Sunday, April 23, 2017

April 23

Judges 1:1-2:9; Luke 21:29-22:13; Psalms 90:1-91:16; Proverbs 13:24-25

When each of our daughters married, we were so happy to give them a beautiful wedding and a good start on their married life. And later, we were able to help several of our children buy a home. Parents like to provide good gifts for their children. Today we’ll see a dad giving his daughter a good wedding gift, too.

As we begin the book of Judges, we need realize that it is a difficult book. It has been described as being a book of cycles, with each cycle a little worse than the one preceding it, so that by the end of the book we see the Israelites in great need of God’s provision and protection, yet resisting His ways and disobeying Him again and again. The tribes are mostly acting independently from the other tribes and by the time we come to I & II Samuel next month, we will almost understand why Israel wants a king to organize them and defend them.

In today’s reading, Caleb (of the tribe of Judah) is leading the charge for his tribe to take the territory allotted to them. Caleb, the oldest man in the nation, has promised his daughter Acsah’s hand in marriage to any man who can take the territory of Kiriath Sepher. Othniel is motivated by this offer, and he succeeds and marries Acsah.

And Caleb gives her a wedding gift—land in the Negev. The only trouble with this gift is that it is desert land—it doesn’t have a water source. Acsah, however, is resourceful. She knows they need a water source to properly use their land and so she urges her husband to ask her father for more land, adjacent land that has springs of water.

He must have said, “He’s your dad; you ask him,” for Judges 1:14-15 records that she rode her donkey to see her father and to ask him for more land with springs of water. And her dad gave her both upper and lower springs, a generous gift to help his daughter and her husband prosper.

Caleb is an example of God’s goodness and generosity to us—He not only gives us land as our inheritance, but He gives us springs of water. He is an unstinting and good God.

I’m indebted to my husband, Don Sunukjian, for these thoughts about Caleb and Acsah. Don is a man who, like Caleb and our God, delights in being generous with his children.

- Nell Sunukjian

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