter came to visit; not hi, honey, how’s married life? More like, what are you doing back here? (Her husband was no fool—I can only image what an intimidating father-in-law that old guy must have been!)
This lady was smart enough to know that a plot of land without water wasn’t going to be particularly useful, except water was at a premium in that country, as it is today, so probably she was asking for no small thing. Her dad may have seemed a bit harsh, or he may have simply overlooked the situation with the initial wedding gift, but he wasn’t stingy with his daughter. Caleb gave her both the upper and lower springs, which was possibly more than she was even expecting.
When we are given to Jesus as the Bride of Christ, God (as our Abba) gives us gifts also, but some things He is still waiting for us to ask for. And He is not harsh; in fact, if Acsah was bold, surely our Father is expecting us to “come boldly to the throne of grace” even more so!
Asking does several things in us:
- Helps break down pride and self-sufficiency
- Causes us to recognize our total dependence on God
- Increases intimacy with our Father
- Builds our faith
- And, oh yeah, meets the need.
Citizen of heaven, assert thyself!
Joshua 15:15-19 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.