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I’m still studying Joshua. A fascinating book, really. Like all the books of the Bible. Full of treasure. Everything that makes a wonderful book–only all true! Today’s text is found in Joshua 22:5. “…hold fast to Him…” This small phrase is going to lead us somewhere else!
What does it mean to “hold fast,” and how do you do it?
In the KJV, instead of the words “hold fast,” it uses the word “cleave.” “Cleave” in Hebrew is “dabaq” and it means, “to cling, to join, stay close to, to stick with.”
In Genesis 2:23-25, God joins Adam and Eve. “to be joined to his wife” is the same word used here in Joshua. Marriage is a union of two people– making a covenant to join together, to stick closely, cling to each other—for better or worse, in good times and bad, in sickness and health, richer or poorer. No matter what.
This is how God feels about us. When we accept Jesus as our Savior we enter into a covenant with Him. We join ourselves. We hold fast—cleave—stay close. Hosea 2:16 is an example of God seeing us as His bride. An unfaithful bride that has ran after other lovers. Anything or anyone you put before God is another lover. Because you’re joined to God. But He’s a loving husband. Always wooing us back to Him.
In Matthew 9:15, Jesus refers to Himself as the Bridegroom. His love for us…sacrificial.
Song of Solomon 8:5 says, “Who is this coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved?…”
Song of Solomon is a beautiful picture of how the Lord loves us. The imagery is captivating, the story breathless from beginning to end. It’s my favorite book. A book that tells of a bride who must learn complete surrender to her lover husband. A husband who desires a bride who will go with him wherever he asks her to go, even if she’s frightened or insecure. To him, she’s the most beautiful thing he’s ever laid eyes on. He wants to show her a whole new world. It just so happens to take place in a wilderness.
Imagine a wilderness. A wild, uninhabited, and uncultivated land.
I see it as dry; every breath zaps the moisture from your tongue and the grit from the sand scratches at your throat. Parched. Barren of anything lush or green. The heat leaves your clothing clinging to you until the sun scorches even the moisture of sweat away, and then it’s just a stiff feeling, like hanging clothes out and not using any fabric softeners.
There are no sheltering trees for shade, no fruit trees to quench thirst or hunger. Scorpions, lizards, and snakes slither and prowl around. Hungry coyotes watch from the rocky mountains…waiting… Vultures swarm overhead
Will you go with Him? Will you step out of your comfort zone and let Him show you things you cannot even imagine? Glorious things. A diamond sky. Don’t you dare close your eyes!
You can trust Him.
Surrender. You can say yes. You can go deeper.
Not only does she come out of the wilderness, but she comes out safely—closer to her Beloved than ever before. Leaning on Him for strength. He’s protected her from the elements, the dangers, and from her own doubt.
Love is stronger than it ever was before she went into the wilderness. After the time there, she says in verses 6-7, “Set me as a seal upon your heart, upon your arm…for love is as strong as death…”
His love is stronger than death…stronger than hell…stronger than the grave. He hurdled mountains and skipped hills for you–the huge problems and yes, even the small things because He cares about them all. He wants to show you intimacy like you’ve never experienced before. A whole new world.
Now watch the video, but this time…put yourself in Jasmine’s place and see Aladdin as Jesus. Stretch your imagination and see what God shows you!
Also take note of what he sings to her and what she sings back. And an interesting part, notice where she is when she says, “I can’t go back to where I used to be.” (She’s in Egypt–which symbolizes bondage!)
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