Thousands died in the sin with Baal Peor. “All the men who followed Baal Peor” were destroyed. However, many didn’t follow in the apostasy.
Who were they?
“But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day” (Deuteronomy 4:4). How does this text explain the difference between those who fell into sin and those who didn’t? What’s the important message for us here regarding sin and temptation and the power of God in our lives?
Notice the contrast between the word “all” in this verse and the verse before. “All” who followed after Baal Peor were destroyed; but “every one of you” who did cleave to the Lord was alive. There was no middle ground then, and there is none now, either. We’re either for or against Jesus (Matthew 12:30).
The Hebrew word for “did cleave,” dbq, often points to a strong commitment to adhere to something outside of oneself. The same Hebrew word root is used in Genesis 2:24, when a man shall leave his family and “cleave” unto his wife (see also Ruth 1:14). It, in this context, appeared four more times in Deuteronomy (Deuteronomy 10:20, Deuteronomy 11:22, Deuteronomy 13:4, Deuteronomy 30:20), and in each case the idea was the same: they, the people, were to cleave (cling) to their God. That is, they were to give themselves to Him and to draw power and strength from Him.
What’s important to remember is that the people themselves are the subject of the verb: they must do the cleaving. They must make the choice to “cleave” to God and then, in His power and strength, avoid falling into sin.
Read Jude 24 and 1 Corinthians 10:13. What is being said here in the New Testament that also is found in Deuteronomy 13:4?
God is faithful; God is able to keep us from falling. But we have to make the conscious choice, as did the faithful at Baal Peor, to cleave to God. If so, then we can be assured that, whatever the temptation, we can remain faithful.
|How do things like prayer, Bible study, worship, and fellowship help us cleave to the Lord?|