Sometimes no version says a verse better than The King James:
“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).
We do not use that word “cleave” very often these days. It is an interesting word though. In Old Testament times it was used to indicate a powerful bond. It meant to stick to or adhere to. Through thick & thin. But here is the definition that stood out to me this morning:
“to become associated with a person so as to stay in company with that person or to be by their side.” (Expository Dictionary of Bible Words).
Let’s face it, we become most attached to those we spend time with. If my desire is truly to walk with God, to fear Him, to keep His commands, to obey His voice & to serve Him, I best become associated with Him. I need to hang around Him. I need to walk through this life, side by side, with Him.
The concept of cleaving had the connotation of being a life long commitment. That is why Christ used that same word, regarding marriage:
“And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?” (Matthew 19:5 KJV).
There you see the idea of close association meant for a lifetime. And that is what God desires with us, for us, with Him. I think Mother Teresa said it beautifully:
“God will never, never, never let us down if we have faith and put our trust in Him. He will always look after us. So we must cleave to Jesus. Our whole life must simply be woven into Jesus.”
Hers was a life of serving God & others because she had learned the secret of cleaving to her God.
So here’s to bringing back some old words, some King James words. Let’s start with – cleave.