Women have to ask for what they deserve. Is it fair? No…it’s just a fact.
Achsah grew up learning her worth. She was the daughter of Caleb, a just man who feared the Lord and fiercely followed God’s commands. Caleb arranged for her to marry the one man who would capture Kiriath-Sepher—an entire city set to destroy God’s people. (This wasn’t gonna be your average son-in-law.)
Othniel was the lucky winner.
On the day Achsah was given to Othniel, she urged her new husband to ask her father for a field. Just as Caleb grants Achsah’s request, she gets off her donkey. “What do you want?” Her father asks—almost like he’s seen this look on her face before. Can you picture the scene? What bold moves Achsah makes. She doesn’t appear disrespectful, arrogant, or irresponsible. I can only assume this father-daughter relationship is a trusting one. Achsah is not afraid to approach her father, and Caleb knows by her body language alone—she wants something.
Listen to her confident answer, “Give me a blessing. Since you have given me the land of the Negeb give me also springs of water.”
Was she greedy?
Let’s dig deeper: Fathers in Israel were required to leave an inheritance to their sons. It was the law. God’s way of providing for His people was depending on each other, within the family, and not the world for their survival. I think it’s safe to say Caleb had hefty sums set aside for the boys, but what about his girls?
I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess Achsah wanted to keep her dad honest and herself from becoming bitter. Look what Caleb does: “And he gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.” There was no rebuttal. No argument. The two of them didn’t haggle back and forth. No conditions made—“he gave”.
We see a similar story in Numbers 27. The five daughters of Zelophehad: Mahlah, Noah, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah are on Moses doorstep after the death of their dad (who incidentally had no sons). “Give us a possession among our father’s brothers.” (vs 4) When Moses brings their case to the Lord, what does the Judge say? “The daughters of Zelophehad speak what is right.” (vs 6)
How it was misunderstood that daughters get gipped on inheritance day doesn’t take a lot of imagination.
Deep voices and heavy arms, tend to thwart a girls God-given strength, intellect, and kingdom building purposes. Positioning herself within the status quo: lower pay, no say, low regard, minimal worth.
Jesus ardently works with His women. Hearing Sarah, Hagar, Hannah, Abigail. Appointing prophetesses Huldah, Deborah, Miriam, and Anna. The brave and cleaver warrior, Jael. Welcoming the ministry of Joanna and Susanna. His mother at the wedding, the woman at the well, Mary and Martha, Mary Magdalene. Mighty women weaved throughout all of scripture trusting God’s holy calling!
And so should you, Sister.
You are God’s teacher, lawyer, mother, farmer, plumber, writer, director, business owner, encourager, prayer warrior, cook, seamstress, prophetess. Whatever you do unto the Lord—You are worth every word, every dollar, every hour. Embrace your Father-daughter relationship. He expects your trust in Him—coming to Him—and delights in giving all He has to offer.
Let’s encourage our daughters, granddaughters, and sisters to boldly, bravely imitate Achsah, who helped her men do what is right. Let’s give our sons, grandsons, and brothers the chance to follow the footsteps of one of God’s bravest men, who through his daughter knew the blessing of God’s unwavering regard for women and unfavoring treatment of men.