Clinging

April 25, 2012

Sometimes you have an entire semester to get your class reading done. And sometimes your semester is suddenly almost over and you have to sign off on all that reading you seem to have forgotten to do. Sometimes this is when skimming becomes a good plan.

I would update you on all the fascinating happenings of my life except that I just literally live at Denver Seminary in their blazing hot student center. And Diana and I stress about all the things we have to do. And Andy tells us to calm down. And we throw things at him.

I feel like I post too many animal pictures on my bloggy lately, especially since I don’t even like animals in real life. So, I’m going to try to give it a rest. Right after I show you this tiny elephant who likes to perch on a log.

I’ve liked this song for so long now, but I just can’t get over it. You should have a listen.

We had to write a big exegetical paper on Joshua 23 for my Hebrew class this week. Joshua is nearing the end of his life, so he gathers the leaders of Israel together and gives them a final speech. He reminds them of all God has done, how he was the one who fought for them and brought them into the land, dispossessing the people around them. He tells them that they must stay close to Yahweh, and that theycannotstart worshiping other gods. If they do, they’ll have broken their covenant with God and he will kick them out of the land.

Joshua uses the Hebrew word “davak” twice in his speech. It is often translated “cling” in our English Bibles. Israel was to cling tightly to Yahweh, rejecting the gods of the Canaanite nations. The use of  “davak” in Joshua 23:8 is significant because it invokes a sense of desperate dependence on God. It refers to soldering together (it is the basis for Modern Hebrew’s word for “glue”), and shows the extreme closeness that people were to have with their God.

The root  “davak” always includes the idea of clinging, sticking or cleaving. It is often used to refer to relationships between people — the first use of the root is in Genesis 2:24, when a man leaves his family to “cleave to” his wife. It is also often used in Deuteronomy to express Israel’s relationship with Yahweh. It is therefore something Israel must choose to do. Because this clinging is a choice, Joshua reminds Israel that they must not cling (same Hebrew word) to other nations or intermarry with them (Joshua 23:12), because they will lead Israel astray. If Israel allies itself or “glues itself” to other nations, they will break their covenant and fail the Lord who has been faithful to them.

So, there. You’re welcome.

I best be going because it’s Wednesday, and as we all know, I cannot get enough of Wednesdays. We’ll chat tomorrow. Cling tightly to the Lord today.

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3 Responses to “Clinging”

  1. lyddiebee said

    Please don’t be done posting animal pictures! Especially if they are adorable elephants like that one! I want a pet elephant!

  2. Loving yesterday’s Awesomeness, by the way. I set that logo as my desktop wallpaper, lest I forget…

  3. jassyradlett said

    I totes (I’m probs too old to talk like this, but whatevs.) don’t like animals either, but my Pinterest is always blowing up with pictures of them. I’m not sure what to feel about that, but still, animal pictures por vida!!

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