Crossing the Jordan may have been a miraculous reminder of God’s parting of the Red Sea,

 but the Promised Land wouldn’t come without a fight.

I’m not sure if this is comforting or scary.

God, the Giver of good gifts and Keeper of His Word,

never specialized in handouts.

So the Israelites, tired and weary,

stepped into the land they had been promised

and very quickly learned they would be fighting for every square foot of soil on which they now stood.

There’s something about a hard day’s work that gives a paycheck power,

and the Israelites would be required to “roll up their sleeves” as they marched into enemy territory

in order to claim what God had vowed would be theirs all along.

God knew what the Israelites couldn’t quite yet understand.

Unearned rewards mean little.

And when rewards hold no value,

it’s easy to let them go.

Or at least, take them for granted.

So God, like any good father, said,

“This is yours.  But here’s what you have to do to earn it.”

So when Aksah enters the story,

not long after a major battle has been won,

her request stands out like a bright light on a dark backdrop of war.

And Caleb said, “I will give my daughter Aksah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher.”  Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s brother, took it; so Caleb gave his daughter Aksah to him in marriage. One day when she came to Othniel, she urged him to ask her father for a field. When she got off her donkey, Caleb asked her, “What can I do for you?”  She replied, “Do me a special favor. Since you have given me land in the Negev, give me also springs of water.” So Caleb gave her the upper and lower springs.

Joshua 15:16-19

“Give me also springs of water.”

Aksah, the only daughter of Caleb,

wants more than land as a wedding gift.

She wants springs.

And Caleb gives her the desires of her heart.

I’m not sure why this story is tucked in the middle of the book of Joshua.

Battles raging.

People groups being annihilated one by one.

Boundaries being established to the east and to the west.

And suddenly one donkey arrives,

carrying a daughter who isn’t afraid to ask her dad for more……

when she’s already been given so much.

This same daughter will be mentioned four more times in Scripture.

And this very request will be repeated later in another book of the Old Testament.

Askah matters.

And her courage matters too.

I love that the same God who says,

“Fight for what yours,”

also says,

“Ask and you shall receive.”

I don’t know about you,

but my life has had its fair share of battles.

I’ve wrestled with some enemies along the way and feel confident I will wrestle with many more.

But this morning,

I love that God allowed a donkey to carry Aksah into the pages of the Bible.

And that she had the courage to ask for more –

with no fighting required.

Some days we will find ourselves up against giants,

and the agony of the battle may seem like more than we can bear.

But thank goodness,

there will also be days when we’re allowed to humbly arrive on a donkey,

asking for more…….

just because we’re His children.

And He will give us the desires of our heart.

What are you wanting to ask Him for today?

Maybe it’s your day to ride in on a donkey.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;

knock and the door will be opened to you.

 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds;

 and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Matt. 7:7-8