Judges 1:14, 15
And it came to pass, when she came to him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted from off her donkey…
Of the wisdom and carefulness of Achsah we have here abundant proof. They were nobly and honourably exercised. She is the daughter of a rich man, and becomes the bride of a brave soldier who had evidently little but his sword and his reputation to boast of. She is jealous lest he should be rewarded with a mere titular distinction. He has been nobly oblivious of material rewards, she shall be proportionably watchful over his interests. She therefore urges her husband as he passes in triumph to Hebron to ask for the field through which they march. The thoughts of the hero are not to be directed into any such sordid channel. But she, taking advantage of the occasion as she lights from off her ass, asks her father in symbolic language to compensate her for the poverty to which he had consigned her. "Thou hast given me a south land (i.e. married me to a poor younger son); give me also springs of water." To this reasonable request Caleb makes generous response. "She slides from her ass, suddenly, as if she fell, so that her father asks, 'What is the matter with thee?' Her answer has a double sense, 'Thou gavest me away into a dry land; give me also springs'" (Cassel).
I. A BLESSING WITH A DRAWBACK. Of the bravery of Othniel there could be no question; of his poverty there could be as little. It might be honourable for her to be his wife, but she would have to suffer many sacrifices in leaving the wealthy home of her father, and her husband would have an additional burden to sustain. Are not the dispensations of providence, even when we judge them on the whole to be best for us, frequently as mysteriously qualified and limited? No man would probably care to exchange his life for another's, but "there's a crook in every lot." Material blessings generally contain within them elements of discipline, and sometimes even of punishment. But they are alike the gift of a loving father, and are to be accepted in the spirit of trust and affection.
II. COMPENSATIONS. IS the gift of Achsah's father open to grave drawbacks? It is not therefore unalterable. Something may be done to lessen its inconveniences, if not entirely to remove them. Her father is reasonable, and she at once makes appeal to his sense of what is fit and proper. Her request is granted. So with ourselves. Our heavenly Father who apportioned our lot is surely as reasonable and affectionate as any earthly one. It is for us to exercise the same wisdom as Achsah, and request that God will give us such alleviations to our portion in life, or reveal to us those that already exist. Sometimes there are compensations latent in the very circumstances of which we complain: springs of water to moisten a sun-parched soil. In any case God is able to bestow upon us exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, when she came to him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted from off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wilt thou?