Legacy of Faith

I am always amazed when I find something I’ve known about for a long time and suddenly realize that there’s a part of it that I didn’t know.  I’ve heard sermons and read in Numbers about the spies that Moses sent to check out the “Promised Land.” When they came back all but two of them said the cities were too well-fortified and the people too big and fierce for the Israelites to fight them. But Caleb, along with Joshua, spoke up and said they could take it. He believed God was with them and they’d be able to overcome their army.

Unfortunately, the Israelite people didn’t listen to Caleb and Joshua. God punished the spies severely, but He did not punish Joshua and Caleb. They saw the potential of the land and because of their faith, they believed they would be successful. Which, eventually they were.

Later in the Book of Joshua, Caleb made a speech about how good God had been to him throughout his life and how God had rewarded him with the land that he had seen with the other spies because he had believed that God was faithful. (Joshua 14:7,10-11)

There’s a lot of talk about the importance of leaving a legacy and Caleb certainly did that. So here’s the part I  didn’t know.  Caleb had three sons and one daughter. We don’t know anything about Caleb’s sons, but we do know some things about the daughter, Achsah.

When it came time for Achsah to marry, Caleb put out a challenge to the men of the region. He offered his daughter in marriage to the first man who would attack and capture the enemy stronghold of Kiriathsepher (Joshua 15:16). Caleb didn’t want his daughter to marry just anyone. He wanted her to marry a brave man-a champion.

Othniel captured the land and Achsah became his wife. But that’s not the end of the story, it’s just the beginning. After the marriage, Achsah persuaded her new husband to ask her father to give them a section of land.  Achsah knew that the land she had been given would need access to water if they were to make it profitable. So, Achsah rode over to her father’s house and when Caleb asked what she wanted, she said, “Give me a blessing; since you have given me the land of the Negev, give me also springs of water.”

Caleb said yes and gave her both the upper and the lower springs. This was a double portion of water, which would assure her success. Caleb wasn’t just agreeing to her request, he was blessing her request with abundance.

Both the request and the gift were unusual in those days. Achsah must have been a brave, strong-willed girl. She had sat at Caleb’s table as a child and listened to the faith stories of his life and knew the goodness of God and the faithfulness of her father.

I can only imagine Achsah riding up on the donkey to her father’s house, as she is thinking about how best to ask her him for the blessing of the springs. And I can also see Caleb standing there watching her, smiling, and knowing she has something on her mind. (I would also guess that he was very proud of her for speaking up and asking him for this blessing.)

Caleb had left a legacy of faith for his daughter and knowledge of who God was and who she was in God’s eyes. Achsah, was able to be bold in her request, because she had caught the faith of Caleb and knew that it wasn’t a faith just for the boys in the family. She knew she could ask for a blessing and fully expected that her father would give it to her.

And he did.



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