Judges 1

Judges 1 recounts the battles that God’s people undertook as they entered the Promised Land.  One of the key battles was the victory of Judah.  “Adoni-bezek fled, but they pursued him and caught him and cut off his thumbs and his big toes”.  Seems like an interesting way to show victory until you read that this king had done the same to 70 other who “used to pick up scraps under my table”.  He was given the same punishment as he had handed out, but soon was killed.

Caleb takes another approach.  “Caleb said, He who attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it, I will give him Achsah my daughter for a wife”.  So Caleb puts up the hand of his daughter for victory.  Her father promised her in marriage to the gallant man who was able to capture Debir.  Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, captured it and Caleb gave him Achsah his daughter for a wife. Caleb gave to his daughter, as a dowry, a portion of the south land.  Achsah, who had not learned to be content with what she had, approached her father with a significant request, “Give me”.

She said to him, “Give me a blessing”.  It is a rather bold request, and one that indicates that she was a rather ungrateful person.  Her new husband, Othniel, did not make the request so she did it herself.  It indicates that she has a bit of discontentment in her heart.  In spite of that, Caleb gave Achsah the springs of water she desired.  The “upper springs” never run dry for they flow from the everlasting hills.  He also gave her the lower springs so more than fulfilled her request.  It reminds us that God’s love never runs dry for us either.

All the tribes conquered the land that God had prepared for them.  “When Israel grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not drive them out completely”.  It is interesting that while they conquered most of their enemies, this group remained and refused to be eliminated.  So they gradually grew strong enough to make them slaves in their tribal lands and put them to work.  The key will be not to allow their habits and tendencies to draw the Israelites away from God.  We’ll see how that goes in the chapters ahead.

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