In our previous episode of Caleb’s Journal we looked at the Battle for Kiriath-sepher and how the Israelites changed the name of this city to Debir after their victory. Changing the name of the city illustrated how the old governmental structure, which was based on a reliance on the wisdom of man, had been destroyed and replaced by one based on the Word of God. This battle needed to be won as this governmental change needed to occur for Israel to be able to take possession of the Promised Land.
In this episode of Caleb’s Journal we will look at how this city was overcome and what happened as a result of this victory. We will then see how this forms a blueprint for us today.
The man who overcame the city
Kiriath-sepher was a great city, and highly fortified. Caleb knew that it would take someone very special to be able to overcome this seemingly impenetrable place. As such he was willing to give his daughter, Achsah, for a wife to the man who would be successful in this endeavour.
The name of the man who was victorious and took the city was Othniel.
Othniel עָתְנִיאֵל was the nephew of Caleb and his name means Lion of El.
Lions are known for their majestic beauty and their regal bearing. Being at the top of the food chain, they are also known for their fierceness and their ability to gather herds together as they hunt.
It is the exalted and fierce characteristics of the lion that are particularly linked to the name Othniel.
Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ is also described in the Bible as a Lion, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. As such, we see Othniel illustrating Jesus in this account.
Overcoming the city by the power of God
The city of Kiriath-sepher could not be overcome by any man. It required a Lion, it required Othniel. Similarly, in our day, the governmental strongholds that are founded on the wisdom of man cannot be overcome by our own strength, no matter how well intentioned we may be. We also need a Lion, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Jesus Christ.
Both Othniel and Jesus engaged in their successive battles by walking in the reality that the Almighty God is sovereign, and that His Name is to be exalted and as such they could walk boldly forth to battle in order to open up the way of righteousness. It was only through the Power of God that both were able to overcome the false ideologies embodied within the wisdom of man.
It is for this reason that the Kiriath-sepher’s of our day, the Canberra’s, Washington’s and The Hague’s, as well as our own fallen nature, can only be overcome through the Power of the Risen Christ.
The Kiriath-sepher’s of our day cannot stand when confronted with the Power of the Risen Christ, as He has already won the battle, He is victorious, He has overcome the power of death, He has overcome the false ideology of our fallen nature.
When we come to this realisation, that the Power of the Risen Christ is real and present today, that He is our King, we will find that the modern day Kiriath-sepher’s will crumble before us.
Othniel’s victory over Kiriath-sepher transformed the city. The city was now no longer ruled by the wisdom of man but by the Wisdom of God as embodied by His Word.
This restoration of Divine Government not only transformed the city, it was also the precursor to the transformation of Caleb’s daughter Achsah.
Achsah picturing Israel, the bride
The name Achsah עַכְסָה has two meanings, firstly a “fetter or anklet” and secondly “bursting the veil”.
In Achsah we see one who is bound, but who is destined to be freed. Does this not sound familiar? We as Israelites, and as the Bride of Christ, have been bound to sin but are now freed through the saving grace of Jesus.
So how do we see this transformation from bondage to freedom illustrated in the life of Achsah?
The blessing that caused Achsah’s transformation
After Othniel’s victory over Kiriath-sepher he received Achsah to wife. Achsah then asked her father for a blessing. As part of her marriage arrangement with Othniel, Achsah had been given land in the Negev, which by nature is dry and parched. In this she was fettered, as the land was worthless without water.
“[Achsah] said to [Caleb], “Give me a blessing. Since you have set me in the land of the Negev, give me also springs of water.” And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.”
It is interesting that when Achsah asked for a blessing she did not seek to exchange her dry land for the more fertile and better watered lands further north. She was content with the land she had been given, but she asked for springs of water.
In response to her request Caleb gave her the upper and the lower springs. He provided her with all the water she would need to feed her thirsty land and make it fruitful, this therefore resulted in her “bursting the veil” and entering into Life.
We can apply this same pattern in our lives today. In our flesh condition we are governed by the wisdom of man, we are fettered. Our bodies are dry and parched. Yet as we are delivered by the Greater Othniel, Jesus Christ, and come under the covering of His Divine Government, we will “burst through the veil”, our parched bodies will be infused with the fullness of His Spirit, the Water of Life. This union will make our own parched land fruitful for His Kingdom, in the flesh we will glorify Him and His name will be exalted.
May this encourage us today to become aware of the very real power of the Risen Christ, that the battle has been won, that He has overcome and that by moving into this realisation we will come into union with Him, being filled with the fullness of the water of His Spirit thereby becoming life to the parched land of the world.