“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”
- she didn’t hesitate
- wasn’t going to be deterred by a slob (of a husband? Doubt it!)
- had thought about what she was going to ask for
And she asked! Boldly! Knowing the nature of her good father
Jesus said: your father knows what you need before you ask Him. But ask!
Ask boldly- believe you have received what you are asking for and it will be yours
If you ask for anything in my name I will give it
If you know how to give good gifts- how much more will the Father in heaven give the HS to those who ask
And- if you feel like it’s a dry, raw, deal
- -“ well, father- you must have something better planned than this! I need more so I can see what you have planned for me. For you ARE good!”
Do you see the attitude, here? Based on the knowledge of the Father
- like the two boys in the animal shed. 1) “ah! All this pooh!” 2) With all this poo around there MUST be a horse in here somewhere!
Seriously! I’m not telling you a load of psycho-babble-hype-talk!
- you MUST understand the nature of the Father… and the nature of the kingdom (in how to receive in prayer)
You see- that land WAS actually good. All it needed was the right ingredient. Blessing
- in it was rich soil. Seeds. All kinds of fertility and nutrients (can tell I’m not a farmer!)
- it just needed water!
And that’s what this passage is all about. The need for the streams… water
- isn’t life all about that? It’s no surprise the Bible uses the imagery of water and our need for it
- here on earth: even temperature isn’t the essential for life. It’s water! Life thrives at 180 deg C under the sea near thermal vents with no light!
- The quest on mars is whether there’s water there. If so- probably life!
- Cassini’s Saturn probe- first thing it’s going to do is probe for water on the moons
Father…. Lord… give me also springs of water
- all it needed was a few springs
o just a bit of water (and the desert blooms PHOTO)
- and all they… she had to do was ASK
How often do we not receive because
- we don’t see… think about what we need
- we don’t ask. (Jas 4:2)
maybe we don’t ask because we’ve lost our sense of thirst. For God. The HS
- = tragic to be in a desert. Even more tragic to not know you’re thirsty
- cf David Ps 63 “I THIRST for you”
Listen- the holiday is coming up. One of the reasons I wanted to preach this is because
- you… we… I… need to be refreshed
And so maybe…. In fact I plead with you… this summer time you will seek the Lord and His fountain… springs of water, again
- for your land. Your ministry (Lord, you’ve given me so much with all these kids at HC- now give ME also springs of water)
WHAT THEY GOT
I say what THEY got- because Othniel got the blessing, here, too
- in fact- he got more than just the girl, city and land
o he got some blessing from God!- as in Jud 3:9 we find him as the first ‘judge’, leader, after Joshua- who led these people
See what it says in v15: “then Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs”
- note :AND lower springs
EPH 3:14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
EPH 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
What are you asking for?
- are you earnestly desiring the Spirit?
- Other things?
Let’s pray, now- and YOU pray out loud and let us all hear… God hear… what you’re asking for
- so we can say AMEN!
- (keep it brief! And no ‘moaning in prayer!’. “Lord, give me ALSO”)
(Give us souls… saved… changed)
Sing: the king of love my shepherd is
Let your living water