“Now the children of Judah fought against Jerusalem and took it; they
struck it with the edge of the sword and set the city on fire. 9 And
afterward the children of Judah went down to fight against the
Canaanites who dwelt in the mountains, in the South, and in the lowland.
Then Judah went against the Canaanites who dwelt in Hebron. (Now the
name of Hebron was formerly Kirjath Arba.) And they killed Sheshai,
Ahiman, and Talmai.
From there they went against the inhabitants of Debir. (The name of Debir was formerly Kirjath Sepher.)
Then Caleb said, ‘Whoever attacks Kirjath Sepher and takes it, to him I will give my daughter Acsah as wife.’
And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it; so he gave him his daughter Acsah 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.’
And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.”—Judges 1:8-15
Now how many of you read the title for today and thought, “Now who are they?”
C’mon, don’t even act like you knew because I certainly didn’t
(however, if you did and are telling the truth, I will find some way to
bless you because that means you REALLY read the Word). As a matter of
fact, as I was doing my bible study for today, you couldn’t have paid
me to think that we weren’t going to roll up on Samson and Delilah next
(can’t wait to get to that one!), but again, God had other plans.
To be honest with you, until now, I didn’t even know that such a couple
as Othniel and Acsah even existed, which I guess explains why there is
a real blessing in studying—-and I mean really studying the Word for
yourself. You just never know what pearls of wisdom are waiting for you
if you wouldn’t wait on your pastor on Sabbath or Sunday to deliver a
sermon. That’s like getting a message from a friend through a friend.
Isn’t it more personal to cut out the middle man and get it straight
from the source?
Anyway, if there’s gonna be a chapter lesson that will be relatively
short-er (cause we all know that I am wordy) but potent, I think this
will be the one because the main lesson that we can learn from Acsah is
that she had it goin’ on. As a matter of fact, so together that in
marrying her, Othniel came out on top in more ways than one.
But we’ll get to that in a moment.
One of the things that I love the most about the description of the
Proverbs 31 woman is that, while she was a good homemaker and wife, she
was also very savvy:
“She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back
exotic surprises. She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her
family and organizing her day. She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden. First thing in the
morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get
started. She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it
quits for the day.”—Proverbs 31:14-16
No, I don’t think that this translates into her being a workaholic
because after all, the curse to toil and sweat in the fields was given
to Adam (Genesis 3:17-19) and Eve was meant to be a blessing to him.
But I do think that this means that a Proverbs 31 woman, a virtuous
woman, a godly wife, is one who has her act together, can provide wise
and insightful support and counsel (after all, the most effective
leaders have a board of directors) and has very little baggage
(relational, emotional, financial and otherwise). I mean let’s be real:
Because the man has to toil all day, do you think he wants to come home
and have to “toil in the spirit” with you, too? I seriously doubt it.
One of the things that I hate to hear single women say is, “I want to
get married so that a man can do such-and-such for me. I don’t want to
have to work, or balance a check book or have to focus on having a
vision for myself. My vision is getting married.”
In my mind—-and based on the person who says it to me, out of my
mouth as well—-the words I want to speak are, “So what happens after
that? You think your life stops once you jump the broom (for my
Caucasian sistahs that means get married)?”
Something that God has been working with me on as of late is to get
away from using titles when it comes to placing a stamp on my identity.
I do write, I do recite poetry (when someone pulls my teeth to do
it—shout out to Marty), I do public speak and draw and all kinds of
other things, but these gifts are not the totality of who I am. And
when I get married, being a wife won’t be, either.
More and more I am coming to see why God gave Paul permission to tell
us in I Corinthians 7:34 that it is important for women, in our
singleness, to be concerned with what the Lord wants us to do. For
years (actually up until just a few weeks ago), I thought this
scripture was saying that we needed to be in church all day and when we
weren’t, we needed to be visiting the sick and shut in, leading prison
ministry and signing hymns all of the time.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Service is a huge part of singleness, but when
you decide to go beyond the “shallow waters” with God, he has no
problem taking you deeper:
“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.”—Psalm 37:4
“And let the beauty and delightfulness and favor of the Lord our God be
upon us; confirm and establish the work of our hands–yes, the work of
our hands, confirm and establish it.”—Psalm 90:7
“For whom the Lord loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.”—Proverbs 3:12
“Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart
and mind and do not rely on your own insight or
“Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency [from righteous
labors] and with the first fruits of all your income; so shall your
storage places be filled with plenty, and your vats shall be
overflowing with new wine.”—Proverbs 3:9&10
“For the Lord shall be your confidence, firm and strong, and shall keep
your foot from being caught [in a trap or some hidden
“For the ways of man are directly before the eyes of the Lord, and He
[Who would have us live soberly, chastely, and godly] carefully weighs
all man’s goings.”—Proverbs 5:21
“For whoever finds me [Wisdom] finds life and draws forth and obtains favor from the Lord.”—Proverbs 8:35
“The blessing of the Lord–it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow
with it [neither does toiling increase it].”—Proverbs 10:22
“A good man obtains favor from the Lord, but a man of wicked devices He condemns.”—Proverbs 12:22
“Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He
will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall
your plans be established and succeed.”—Proverbs 16:3
“The Lord has made everything [to accommodate itself and contribute] to
its own end and His own purpose–even the wicked [are fitted for their
role] for the day of calamity and evil.”—Proverbs 16:4
“When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.”—Proverbs 16:7
“A man’s mind plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps and makes them sure.”—Proverbs 16:9
“He who deals wisely and heeds [God’s] word and counsel shall find
good, and whoever leans on, trusts in, and is confident in the
Lord–happy, blessed, and fortunate is he.”—Proverbs 19:21
“Do not say, I will repay evil; wait [expectantly] for the Lord, and He will rescue you.”—Proverbs 21:30
I am a firm believer that your earthly father should be your first
introduction to God in this world. And yes, I think this is why so many
of us have ended up with triflin’ ones because the Enemy knows that if
our judgment is off and we don’t develop and intimate relationship with
God, our choices in a mate could be detrimental at best.
However, no matter what your earthly father did or did not do to set a
foundation in your life, your Heavenly Father is always there. In this
season of my singleness, I am seeing that one of the main reasons why
we are told that we should concern ourselves with the things of the
Lord is because when we get to know him, experience him, serve him,
love him, hear from him, then a standard is set for us in what we
should expect from someone else.
At the time of our singleness, we are able to effectively learn about
who we are in the Lord in a way we simply cannot at any other point in
our lives. During this time we are able to comprehend his principles
and expectations, hear his voice and come to a better understanding
about his way of doing things.
And do you know what one of the perks of that is? When we learn to be
women with vision, confidence, clarity, high self-esteem, patience,
kindness, gentleness, virtue, wisdom, self-control, modesty, spiritual
discernment, longsuffering, etc., we are able to become the kind of
wives God wants us to be because again, remember, we are supposed to
already be wives when our husbands get here (Proverbs 18:22).
If we are in the habit of honoring the Lord with our capital and the
first fruits of our tithe as single women, there’s a greater chance
that our husbands will not have to dig us out of debt when we get
married. (Proverbs 3:9&10)
If we are in the habit of using common sense (wisdom) in our
singleness, our husbands will be able to better trust our insights and
opinions because with our words, come peace and favor. (Proverbs 8:35)
If we are in the habit of pleasing the Lord with our actions in our
singleness, there will be less drama that our husbands will have to
deal with as it relates to rumors about our character or how we treat
other people. (Proverbs 16:7)
If we are in the habit of living confidently in our singleness, we will
not be so needy, so paranoid, so contemptuous in our marriage.
If we are in the habit of being gracious and merciful in our
singleness, we will be more apt to show compassion and forgiveness in
our marriage because newsflash ladies: men are not perfect and so we
will from time-to-time have our feelings hurt and need to extend mercy,
grace and forgiveness to them. (Proverbs 21:30)
Which brings me back to Acsah.
I love the fact that she was not only submissive (in order) but had a
good business mind as well because when her father, Caleb told her who
her husband would be, while she received direction from him, she also
made plans for her future family. She didn’t just “settle” for getting
a man; she wanted some additional property, too.
A good wife is not someone who just wants to get a man to have a man. I
will never forget TD Jakes once saying (when it comes to getting a
mate), “If you want God to give you somethin’, he can do that but be
specific. Don’t you want more than just somethin’?”
I agree, but I want to take it deeper than that. If you want God to
give you a mate—-if it is truly a godly desire of your heart (not
lust-filled because he can’t honor that; it’s against his
nature—James 4:2&3)—then I believe that he will give it to you.
But you are a woman, his princess, the giver of life. Don’t you want
more than that? When God instructed us in Habakkuk 2:2&3 to “Write
the vision and make it plain”, why are you limiting that to a diamond
ring, wedding day and honeymoon?
I know I’m not because God is confirming to me in my singleness—-in
my prayer time at 5am when I don’t have to worry about tending to the
“morning time needs” of a mate (yet)—-that when I delight myself in
him, the possibilities of what I can have, if I remain obedient, are
endless (Ephesians 3:20). I can have the man, but I can have so much
more, too. I know this because the scriptures have told me so and the
scriptures told me during my undistracted time with God.
Homework for today: Ladies, get a vision for your life. If you want a
husband, that’s great, but remember that we are more than our titles.
We are God’s daughters and when we submit to ourselves to him, not only
is that preparation for submission to our mates, but it is also a
surefire way of receiving bountiful blessings and favor from the Lord.
Remember the beautiful thing about Acsah and the Proverbs 31 woman was
that they saw beyond being a “Mrs.” into being a holistically
progressive woman so that they could be a blessing; not just to their
husbands but those around them as well for years to come.
©Shellie R. Warren/2006