Tag Archives: cleave

HEBREW – Cleave


dāḇaq

Today we meditate on a word of deep significance. The English cleave appears twenty-six times in the OT, all but six of which are translated from dāḇaq (H1692), meaning “to cling to, join with, stay with.” It’s used, for example, in Job_19:20 for bone cleaving to skin, in Job_41:1; Job_41:15-17 of the great sea creature Leviathan, whose scales are tightly fastened together, in Job_38:38 for clods of earth being stuck together, and in Num_36:7 for someone holding on to an inheritance. So hard did Eleazar’s hand cleave to his sword as he fought the Philistines (2Sa_23:10), we could say poetically that the sword became a part of his arm.
More significant, however, is the figurative use of dāḇaq in picturing relationships, especially of their closeness and loyalty. The first appearance of dāḇaq, in fact, pictures the devotion and intimacy of marriage, where “a man [leaves] his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Gen_2:24). David’s men cleaved unto him in loyalty when Sheba rebelled against the king (2Sa_20:2).
Most important, however, are the pictures we see of the loyalty and devotion of God’s people to Him. We read several times of God commanding His people to cleave unto Him (Deu_10:20; Deu_11:22; Deu_13:4; Jos_22:5; Jos_23:8), for such cleaving demonstrates true love for Him (Deu_30:20).
A particularly striking example of such faithfulness appears in Psa_119:31, where the psalmist says to God, “I have stuck unto thy testimonies.” “Stuck” is dāḇaq. In Psa_119:25, David says, “My soul cleaveth unto the dust,” that is, despair was sticking to him as though it were glued. Now, however, it is he who is glued, glued to God’s Word (testimonies, February 17). “While the dust of despair is glued to me,” David says in effect, “I am ever glued to God’s standards.” A woodworker uses glue to join boards together, and so strong is that bond that the board will break in another spot before it will break on that joint. That is how we are to be glued to the Word of God.
Scriptures for Study: What were God’s people told not to cleave to in Jos_23:12? Read the verses in Deuteronomy and Joshua noted above and meditate on your closeness to God.

2 Comments

Filed under Hebrew

Test of True Prophets


 

Ye shall walk after the Lord your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him,” Deuteronomy 13:4.

 

Help yourself to happiness.” “Save money. Live better.” “Have it your way.” “Just do it.” These are just a few slogans of prominent companies which presume to fill voids in the hearts of Americans with their products. These kinds of words, accompanied with slick advertisements and images of happy people, speak with power and authority to those watching or listening. While I assume no Christian would admit to worshiping a product, it is true that we are swayed in our decision making when we give ear to messages presented with authority. When our choices lead us to place products or people on a pedestal with equal authority as God, we have been led astray. What should we do?

 

Test the product. Test the message. Test the authority. See if what you have been led to think about a person or product is actually true. See if what you place on a pedestal of devotion is God or is simply something that God has allowed you to receive as a gift. In the text, God told His people that authoritative voices would compete for their attention and desire to guide them away from love and devotion to Him. He said He would allow it to happen as a test to see whether they were genuine in their devotion to Him. Every day, you and I observe powerful messages from our acquaintances, in print, on the TV, radio and Internet. These messages compete for our attention, claiming to make our lives more abundant, but ultimately serve as daily tests of our love and devotion to God. Have you been passing the test or have you been led astray?

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT

 

Will you hold fast to God today?

 

 

Mark Clements

 

1 Comment

Filed under Inspirational