I’m currently reading the Bible through from cover to cover. One fun thing about that is discovering random bits which are easy to miss out otherwise. Take Joshua 15 for example.
We’re in the middle of a long description of what geographic area each tribe of Israel was allocated, when this happens:
…Caleb said, “Whoever strikes Kiriath-sepher and captures it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter as wife.” And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it. And he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife. When she came to him, she urged him to ask her father for a field. And she got off her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Give me a blessing. Since you have given me the land of the Negeb, give me also springs of water.” And he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs. (Joshua 15:16-19)
…then it goes straight back into the land allocation. As it’s so easy and convenient to do so, I asked my good friend Matthew Henry what he thought about it:
From this story we learn, 1. That it is no breach of the tenth commandment moderately to desire those comforts and conveniences of this life which we see attainable in a fair and regular way. 2. That husbands and wives should mutually advise, and jointly agree, about that which is for the common good of their family and much more should they concur in asking of their heavenly Father the best blessings, those of the upper springs. 3. That parents must never think that lost which is bestowed upon their children for their real advantage, but must be free in giving them portions as well as maintenance, especially when they are dutiful. Caleb had sons (1 Chronicles 4:15), and yet gave thus liberally to his daughter. Those parents forget themselves and their relation who grudge their children what is convenient for them when they can conveniently part with it.
I’d probably add something else to his wisdom. God gives grace upon grace to us. I’ll first break down the story into chunks, then show how I’d apply it:
- Caleb offers a reward for completing a task.
- Othniel completes the task, gets the reward, yet ultimately asks for more (apparently Kiriath-sepher was in a really dry place).
- Caleb goes further than requested, and gives more than requested.
I think you know where this is going. It’s all about Jesus:
- God offers the free gift of eternal life to all who put their faith in Jesus Christ.
- Even after having received the ‘reward’ of salvation by grace, we still go back to God in prayer, asking him to give us more gifts (apparently some people find the Christian life a bit hard – I suppose that makes sense, seeing as Jesus promised we would).
- God blesses us in more ways than we can ever realise.
- Choosing an Attitude of Gratitude in 2013 (Part 1) (keepingandreaping.wordpress.com)
- “Father! give us a great year, I pray” (sophialorenabenjamin.wordpress.com)