Here are my teaching notes for Bible fellowship tonight in my home. Enjoy and cleave to the Lord!
Let’s examine some of the most important questions you can ever ask a human soul. What are you cleaving to? What are you glued to? What or whom do you cling to? What is your first love? With whom does your heart rest? The answers to these questions determine your destiny in life and the quality of your life for God.
Psalm 42,1,2 (NIV):
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
Job 27:10 (Amplified): Will he take delight in the Almighty? Will he call upon God at all times?
Job 22:26: Delight your self in the Lord Almighty and lift up your face to God.
II Chronicles 15:15-they sought Him with their whole desire.
Everybody has got a hungry heart. Only God can satisfy it. Everyone desires to cleave. God wants to be desired. God wants to wanted. God wants us to cleave to Him at all times. He will hold fast to us and not let go.
Psalm 63:1-8 (NLT):
1 O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
2 I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
3 Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
4 I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
5 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy. 6 I lie awake thinking of you,
meditating on you through the night.
7 Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
8 I cling (Hebrew word “cleave’) to you;
your strong right hand holds me securely.
Psalm 62:5-8 (NLT):5 Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. 6 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken. 7 My victory and honor come from God alone. He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me. 8 O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge.
Tozer in The Purpose of Man describes God’s heart to Adam: “I am yours…this is your end, this is why you were created, that you might worship Me and enjoy me and adore me and glorify me and have Me as yours forever.”
The first words God cried out after the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden was “Where art thou?” God so desired still the worship, the companionship, the fellowship, the intimacy and the closeness of his wonderful man and woman even after they had sinned and broke God’s commandment. Isn’t this so true today that God still cries out, “Where art thou?” God desires us; to be close to us; to be our first love. God so loved us that He gave us the gift of His Son who paid the price for our complete redemption and salvation and restored our path and access to God Almighty. We must now worship, love and cleave unto the Lord. The basic heartbeat of your purpose upon the earth is to love and worship God and enjoy Him forever. This is our reason for being. Apart from this a man or woman has no purpose, no meaning, and no direction to their life.
Revelation 4:11: Thou art worthy O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou has created all things, and for thy pleasure they were and are created.
1st usage of the word cleave which is of monumental importance in understanding its meaning in Scripture is in Genesis 2:24: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
Marriage; the love affair and union of a man and woman was to be a living metaphor, a beautiful illustration, of our love affair and union with God. One flesh was a total interweaving of being between a man and woman and the same holds true in our relationship with God. Our entire being is to be interwoven on every level of human existence into the very heart of God. We are a part of the greatest romance ever written. You were created for intimacy with God. It is your destiny, it is your purpose, it is your soul’s longing. We cannot truly love God and become one with Him if we are not cleaving unto Him. Imagine when God breathed into Adam the breath of life. Face to face as God stretched over Adam and gave him life. Thus with every breath we are continually to be reminded that God gave us life and He is closer to us than our breath. We breath in God, we exhale all the cares, anxieties and worries of this age.
James 4:8(a): (ESV): Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
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 cleave, to cling, to stick, to stay with, to be joined together, to pursue closely and overtake, to be glued together, to adhere to firmly and to be attached to.” 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.
I did some research on exactly how glue works. What causes it to stick and attach to another object? There can be both a chemical bond where the glue actually merges together with the object and forms a new chemical bond on a molecular level and a physical bond where the glue seeps into the roughness of tiny crevices and valleys in a surface that allows a bonding. When we cleave unto the Lord there is a spiritual bond where we actually become one with Him in a whole level of life. He also fills all the areas of our lives that are rough and lacking and binds us together with Him. What an amazing thing to be glued to the Lord.
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.”
Our entire duty and responsibility before the Lord is set forth in this verse.
Joshua 22:5 (KJV): But 1) take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you, 2) to love the LORD your God, and 3) to walk in all his ways, and 4) to keep his commandments, and 5) to cleave unto him, and 6) to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Joshua 23:6-10 (KJV): Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left; 7That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them: 8But cleave unto the LORD your God, as ye have done unto this day. 9For the LORD hath driven out from before you great nations and strong: but as for you, no man hath been able to stand before you unto this day. 10One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he it is that fighteth for you, as he hath promised you.
Great benefits of cleaving unto the Lord; God fights for us; He drives out the junk out of our lives and no man or woman can stand against the move of God advancing in our lives.
Look at the tenacity of the cleaving by the example of Eleazar, one of David’s mighty men, cleaving unto His sword.
2 Samuel 23 9,10 (KJV): 9And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away: 10He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil.
We cleave unto God with the same tenacity that Eleazar clave unto His sword in battle even when his hand was weary. The Lord still accomplishes great victory for those who cleave unto the Lord. Cleaving unto the Lord is a vital key in spiritual warfare.
We cleave to God like the description of the scales of the Leviathan in Job 41:17 “They are joined fast (same Hebrew word “cleave”) to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted.”
We must guard against forgetfulness if we are to cleave. We must focus in on God or we will unplug from him and forget him days without number.
Jeremiah 2:29,32 (NIV):
Where then are the gods you made for yourselves?
Let them come and save you when you are in
trouble! For you have as many gods as you have
towns, O Judah.
Does a maid forget her jewelry, a bride her wedding
ornaments? Yet my people have forgotten me days
Deuteronomy 32:8 (New English Translation):
You have forgotten the Rock who fathered you,
and put out of mind the God who gave you birth.
What a sad commentary that God’s people had forgotten Him and put Him out of mind and memory. They decided to cleave unto idols that they had set in their hearts. The Hebrew word for “forget” means: to ignore, to allow to wither, to cease to care for, to be forgotten, and to be lost to memory.” If we don’t cleave unto the Lord our relationship with Him will wither and be lost to memory. We must not allow God to be stolen from our hearts every day or cling to something else instead. We must set aside time to leave the distractions of the world and focus entirely on God. Reduce the constant noise in your life. Unplug from all the clamor and make room for eternity in your life. What you do in this life echoes throughout all eternity. Don’t allow yourself to drift off in the streams of this world and drift away from God. Hold fast to Him and put before you constant reminders everyday to never forget Him or replace Him or allow your relationship with Him to wither.
11Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the LORD your God.
12Else if ye do in any wise go back, and cleave unto the remnant of these nations, even these that remain among you, and shall make marriages with them, and go in unto them, and they to you:
13Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.
14And, behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.
Everyone cleaves unto something. We have a tendency as humans to cleave to people. It is in our nature to do this and to not want to be alone. Our hearts were designed to cleave. This can cause us significant problems in our relationship and walk with God if the people we cleave to are not believers who love and adore the Lord. Failure in our life corresponds with whom we are cleaving unto.
1 Kings 11.1-6(KJV): But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites:
2Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love.
3And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart. For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom, the abomination of the Ammonites. Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David.
Forerunner commentary: Notice that this occurred when he was old and that his heart went not fully after the Lord. He did go after the Lord, but he did it in a haphazard way. To me, Solomon is perhaps the most vivid example of a Laodicean (Revelation 3:15,16: ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth)in the entirety of the Bible.
His downfall began (as we can see in the beginning of chapter 11) with laxity toward being careful about keeping God’s commands regarding idolatry. Laxity is the first stage of lawlessness. The more lax he became, the more double minded he became.
A double minded person loses his grip. Can you understand that? Just think of grasping something with your hand. If you’re not really sure what you want to hang onto and your mind is playing back and forth between two different things, your grip is going to loosen on one or the other, because you’re going to want to let go of the one and maybe get the other if you think maybe you have a better chance with the other. Your grip is going to loosen. I’m talking about a mental grip, but I think we get the idea.
Solomon gradually came to the place where he was not really hanging onto anything, but he was straddling between choices, gradually becoming more and more unstable, unsettled, and even deceitful until he became completely reintegrated into the world. He began to be moved almost entirely by human nature once again.
In contrast to Solomon, Hezekiah cleaved unto the Lord. King Hezekiah of Judah is the only specific person mentioned in the Bible that clave unto the Lord. Both Moses and Joshua instructed the children of Israel to cleave unto the Lord and throughout the Old Testament some did cleave to the Lord but Hezekiah is set forth as a gem in the Bible as an illustration and example as to what it means to cleave unto the Lord.
I Kings 18:1-8 (KJV): 1Now it came to pass in the third year of Hoshea son of Elah king of Israel, that Hezekiah the son of Ahaz king of Judah began to reign.
2Twenty and five years old was he when he began to reign; and he reigned twenty and nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name also was Abi, the daughter of Zachariah.
3And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that David his father did.
4He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
5He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.
6For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses.
7And the LORD was with him; and he prospered whithersoever he went forth: and he rebelled against the king of Assyria, and served him not.
8He smote the Philistines, even unto Gaza, and the borders thereof, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced city.
II Chronicles 29:1-61 Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Abijah daughter of Zechariah. 2 He did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, just as his father David had done.
3 In the first month of the first year of his reign, he opened the doors of the temple of the LORD and repaired them. 4 He brought in the priests and the Levites, assembled them in the square on the east side 5 and said: “Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the LORD, the God of your ancestors. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary. 6 Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the LORD our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the LORD’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him.
If you stood at the entrance or the gate to enter into the Temple and you were involved in the worship of the sun and the stars, like Ahaz was—we know that from the book of Kings and Chronicles and the Prophetic Books, you worship them by turning east. When you do that, the Temple of Yahweh and the Holy Place of Yahweh are behind you. Literally, Ahaz and the men that were with him who worshiped the sun did exactly what Hezekiah said. They turned their faces away from Yahweh, and they turned their backs on Him.
2 Chronicles 30:1
Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, inviting them to come to the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the LORD, the God of Israel.
What an incredible verse this is. Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh. Let’s get our history straight here. This is little Hezekiah down in Judah. Judah was comprised of the tribe of Judah and the tribe of Benjamin. To Hezekiah’s north is the country of Israel, which was comprised of the 10 tribes of Israel that broke away with the rebellion of Jeroboam. It has been more than 200 years since Jeroboam set up a golden calf in Dan and Bethel. It has been more than 200 years since Jeroboam threw out the Levites. It has been more than 200 years since Jeroboam rotated the calendar by six months. Israel has not worshiped Yahweh for more than 200 years, and Hezekiah says, “You know what? My heart goes out to those people. They are God’s people. They are part of the 12 tribes of Israel. They have been led astray. They have been led into idolatry. They have been led away from the true worship of God, and I want to invite them to my Passover. I want them here at the Temple of Yahweh. I want them worshiping God the way that they should worship. Never mind that they live in an enemy country whose king is Hoshea, and it will be dangerous for anybody who goes into an enemy country and says, ‘We want you to abandon the national worship of your pagan god and come down and worship the true God in Jerusalem.’”
For 200 years, Israel had a national worship, and it was the golden calves. Hezekiah needs messengers to go at the risk of their lives into an enemy country and say, “Israel, return to Yahweh your God. Return to the ways of Yahweh.”
What magnificent things happen not only in our lives but the lives of other when we cleave unto the Lord.
I have listed twenty-one (21) great characteristics of cleaving unto the Lord and the results of this cleaving that are vividly illustrated in the amazing life of Hezekiah.
1) He did that which was right, good and faithful in the eyes of the Lord according to heart of David. 2) He opened the doors of the temple and reestablished the worship of God and the service of the temple of the Lord. He restored the celebration of the Passover in Jerusalem. He encouraged all of Israel and Judah to return to the Lord. He got others to cleave and turn their face to the Lord. He not only opened His heart to God but opened the hearts of others to God so that they could hold fast to him. This is all recorded in the rest of chapters 29,30 in II Chronicles. 3) He trusted in the Lord God of Israel. 4) He did not depart from following God. 5) He kept God’s commandments. 5) He stood up and fought against God’s enemies at times under the most distressing circumstances like the attack from the King of Assyria. Look at his heart in II Chronicles 32:7,8: “Be strong and courageous.Do not be afraid or dismayed before the king of Assyria and all the horde that is with him, for there are more with us than with him. With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is the LORD our God, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people took confidence from the words of Hezekiah king of Judah. 6) He had no idols in his heart and worked to destroy the worship of other gods through his entire kingdom. He got others to smash the idols in their lives.7) He gave of his material possessions to advance God’s work and the worship of God in the temple.8. In everything he did, he sought after God with all his heart and worked wholeheartedly. 9) He made a covenant with the Lord God. 10) He sought God in times of trouble. 11) He asked God for the impossible. 12) He was humble and when pride crept into his heart, he saw it hen God showed it to him and he eradicated it. He was coachable to God and had a tender heart toward Him. 13) He prayed and sought God with all his heart. 14) He walked before God in faithfulness and a whole heart. He was not lukewarm in his commitment to God.15) He did not compromise His God. 16) He was thankful. 17) He was a man of action. 18) He was passionate for His God and zealous to do the work of God. 19) He had an incredible heart for outreach 20) He had an understanding of the grace and mercy of God toward people. 21) He was a restorer, a repairer of the breach, an intercessor and he allowed God to do a mighty work of restoration, deliverance and revival through him that brought great joy to God’s people.
As the church and the Body of Christ we must once again with great purpose of heart cleave unto the Lord. This is when we will see a great number of people turn unto the Lord and the hand of the Lord moving greatly among His people.
Acts 11:21-23 (KJV)
21And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.
22Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch.
23Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord.
So we have a choice every day of our lives. What are we going to cleave to? Who are we going to hold fast to? What are we going to cling to? The words of Deuteronomy ring true today.
Deuteronomy 30:19,20: I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
20That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
God’s promise land and destiny for our lives can only be accomplished when we love God with all our hearts and cleave to Him above all else. The abundance and quality of our lives is always in direct proportion to our cleaving to the Lord. In these times, let us hold fast to our God for He is our life and our reason for being. When we cleave to the Lord then God can make us a light to the nations so His salvation may reach to the end of the earth (Isaiah 49:7). We will live to make a difference as Max Lucado has written about in his new book. You cannot make a true difference in the world if you are not cleaving unto the Lord. In His new book “Live to Make A Difference” he sets forth the prayer in the heart of the cleaver: “O Lord, what an amazing opportunity you have spread out before me-a chance to make a difference for you in a desperately hurting world. Help me to see the needs you want me to see, to react in ways that honor you, and to bless others by serving them gladly with practical expressions of your love.”
I URGE YOU BRETHREN TO NEVER FORGET TO CLEAVE UNTO THE LORD FOR HE IS THY SATISFACTION, THY TRUE DESIRE, THY DELIGHT, THY JOY AND HAPPINESS FOR HE IS THY LIFE.
What a great exposition!!