Joshua 23:8 (KJV):
But cleave unto the LORD your God as you have done this day.
Deuteronomy 4:4 (KJV)
But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day.
We are to cleave unto God all the days of our lives. The word “cleave” in the Hebrew means “to cling, to stick as things that are glued together and to be joined together.” In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, the equivalent Greek word literally means “to glue, cement, join or firmly fasten together.” It is to hold fast and not let go. It is to embrace something with our entire heart. God wants us glued and fastened to Him above anything else in life. We cling to many things during our lives and hold tightly to things for security, love, fear and many other reasons. We also allow things to fasten to our hearts and tighten its grip, squeezing the life out of us. We must be aware and alert to not let anything fasten to our heart above God or that turns our heart from God. We must also cling to God first and tightly hold unto His heart, His love, His mercy and His grace. If we are glued or fasted to God then no matter how much the Devil shakes the world around us, we will remained attached to Him. Nothing can separate us regardless of the trouble or circumstance. We are fastened and stuck to God to the point we become joined together as one and His heart becomes our heart. We are united in purpose and function and we move as one. Literally our hands and feet become His hands and feet. Our arms outstretched become His arms outstretched. Our words and actions become His words and actions as we illustrate the heart of the Almighty God we are attached to. We are a true representation of our God to the world showing forth His magnificent glorious works, words and heart. We are truly one.
Who else would you want to be fastened to? What else would you want to be glued to? Once we become fastened to something apart from God it is often very difficult to unfasten it without His intervention. We can fasten to something that will hold us in its grip of bondage all the days of our lives unless we turn our hearts to God. Many things like money, people, power, greed, politics, lust, pride, ego, and selfishness can have a very powerful grip as they fasten to our heart instead of God. King David, a man after God’s own heart, warned about allowing these evil things to fasten their grip upon your heart.
Psalm 101:3 (NAS):
I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me.
“Fasten its grip” is the same Hebrew word as “cleave” and illustrates that David did not allow anything wicked or evil to fasten its grip upon his heart. Charles Spurgeon, the great preacher and man of God, said about this verse, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes. I will neither delight in it, aim at it or endure it. If I have wickedness brought before me by others, I will turn away from it. I will not gaze it upon it with pleasure. The psalmist is very sweeping in his resolve, he declines the least, the most reputable, the most customary form of evil-no wicked thing-not only shall it not dwell in his heart, not even before his eyes for what fascinates the eye is apt to gain admission into the heart.”
We see a perfect illustration of these truths in the Old Testament when we look at King Hezekiah, King Jehoram and King Solomon.
II Kings 18 (Amplified)
3Hezekiah did right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that David his [forefather] had done.
4He removed the high places, broke the images, cut down the Asherim, and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until then the Israelites had burned incense to it; but he called it Nehushtan [a bronze trifle].
5Hezekiah trusted in, leaned on, and was confident in the Lord, the God of Israel; so that neither after him nor before him was any one of all the kings of Judah like him.
6For he clung and held fast to the Lord and ceased not to follow Him, but kept His commandments, as the Lord commanded Moses.
7And the Lord was with Hezekiah; he prospered wherever he went.
Hezekiah trusted, leaned on and was confident in the Lord more than any of the Kings of Judah. He clung and held fast to the Lord and followed Him for he was fastened and glued to God and wherever Hezekiah was, God was with Him. He truly was one of the greatest kings of Judah because he fastened Himself to God above all else.
King Jehoram was a different story though.
II Kings 3 (Amplified):
2He did evil in the sight of the Lord, but not like his father and mother; for he put away the pillar of Baal that his father had made.
3Yet he clung to the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which made Israel to sin; he departed not from them.
King Jehoram did not cling to the Lord but rather clung to the sins of Jeroboam. We can cling to sin and refuse to let go. We can glue our hearts to those things that will turn us away from God. The great and wise King Solomon, the wisest of all men, did not learn this lesson in his life.
I Kings 11 (Amplified):
1BUT KING Solomon [defiantly] loved many foreign women–the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites.
2They were of the very nations of whom the Lord said to the Israelites, You shall not mingle with them, neither shall they mingle with you, for surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods. Yet Solomon clung to these in love.
3He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines, and his wives turned away his heart from God.
4For when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not perfect (complete and whole) with the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father.
In the Hebrew verse 2 literally reads “they will bend your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these women in love instead of clinging and holding fast to the Lord. When we cling to anything other than the Lord, the thing we cling to will turn our heart away from God and set up an idol in our heart. Solomon fastened his heart so hard on these women instead of God that his heart became completely bent in the other direction. His heart became so entangled in the grip in what he cleaved to that He even built places of worship to these other gods defying the most important commandment of all of loving God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength and having no other gods before Him. How the heart can become twisted by what we fasten and glue ourselves to. How quickly Solomon fell by clinging to these women with a false sense of devotion above His Creator and His God.
We are bombarded daily by many things we can cling and fasten our lives to. Are we going to be like King Hezekiah or Kings Jeroham and Solomon? In this age that continues to turn away from God with a ferocity and wants nothing to do with God, we must cleave to Him with all our heart. Fasten your life to God like glue; do not let go. Pursue God with a passion with all your heart. Get to know your wonderful, magnificent and good God and you will soon realize that there is nothing better in life than to cleave to Him and fasten our entire heart in His loving embrace.
Tim Rowe is an attorney in Indianapolis and author of “The Magnificent Goodness of God and How it Will Transform Your Life.”