Joshua 23 … Consider His Call to Cling

Now it came about after many days, when the Lord had given rest to Israel from all their enemies on every side… [23:1]

Times are good, enemy engagement has ceased and there is rest on every side. But in this place of peace and leisure, Joshua summons his people to diligence; now is the time to be firm in their commitment to obedience, God’s Word and consecration to the LORD their God.

Be very firm, then, to keep and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, so that you may not turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left, so that you will not associate with these nations, these which remain among you, or mention the name of their gods, or make anyone swear by them, or serve them, or bow down to them. But you are to cling to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day. [23:6-8]

This Hebrew word translated cling is the same word used to describe the marriage ceremony uniting Adam and Eve.

1692. דָּבַק dāḇaq: A verb meaning to cling to, join with, stay with.

  • For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. [Genesis 2:24]
    • is united to his wife[NIV]
    • hold fast to his wife[ESV]
    • shall cleave unto his wife[KJV]

Consider His Call to Cling

  • His Call to Cling is a call to the will, not to emotions
    • Be very firm, then, to keep and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, so that you may not turn aside from it to the right hand or to the left,
  • His Call to Cling is a call to stay with Him in perseverance
    • so that you will not associate with these nations, these which remain among you, or mention the name of their gods, or make anyone swear by them, or serve them, or bow down to them.
  • His Call to Cling is a call to be joined with Him in relationship
    •  But you are to cling to the LORD your God, as you have done to this day.

How do we respond to His Call to Cling?

Clinging begins as a decision, not a feeling. I find it fascinating the LORD used the same word to call His people to faithfulness as He used to define the marriage commitment.

The scenario described by Joshua reminds me very much of marriage. During the dating or courtship, there is this heroic sense of fighting to win our love, to bravely conquer the obstacles threatening to stand in our way and take possession of the promise ahead.

But after marriage, when there is leisure and the engagement to win our loved one is over, when we have taken possession through the marriage vows, and when a rest by way of routine settles in, we can forget why we fought so desperately. It is then we must decide to Cling.

When we are rescued by the LORD through salvation in Christ, and brought out of the depths of despair, we have rest from the life that once held us in bondage. But in that rest we can slip into a complacency of sorts, resting from the passion of pursuing and loving Him, slipping into routine rather than Clinging to Him.

As we seek Him in His Word, may we grow in our understanding of our desperate need and His gracious provision to enable His children to answer His Call to Cling.

  • His Call to Cling is a call to the will, not to emotions
    • And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.[Romans 12:2]
    • Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. [Colossians 3:1-3]
    • Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. [Hebrews 11:1]
  • His Call to Cling is a call to stay with Him in perseverance
    • And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. [Romans 5:3-5]
    • Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I charge you in the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who testified the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, [1 Timothy 6:12-14]
    • Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. [Hebrews 10:35-36]
  • His Call to Cling is a call to be joined with Him in relationship
    • I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, 15 even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. [John 10:14-16]
    • Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing… 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. [John 15:4-5, 8-9]
    • In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, [Ephesians 1:4-5]

May we be empowered by His Holy Spirit and His Word to unreservedly answer His Call to Cling.

Let’s Grow Together!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s