The Woman Who Wanted More
Scripture References—Joshua 15:16, 17; Judges 1:12, 13; 1 Chronicles 2:4, 9
Name Meaning—Adorned, or Bursting the Veil
Family Connections—Achsah was the daughter of Caleb, prince of the tribe of Judah. She was the only girl in the family, and had three brothers (1 Chronicles 4:15). She became the wife of Othniel, son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. Othniel became one of Israel’s judges and had, through the Spirit of God, the noble faith of his race (Judges 3:8-11).
The story of Achsah is told in charming and picturesque detail in the above Scripture. Her father promised her in marriage to the gallant man who was able to capture Debir, or Keriath-sepher which means, “The City of the Book.” The feat was accomplished by Othniel, and Caleb gave to his daughter, as a dowry, a portion of the south land. Not satisfied, she wanted springs of water to irrigate her fields, so Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs. Although, as a Jewess, Achsah looked for great things through faith in God’s promise of the land, her request for an addition to the generous dowry already bestowed, reveals an element of covetousness in her disposition. W. Mackintosh Mackay in his character-study of Achsah speaks of her as “The Discontented Bride.”
Not content with the noble present her father Caleb had given her, she urged Othniel her husband to make a further request, but reading between the lines of the story it would seem as if he felt it ungracious to ask for more. Thus Achsah, who had not learned to be content with what she had (Hebrews 13:5), approached her father with a significant word, “Give me also,” and as Dr. Mackay expresses it, “There is always a something more needed to complete the circle of perfect peace in every earthly lot; the
... little more, and how much it is;
The little less, and what worlds away.”
Solomon reminds us that the human heart is like the horseleech whose two daughters never have enough, and bear the names of Give, Give (Proverbs 30:15). There is, of course, a divine discontent all of us should foster. Dissatisfied with our growth in sanctity of life we should constantly pray, “More holiness give me,” and as the bride’s father graciously granted his daughter’s request, so our Heavenly Father will answer our yearning for the life more abundant.
Caleb gave Achsah the springs of water she desired, and in the upper and nether springs we have a type of the spiritual and temporal mercies from our Father above. As heirs of the promise, His children can humbly and confidently ask and expect great blessings from His generous hand. Both upper, or heavenly provision, and nether, or earthly necessities come from Him in whom are all our springs (Psalms 81:10; 84:11; Isaiah 33:16; Luke 11:13; John 4:13, 14; 7:37-39; Ephesians 3:20; 1 John 3:22). At times it seems as if the “nether springs” dry up, as Job experienced when the Lord took away so many of his earthly possessions and pleasures. But the “upper springs” never run dry for, like those Achsah received, they flow from the everlasting hills. “The river of water of life flowing out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” cannot fail. When the waters of earth fail, we have a reservoir above, never impoverished by drought.