Lessons from Achsah on Being Audacious in Prayer

The story of Achsah can be found in both Joshua 15:16-19 and Judges 1:12-15. Brief though both features are, she has much to teach us on the subject of audacity in prayer. Want to listen to the devotional rather than continue reading? No problem, simply press play on the audio below. Feel free to download and share it with those you think would benefit from hearing it too:

Achsah was the only daughter of Caleb according to 1st Chronicles 4:15. This was the same Caleb that was amongst the twelve men Moses sent to spy out the land before the children of Israel invaded Canaan, the land that God had promised them (Numbers 13). Out of these twelve spies, only Caleb and Joshua took God at His word and believed that they could take the land from its inhabitants (Numbers 13:30; Numbers 14:6-9). As a result of his faith, in the face of everyone else’s doubt, God promised that Caleb and his descendants would inherit a portion of the promised land. This was finally realsied in Joshua 14.

Some of the land that had been given to Caleb was still inhabited; therefore, in Joshua 15:16 he made a decree that anybody who attacked Kirjath Sepher and took it would be given his daughter, Achsah, as a wife. The person who did it was Othniel (who was actually Caleb’s younger brother) and so, as promised, he and Achsah got married (Joshua 15:17; Judges 1:13). For her dowry Caleb gave Achsah land in the south, as she had persuaded Othniel to ask him for a field (Joshua 15:18; Judges 1:14). Despite this, Achsah then went on visit her father and ask him for springs of water in order to irrigate the land as well- a request that he obliged (Joshua 15:19; Judges 1:15). 

In studying Achsah, I noticed that she has been given a bad rep. Some scholars are of the opinion that she was wrong to ask for so much and that her requests suggest a covetous and greedy nature. Me being me- I see things differently. I believe that she was simply being her father’s daughter. Caleb was very audacious in his prime too. As previously mentioned, only he and Joshua actually believed that they could take the promised land- to the point that the children of Israel actually wanted to stone them to death for their insistence that they should do so. Caleb was unwavering in his faith at the time because he believed God’s promise and recognised that land was his birthright and inheritance. Achsah was audacious with her requests because she knew the same thing- that land was now her inheritance and birthright as one of Caleb’s descendants, just as God had promised in Numbers 14:24

Audacious or not, Achsah made her request to her father, Caleb, and received what she desired. Through her story we see the fulfilment of the scripture in Matthew 7:7-8:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened”.

Matthew 7:11 then goes on to say that if an earthly father could provide for their child as freely and extravagantly as Caleb did Achsah, “how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” God is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think”. Therefore, take Achsah’s example and be audacious in and with your prayer requests. God, like Caleb, is willing to work on our behalf.

So what about you, lovely? Have you allowed people to stone you with their judgements and tell you that your visions are too big and you are too small/insignificant to achieve them, like they did Caleb? Have you allowed them to label you or try to place you in a box, like scholars have attempted to do with Achsah? Or are you holding yourself back by seeing yourself “like [a] grasshopper in [your] own sight,” like the children of Israel did? What are your goals and dreams? What request would you like God to fulfil on your behalf? If you have discounted them, get back in touch with them. Do not hide your light under a basket. Own your ambitions; stick by them and in fulfilling them “let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven”.