Judges – Othniel, Part 1

OthnielThen Caleb said, “Whoever attacks Kirjath-Sepher and takes it, to him I will give my daughter Achsah as wife.” And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it; so he gave him his daughter Achsah as wife. Now it happened, when she came to him, that she urged him to ask her father for a field. And she dismounted from her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you wish?” So she said to him, “Give me a blessing; since you have given me land in the South, give me also springs of water.” — Judges 1:12-15

Men, the story found here is a duplicate passage lifted from Joshua 15. The occurrence here took place during the time of Joshua, but for the sake of chronology and wholeness the 1st judge is introduced here among the account of the judges of Israel. Caleb has come and offers his daughter, Achsah, to whomever attacks and conquers the city Kirjath-Sepher. Othniel, the son of Kenaz, who was Caleb’s younger brother, conquered the city. Kirjath-Sepher translates “city of books”, and was likely a religious and academic center for the Canaanite people. Kirjath-Sepher is also another name for Debir which translates “giants.” It’s important that we keep the corrupted nature of the Canaanites in view. Many have taken an anti-semitic view of the Hebrew people by neglecting that fact.

Achsah, the daughter of Caleb, translates to “ornament.” After the city is conquered, Achsah urged Othniel to ask for a field. She then approaches Caleb her father and asks for a blessing for herself. She asks for rights to the water springs of the area of the field. Taking care not to over spiritualize, but acknowledging the picture given here: a son conquers corruption, the bride approaches her groom to ask for a field. In further cooperation she asks for a blessing of water for herself from her father. When a marriage is mutually cooperative, with each other and with our Father God, a complete and functional blessing is available, with provision established.

Move forward men, with the boldness of Othniel, Israel’s first judge. Go and conquer darkness when the opportunity comes. The Lord honored Othniel’s leadership with victory. The Lord blessed him with a wife, provision, authority and territory. Othniel translates, “God is my strength”, or “God’s lion.” Is He yours? Are you a lion of God? Will you and I be first in standing up to fight for the promises of God to be secured in our lives? Is your marriage an asset to each other? To God?

Vance Durrance

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Be Patient

Be Patient“Noah was 600 years old when the floodwaters engulfed the earth.” –Genesis 7:6, NET
Consider the age of Noah and his three sons (who were roughly around 100, see Gen 5:32). Surely the norm at this time was to have a very large family (consider the multiplication of the human race). So a man with only three sons (and it took 500 years), who themselves had no children after living a century, must have seemed rather… unblessed?
Children are a reward from God (Psa 127:3) (although it doesn’t always FEEL as such). The LORD says He blesses His loyal followers and increases their numbers (Psa 115:12-16)? So did this glaring fact ever become an obstacle?
Did Noah, like his descendants (Gen 11:30; 25:21), struggle with his wife’s seeming barrenness—and for hundreds of years? Was Noah tempted as Job to wonder what profits a man to live for the LORD’s pleasure (Job 21:7-15; 34:9)? Did his sons ever throw a hammer down in frustration wondering how they could trust a God who had withheld such an important blessing?
Or did they remember the promise of salvation and keep in perspective the LORD’s timing in all things?
What about us? Do we get focused on selfish desires and outward blessings, and forget the undeserved promise of salvation? Or do we keep in perspective the LORD’s timing? This life is but a short inception to an eternity of rest that lies on the other side of judgment. This portion is not for leisure but preparation (Eph 6:15; Isa 40:3; Rev 21:2), and is but a flash and a vapor (Psa 39:5; Jam 4:14).
“So be patient, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s return. Think of how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the ground and is patient for it until it receives the early and late rains. You also be patient and strengthen your hearts, for the Lord’s return is near.” –James 5:7-8
Billy Neal
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Welcome Guest

sent out

Now whatever city or town you enter, inquire who in it is worthy, and stay there till you go out. And when you go into a household, greet it. — Matthew 10:11-12.

Men, Jesus is still instructing the 12 before sending them out on what equates to a religious survey and a training mission in one. Jesus tells the 12 to seek out “worthy” households to stay with as they arrive at a new town. Jesus knew that there was a lot on the line. Misinformation spreads faster than truth, so Jesus wanted the 12 to stay with people who had honest reputation.

This time and place setting was known for hospitality, and it was common for indigenous townspeople to open their homes to travelers. The 12 would be dependent upon being welcomed.

Jesus goes further in v12 to tell the 12 to “greet” a household when they found a place “worthy”. In other words, Jesus is telling the 12 to be good guests. The 12 would also speak a blessing over the home as they entered.

We can almost imagine in our time a bed and breakfast type atmosphere where we paid for our accommodations with a presentation of the gospel. We like to think of ourselves as good followers of Christ. We like to think we’re doing well as Christians as we attend church, say grace over our meal, and pray occasionally.

Do we know Jesus well enough, or His gospel well enough to present a clear message worthy of a night’s rent? Have we ever challenged ourselves to the 12s entry level training mission?

Of course, today in America is far less hospitable. We are distrusting and protective of our homes and families. Have you ever cooperated in a Bible study among strangers? Have you ever cooperated in a local missions opportunity? Have you ever challenged yourself to present a gospel message even in part to a stranger? Would we make a good guest? Would a host wish they hadn’t opened the door, or accepted our name on a sign up sheet?

Move forward men, finding worthy opportunities to share the message of hope and redemption to some one. Be a good guest, presenting the message with humility. Serve well from within any opportunity the Lord offers and pronounce a blessing over that place.

Vance Durrance

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