Cleaving to Dust

It’s dry, lifeless, our ultimate decomposition. (Ge 3:19) Who would cling to dust, grasping for it, hanging on to it? What does this mean? Why would anyone do it?

The Psalmist, aware that he’s cleaving to the dust, cries out to God for help, for life. (Ps 119:25) He evidently finds himself in distress, in an unpleasant way, admitting, or perhaps even desiring, a type of death.

Perhaps it’s a longing to escape cruelty, injustice and suffering (Job 3:20-22); perhaps it reflects a numbness, a disorientation, a lostness, an inability to relish God’s power, wisdom, beauty and life (Eph 2:1-3), a desire for this shallow, empty world, a fawning over its trinkets, illusions and titillations. (1Jn 2:15-16)

As ugly as it is, whatever it is, he’s declaring his ways and state before us all exactly as he finds himself to be (Ps 119:26); in knowing God hears the honest, vulerable cry of humility there’s hope. As God enables his understanding he knows he’ll be renewed and restored to bubble over with wonder in the workings of God. (Ps 119:27)

When I find myself unable to delight in God, whether disrupted and overwhelmed by the insanity, cruelty and injustice of this world, or drawn to its emptiness and enticed by its vanity, I sense the stench of death, an old dark way from which I’m now free. I look to God to work in me (Php 2:13), waiting on Him to turn my eyes upward, to focus beyond this pale, temporal horizon, giving me His life to walk in His way(Ps 119:37)

There’s no life without longing, and no good longing for which God Himself is not the ultimate satisfaction. (Ps 16:11)

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One thought on “Cleaving to Dust”

  1. At first, when I thought of the idea of cleaving to dust, I was thinking of lying in the dust, broken. But that concept is perhaps better expressed two verses later: “My soul melteth for heaviness; strengthen thou me according unto thy word.” (Ps 119:28) In the former state he asks for life, in the latter for strength. Thinking that YHWH might not be repeating Himself here caused me to think more carefully about the wording. It also seemed to connect better to the verses in between.

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