Judges 1:8–15 (ESV) – 8 And the men of Judah fought against Jerusalem and captured it and struck it with the edge of the sword and set the city on fire. 9 And afterward the men of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites who lived in the hill country, in the Negeb, and in the lowland. 10 And Judah went against the Canaanites who lived in Hebron (now the name of Hebron was formerly Kiriath-arba), and they defeated Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai.
11 From there they went against the inhabitants of Debir. The name of Debir was formerly Kiriath-sepher. 12 And Caleb said, “He who attacks Kiriath-sepher and captures it, I will give him Achsah my daughter for a wife.” 13 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, captured it. And he gave him Achsah his daughter for a wife. 14 When she came to him, she urged him to ask her father for a field. And she dismounted from her donkey, and Caleb said to her, “What do you want?” 15 She said to him, “Give me a blessing. Since you have set me in the land of the Negeb, give me also springs of water.” And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.
As the Israelites began to overtake the land, they asked the Lord who should lead them. God’s response was that the tribe of Judah should lead. This detail may go unnoticed, but it points us forward to the role the tribe of Judah would have in the future. It would be from Judah that the kings would come. It would be from Judah that the Messiah himself would come.
As Judah went into battle, we see God’s presence and blessing is with them. They have great success early on in their efforts to take the land and drive out the Canaanites. Following the Lord’s ways and acting in obedience is always our best option. It will be later, when the people stop trusting and following the Lord that they will find themselves in great trouble that will affect them for years to come.
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