We all remember certain firsts in our lives: our first kiss, first plane ride, a child’s first step. As Christians there are some other firsts that are meaningful. One of these is the first time Holy Spirit “quickens” a passage of Scripture and breathes life on it. I had been a Christian for years before this happened for me and I still remember that passage. It has been almost 10 years ago, but I am still drawn to that passage and think about it.
Joshua 15:16-19 (ESV) “And Caleb said, ‘Whoever strikes Kiriath-sepher and captures it, to him I will Achsah my daughter as wife.’ And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it. And he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife. 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?’ 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 and lower springs.”
This passage is loaded with “two’s”. The first thing that I discovered about this passage is that it is repeated almost exactly word for word in Judges 1:12-15. The passage itself is a two. I take a high view of Scripture and believe that every word is there for a reason. If God repeated Himself – it was for a purpose. I have not been able to find a commentary that explains it so I have come up with my own view.
There are also two requests that Achsah makes, one to her husband, that he should “ask for a field” and one to her Father, “give me a blessing”…a spring of water. And then Caleb answers her request with two sources of water, the upper and the lower springs.
Because it is repeated, I think two things. First, there is a promise which God will fulfill, it is fixed. (See Genesis 41:32.) Second, I think God has intentionally opened this passage up to be interpreted on two levels, how we approach the Calebs in our lives, our natural and spiritual parents, and how we approach our Heavenly Father.
We are encouraged to seek blessings from the older generation. Springs of water, both the upper and the lower. The Negeb (also Negev) is a desert area and to survive, reliable sources of water are required. She is going to a dry land and asks her father to give her a blessing of life, to sustain her and her generations.
What are the blessings the younger generation needs to ask of the Calebs of the older generation? Achsah approached her father boldly (respectfully as indicated by the fact that she got off her donkey), but without fear. We need to boldly seek the older generation for the blessing they have to give us. This includes their wisdom and experience.
We are also given a hint of a New Testament reality. Caleb has given Othniel a field (read as territory) and Achsah asks for the resources to maintain the land for the generations. Othniel is a type of bridegroom and Achsah is a type of bride. God has given Jesus a kingdom (read as territory) and we, His Bride, are to come boldly and ask for the resources to maintain that territory.
Caleb did not withhold, did not hesitate, but instead, immediately blessed her beyond her request. Our Heavenly Father will not withhold the blessing required to accomplish the task He has set for us.
I feel God is raising up a generation of Achsahs, daughters (and sons) of Caleb who will see the territory God has given them and not retreat, not merely make do, but reach out and ask for blessings of springs of living water, blessings of resources to maintain and thrive on the territory He has granted us.