Joshua 15 has specific information on the land allotment for the people of Judah. The attention God places on details tells me how important it is to be accurate when sharing information. However, tucked in the middle of the chapter is a story of generosity, charm, and justice.
In Joshua 15:16, Caleb promises his daughter, Acsah, in marriage to conquers Kiriath Sepher. A bold Othniel captures the land, and he marries Acsah. As a male heir, Othniel would have already received his land inheritance – he went to war only to marry Acsah. Caleb breaks the norm of the male child receiving an inheritance and gives his daughter an estate – the Negev (Joshua 15:19). But the Negev is desert land with less than eight inches of rainfall a year. Acsah knows that dry and thirsty land without any water is of little use. She also knows that her father owns lands with water springs, which he would probably give as an inheritance to other siblings. So Acsah visits her father and persuades him to give her water springs.
The Hebrew word used in this verse for ‘persuade’ is sûṯ. Sûṯ is used in the Bible when one person convinces, charms, or moves another person to do what they want. In Deuteronomy 13:6, Moses uses the word, sûṯ, to describe a person charming another person to worship other gods. In 2 Chronicles 18:31, God moves Jehoshaphat’s attackers away from him. Here, in Joshua 15, Acsah uses her powers of persuasion to get water springs.
All of us have the power to persuade others. The question is, how do you use your ability to charm or convince others to do what you want them to do? Do you influence others to do what is right, just, and loving? Or do you sway others to get what you want even if it will cost others their wellbeing?