Summary: We may feel we have a bit of a raw deal- like we’re in a desert- but the key is knowing who and what to ask. We need to ask the Father for ’streams of water’.
You must be thinking- ‘how on earth are you going to get a sermon out of that, Ewen! Why choose this passage?”
Well- I’ve felt led to it out after last week’s sermon on ‘the fountain opened in Jerusalem’ (Zech 13)
- and this little story about Caleb, Othniel and Acsah appears twice in the Bible- so God MUST be wanting to say something to us!
And there IS a message in here for US, TODAY
- to us, it’s not about ‘land’ (as that was the OT way)
o but the principles, the asking, the springs of water still apply.
WHAT THEY HAD
Basically- here’s the situation:
- Caleb puts up a challenge for someone to conquer a city
o And an incentive: they get my daughter Acsah into the bargain
o (again- remember this is OT! Parents: I can think of a better way of getting your daughter hitched to a hero)
- Othniel, Caleb’s nephew can’t resist the challenge (he probably fancies Acsah, as well as the city!)
o he gets the city… and the gorgeous heroine as well
So- they’re going to get married… or maybe they already are in v14
- but there’s the issue of land!
- Now, the Lord’s always a few millennia ahead of us on the old fairness, justice and equality bit…
- As we find that Zelophedad’s daughter’s DID get an inheritance (as there were no sons) – but they had to go and ask for it!
- And it’s quite possible that Caleb was far more in line with God’s will than most- as he DOES give Acsah some land
o But, it’s ‘southern land’ (lit, v15)
Does that tell you something? Any of you been to Israel?
- what’s the Southern land? It’s the Negev. Down to the Dead Sea
It’s like: yep… have an inheritance. Here- have THIS land
- (but, let me emphasise- Caleb is seen as generous, here!)
So- what’s the trouble with this land?
- (no water)
Illustr: Isle of Ibiza where Kirk lives/lived. Daughters would have an inheritance- but the girls, youngest or runts of the litter would always get the coastal land. Just sand! Nothing would grow! No crops- or interested suitors, either!
- but, about 1955, things started changing! (why? Tourism! Development. People wanted the WATER!)
- Kirk’s comment: many happy fathers, husbands and brides! One bloke said to Kirk ‘even the ugly daughters got married!”
Why- because of WATER!
So here is Othniel and Acsha’s situation
- “we feel like we’ve got a bit of a raw deal. Unproductive land. Unfruitful. Hot. Dry. Dusty”
Let’s contextualise this. Build a bridge to today.
- maybe you feel the same. Feel like you’re having a rough ride or have had a raw deal
- or what you’re working on is unproductive. No fruit
WHAT THEY ASKED FOR
Well, note how they deal with it.
Acsah’s been given the land as her inheritance.
- now, she knows just what she wants for her dowry!
o (what would you ask for for a wedding gift, eh?!)
And – she knows just where to go for it. Who to ask
- to her father!
Othniel seems to take a bit of back seat, here- though she’d been trying to put him up to it (v14)