Sermons

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’.

“Give me also springs of water” Judges 1:12-15 WBC 18/7/04am

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!

o Here and Joshua 15:19

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, actually- Joshua 17:3 tells us that it was God’s will that daughter’s inherited land as well as sons.

- 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)

- but that’s not going to stop her! “Okay- well you don’t want the best? That’s not stopping me!”

And she’s right, you know. This is her father she’s going to!

- He almost rises to meet her in her boldness and purpose:

- “What can I do for you?”

Now- she doesn’t moan. That’s no good in asking anyone for anything

- (and, besides, with regard to God it can be downright disrespectful)

- she recognises what he’s done for her, already:

“you have given me Southern Lands”. “You have given me so much… and I am grateful for that”….

- … “but do me a special favour’ (NIV).

- Literally ‘give me a blessing’

o (because I’m about to be married to this hero)

o ‘give me a dowry’…

“Give me also springs of water”

Seriously- it’s only one verse, but there’s so much in here about

- what we need

- asking in prayer

“Father. You are good, loving, kind, generous. You’ve given me SO much. It MUST be good because YOU are good”

- “but I need more… or it’s not going to be enough”

- “I need more… or what you have given me will be useless”

Note:

- she didn’t hesitate

- wasn’t going to be deterred by a slob (of a husband? Doubt it!)

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