“My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.”
Psalm 63:8 KJV
“My soul cleaveth unto thee: for thy right hand upholdeth me.”
Psalm 63:8 (1599 Geneva Bible)
I included both translations because I found them both helpful in understanding the first phrase. The Hebrew word translated as “followeth hard” and “cleaveth” literally means both, it is an expression that mingles both following and cleaving. I love the intensity of this expression; it is not some mere carefree following after that we pursue at our leisure or when we feel moved to do so, but an intentional, fervent, earnest and laborious continual exertion based on our knowledge of God, of who He is, what He has done for us, and what He is doing for us presently. In the previous verses David recounts his thirst and longing for God, the power and glory of God, God’s abundant loving-kindness, and how He satisfies David’s soul, how God has helped him in the past and this all culminates in praise and a determination to cleave to His God! And yet still more in the second portion of the verse David acknowledges that he is being upheld by God’s hand of power and strength presently! Should not we cry the same? Should we not also after recounting what God has done for us, who He is, what He is doing, how He displays his power and glory not also, along with David, followeth hard after our God, cleaving fast? All the while knowing that it is His right hand of power that upholds us every moment!!
As I begin to write short devotions to myself, for my further growth in grace, I intend to share them with you, I am reminded again today as I read through the above, that I need to have this verse written on my heart and brought forward to the front of my mind every moment of every day. Oh to have first in my heart each day that my soul needs to be cleaving, to be following hard after Thee! Just think how this mindset should and will change my days, my decisions, my words, my thoughts, my actions and my attitudes. When I am cleaving, when I am following hard, laboring after my Father, knowing that in doing so I am upheld by His right (signifies strength and power) hand, how can I not help but bring Him glory! This is my desire today, this morning, this moment, to bring Him glory, to display His truth in my every action and word, and yet I know I will be tested, tempted, and will struggle with not only my own weakness and flesh, but with the onslaught of the evil one. Yet greater is He that is in me than He that is in the world!! and not only this but God did not tell me about the reality of my struggle with the flesh and the powers of darkness to give me an excuse to stay as I am or to be fearful, or to be complacent with where I am now, but to prepare me for battle, to give me strength to take up my cross and follow Him. Today, and I pray every day, I will take up my cross and followeth hard after Thee.