Good Cling/Bad Cling

Wise counsel

Nearing the end of his life, Joshua urges Israel to be faithful to the God who had done so much for them. He tells them, “But you are to cling to the LORD your God . . . . For if you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations . . .”─and then Joshua warns them of the consequences of such a choice (Joshua 23:8, 12).

These two “clings” are mutually exclusive. The pagan nations were involved in idolatry and immorality. To cling to them would be to become infected with their sins. The only safe recourse—and the only logical one—is to “cling to the Lord your God.”

Lessons for us

First, we will cling to someone or something.

Second, we have a choice what we cling to.

Third, clinging to God is greatly to our advantage.

Fourth, clinging to the world, however attractive it may be, is fatal.

Fifth, we cannot cling to both at the same time.

Our choice

Jesus said we can’t serve both God and Mammon (wealth) (Matthew 6:24). James warns that friendship with the world makes us God’s enemy (James 4:4). John says that if we love the world, the love of the Father is not in us (1 John 2:15-17). God or money? God or the world?

We who are Christians have already made our choice! May it not be said of us what God said of Israel, “‘For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,’ declares the LORD, ‘that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise and for glory; but they did not listen” (Jeremiah 13:11).

So how do we?

God intends for us to learn from their tragic experience so we won’t repeat the same error. So how do we cling to God? By clinging to His word, by clinging to Him in prayer, by clinging to His church.

Are we on clinging terms with God?

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

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