I love reading through God’s Story chronologically as it gives lots of little puzzle pieces that then make the big picture a little more clear. Along with clarity in the story we also get to meet interesting people on the journey. Tucked into chapter 15 of Joshua, where maps were being drawn and new territories claimed, is an intriguing account of the wedding engagement of a warrior named Othniel to a gal named Ashsah. I try to imagine how they might have captured the moment in a photo to share with their friends on Facebook. Did they have a surprise engagement party? What color would the bridesmaids wear? Was the groom’s cake chocolate? Before we get to this part of the story we need a little more context.
Caleb is who we meet first. Forty years earlier he was noted as being one of the good spies who returned to report to God’s people that although there were giants in the Promised Land, God was faithful and they could over-come. Now he was a mighty octogenarian. He received his promised portion of land and began to drive out the inhabitants who did not honor God. This took strength, bravery, wisdom and trust that God was on his side. Caleb offered his daughter in marriage to the man who was able to capture a certain city within his new domain. Othniel won the battle and won the girl. When she arrived to set up her new home, her dad Caleb asked her what it was she wanted.
I wonder if Achsah thought about asking for fine china or for a KitchenAid mixer with an ice cream maker attachment as a wedding gift. Or maybe a matching bedding and towel set? After giving it careful thought she decided it would be even better to have water. "Give me a blessing. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me the springs of water also." So he gave her the upper and lower springs. This pioneer woman was then able to water her gardens, her herds, and keep her family’s clothes clean. She would have fresh water for cooking and for making lemonade and for bubble baths. Water! What a good blessing to ask for and a wonderful blessing to receive. Her husband and household would indeed be blessed!
Life without access to clean water made living situations difficult for people in Bible-times. And the need for clean water throughout the world is still great today. In places where water is unavailable life takes on a whole new level of challenge. Caleb’s daughter, Achsah, got the special favor she asked for. Sometimes we go without because we do not ask. Other times we are like Caleb, the ones who are in the position to extend the blessing. Let’s not loose the hope of being a part of the solution. One well drilled at a time, one village after the next. One well-prepared presentation and then another, to a group of children or to a business that can then catch the vision. One heart-felt prayer after the next to our God who provides not only clean water, but Living Water.
A modified excerpt from The Blessing Book.
Karla Minick, author of The Blessing Book and The Blessing Book Study Guide believesthat we are blessed by God to joyfully be a blessing. Having served in a number of countries around the world, she now lives in Houston, Texas with her husband, Russell.
Questions for group discussion:
1. How were you first made aware of the need that many people around the world have for clean water? What steps have you taken to be where you are now in seeking to meet that need?
2. What part of the process brings you joy when seeking to contribute to the water crisis solution? Do you sense God would have you change or extend your present role based on how He has grown you? If so, what is your next step?
3. How do you personally connect Jesus as our Living Water to those both locally and globally that do not yet know Him? When it comes to more naturally connecting people with Jesus, how could you get help or in what ways can you give help?