Summary: The Littel story of Achsah is a daugther of Caleb and is recorded twice about in the Bible. This is all about in which this woman went to her father,and the way in which her father treated her, may teach us how to go to Father who is in heaven, and what t
Achsah’s Asking, A Pattern Of Prayer
“And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjath-sepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife. And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife. And it came to pass, when she came to him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted from off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wilt thou? And she said unto him, Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs.”
IN domestic life we often meet with pictures of life in the house of God. I am sure that we are allowed to find them there, for our Savior said, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” God is a Father, and he likens himself to us as fathers; and we who are believers are God’s children; and we are permitted to liken ourselves to our own children; and just as our children would deal with us, and we would deal with them, so may we deal with God, and expect God to deal with us. This little story of a daughter and her father is recorded twice in the Bible. You will find it in the fifteenth chapter of the Book of Joshua, as well as in this first chapter of the Book of Judges. It is not inserted twice without good reasons. I am going to use it tonight simply in this manner — the way in which this woman went to her father, and the way in which her father treated her, may teach us how to go to our Father who is in heaven, and what to expect if we go to him in that fashion.
I would hold up this good woman, Achsah, before you to-night as a kind of model or parable. Our parable shall be Achsah, the daughter of Caleb; she shall be the picture of the true successful pleader with our Father in heaven.
I. And the first thing that I ask you to notice is, HER CONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER before she went to her father.
She was newly-married, and she had an estate to go with her to her husband. She naturally wished that her husband should find in that estate all that was convenient and all that might be profitable, and looking it all over, she saw what was wanted. Before you pray, know what you are needing. That man, who blunders down on his knees, with nothing in his mind, will blunder up again, and get nothing for his pains. When this young woman goes to her father to ask for something, she knows what she is going to ask. She will not open her mouth till first her heart has been filled with knowledge as to what she requires. She saw that the land her father gave her would be of very little use to her husband and herself because it wanted water-springs. So she therefore goes to her father with a very definite request, “Give me also springs of water.”
My dear friends, do you always, before you pray, think of what you are going to ask? “Oh!” says somebody, “I utter some good words.” Does God want your words? Think what you are going to ask before you begin to pray, and then pray like business men. This woman does not say to her father, “Father, listen to me,” and then utter some pretty little oration about nothing; but she knows what she is going to ask for, and why she is going to ask it. She sees her need, and she prizes the boon she is about to request. Oh, take note, ye who are much in prayer, that ye rush not to the holy exercise “as the horse rusheth into the battle”; that ye venture not out upon the sea of prayer without knowing within a little whereabouts will be your port! I do believe that God will make you think of many more things while you are in prayer; the Spirit will help your infirmities, and suggest to you other petitions; but before a word escapes your lips, I counsel you to do what Achsah did, know what you really need.
This good woman, before she went to her father with her petition, asked her husband’s help. When she came to her husband, “she moved him to ask of her father a field.” Now, Othniel was a very bravo man, and very bravo men are generally very bashful men. It is your cowardly man who is often forward and impertinent; but Othniel was so bashful that he did not like asking his uncle Caleb to give him anything more; it looked like grasping. He had received a wife from him, and he had received land from him, and he seemed to say, “No, my good wife, it is all very well for you to put me up to this, but I do not feel like asking for anything more for myself.” Still, learn this lesson, good wives, prompt your husbands to pray with you. Brothers, ask your brothers to pray with you. Sisters, be not satisfied to approach the throne of grace alone; but ask your sister to pray with you. It is often a great help in prayer for two of you to agree touching the thing that concerns Christ’s kingdom. A cordon of praying souls around the throne of grace will be sure to prevail. God help us to be anxious in prayer to get the help of others! A friend, some time ago, said to me, “My dear pastor, whenever I cannot pray for myself, and there are times when I feel shut up about myself, I always take to praying for you: I God bless him, at any rate!’ and I have not long been praying for you before I begin to feel able to pray for myself.” I should like to come in for many of those odd bits of prayer. Whenever any of you got stuck in the mud, do pray for me. It will do you good, and I shall get a blessing. Remember how it is written of Job, “The Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends.” While he prayed for himself, he remained a captive; but when he prayed for those unfriendly friends of his, then the Lord smiled upon him, and loosed his captivity. So it is a good thing in prayer to imitate this woman, Achsah. Know what you want, and then ask others to join with you in prayer. Wife, especially ask your husband; husband, especially ask your wife. I think there is no sweeter praying on earth than the praying of a husband and a wife together when they plead for their children, and when they invoke a blessing upon each other, and upon the work of the Lord.