“I Will Never Leave You Nor Forsake You.” Really???

Much of my summer vacations, holidays, and even a couple school years of my youth and teen years were spent with my maternal grandparents. Pawpaw Vince and Mawmaw Eva. I named my one and only shrimp boat after her, Eva Marie. Throughout my years with them, Pawpaw Vince had a saying when he’d get flabbergasted with something, “Never, Never, Never, and that’s a long time.” It’s like in Hebrew, a word repeated to add emphasis.

 

Just last week a bible verse of the day was Psalm 118: 5-6 I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place. 6 The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?

 Having Hope in God can bring a remarkable inner peace and strength to face enormous trials and tests of life. The options to a person without Hope are dread, fear, and even panic attacks. A portion of Psalm 118 is found in a verse that is very often quoted and yet Very Erroneously Misrepresented, maybe I’m a little guilty of that too and “hope” to set things in order.

Hebrews 13:5-6 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say:

“The Lord is my helper;
I will not fear.
What can man do to me?”

Today’s Tecarta Verse of the day says this,

Psalm 94:12-14 KJV
Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord , and teachest him out of thy law; [13] That thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit be digged for the wicked. [14] For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.
https://tbibl.es/8zor

This verse is another like the one from the Book of Jeremiah that many Christians quote out of context. If they would only include the next verse in Jeremiah, a different life application would be understood. God hates sin, and gives time to repent but brings judgment against sin at the time of His choosing. Father God and Jesus describes that time as “when the cup of iniquity is full.” Jesus in a moment of anger, after all the “woes” He proclaimed against the Pharisees told them,

Matthew 23:32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers’ guilt.

After it was filled and God’s anger was poured out, Israel was out of commission for 2,000 years!!! Where’s the blanket statement being thrown around “I’ll Never Leave You Or Forsake You” in that??? Somebody’s not telling the whole truth and it isn’t God, He CAN’T Lie!!! If you choose to reject “Truth,” God Will Let you Believe a Lie and fall under deception but that’s a post for another day.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

So many times I have heard preachers quote only half the verse from Hebrews 13:5 For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” They leave out the part of how a person’s “conduct” should be. “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have.”

I can’t remember even one time a preacher said there was a condition to be met on our part, “the conduct,” so that you qualify for God to “Never Leave You or Forsake You.” I am certain most preachers have a more thorough comprehension of the Bible than what  I, an ordinary person does. I think it’s very disingenuous for them to omit intentionally, time after time of just throwing that phrase out, without mentioning the conditions we should at least desire to meet so that it can apply to our life. We don’t need to be a full grown apples to be “perfect” in God’s eyes. At every stage of growth, the apple is perfect “IF” corruption hasn’t set in and it’s trying to grow up to an mature apple.

Apple Flower to Fruit

For some reason many preachers have set aside preaching from the Old Testament as though it’s not relevant for us today. But the Apostle Paul wrote this to Timothy when the ONLY Bible they knew or had was the Old Testament. Paul did NOT recommend throwing out the Old Testament, it was ALL that existed at that point.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Paul’s goal is instruction to saints of God, leading them to walk in Righteousness or at least desire to. He WAS quoting from the Old Testament when he mentioned “God Never Leaving or Forsaking You.”

Deuteronomy 31:6, 8  Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with youHe will not leave you nor forsake you.”

 8 And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

After Moses made these statements to Israel just before his death, he commands them to read the Book of the Law to all the people, every 7th year at the Feast of Tabernacles so that they learn to “fear and obey” the Word of God. (Deuteronomy 31:9-14)

Moses has just told them God will “Never Leave You Or Forsake You” in verses 6 & 8. Now at verse 16, the LORD Himself has something to say about this,

16 And the Lord said to Moses: “Behold, you will rest with your fathers; and this people will rise and play the harlot with the gods of the foreigners of the land, where they go to be among them, and they will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. 17 Then My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ 18 And I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they have done, in that they have turned to other gods.

That’s the Word of God, The Word that came through Moses, the prophets, King David and others, Inspired by the Holy Spirit, that Jesus NEVER contradicted in any way but on many occasions confirmed as truth.

In today’s My Daily Bible app devotional reading Jesus says this walking on the “Road to Emmaus,”

Luke 24:25-27 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

This powerful video expounds the “Road to Emmaus Experience” in a most dramatic way,

After the Road to Emmaus, Jesus appears to His disciples and confirms the Old Testament scriptures to them as well,

Luke 24:44-49 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that REPENTANCE for Forgiveness of sins Would Be Proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

To make a blanket statement “God will never leave you nor forsake you” opens a door in some people’s mind that no matter what they do, they can always expect God to jump when they say jump like the boy who cried “wolf.”  Jesus dissolved the “We Are All God’s Children” false doctrine when He taught about the “Rich man being in a place of torment, separated by a gulf from Lazarus in the comfort of Abraham’s bosom.” (Luke 16:19-31) Also when He called some of the Pharisees children of Satan. (John 8:44) 

Everyone has the opportunity to become a child of God, many refuse to take it thinking “maybe later.”

To the topic of NOT Being Forsaken by God. Here is what the Bible REALLY says about that.

THE BLESSING

Psalm 37:28 For the Lord loves justice,
And does not forsake His saints;
They are preserved forever,

But the descendants of the wicked shall be cut off.

2 Chronicles 14:7 Therefore he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and make walls around them, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us, because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered.

THE REPROOF

Joshua 24:19-20  But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 20 If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done you good.”

King David speaking to his son, 1 Chronicles 28:9  “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. 

2 Chronicles 15:1-2 Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.

 King Asa doesn’t heed the warning, 2 Chronicles 16:9  For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” 

In 2 Peter chapter 2, he lays it all out against “False Teachers” which we have been warned of many times, even by Jesus, “let no man deceive you.” Even though he describes their doom as being like that of Balaam consider how many souls they will have brought along with them to destruction because they chose to believe a lie instead of learning the Word of God for themselves, seeking God’s Heart and letting the Holy Spirit be their teacher.

Doom of False Teachers

 2 Peter 2: For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly; and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)— then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries, 11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

Depravity of False Teachers

12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption, 13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you, 14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. 15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; 16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet.

17 These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

 Deceptions of False Teachers

18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,” and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

If We Seek the Lord He WILL Strongly Support Us. SEEKING THE LORD MEANS . . .

  • Obedience to God’s word.
  • 2. Separation from known evil.
  • 3. Fortifying our lives against spiritual danger, learn the Word of God for yourself, Acts 17:10-12 Be A Good Berean
  • 4. Trust in the Lord, not methods. Churches often turn to “gimmicks,” entertainment, to entice people to go there, and then have to keep coming up with “new methods” to keep them there. How about letting the Word of God do it’s work by preaching the “whole counsel of God.” 
  • 5. Committing ourselves to worship the Lord. That is more than singing a song to God, it’s a also a life lived with the intention of pleasing God above all else.

Choosing to follow God is NOT Totally a choice we can make on our own. The way I understand it, we can make steps in the direction to seek God but Jesus had this to say,

John 6:44-45 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.

That is the work of the Holy Spirit and Jesus told us about that also,

John 16:7-11   Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged

To Repent and True Repentance is to turn away from the desire for sin and to turn to God with a desire to live a life that pleases God. On our best days we still fail miserably at that but God looks at our heart. Is our heart committed to Him or do we long for the life we say we are turning from. The tragedy for some people is that when the Holy Spirit does come to “draw them to repent” they “aren’t ready yet.” They act like this offer and these strong emotions to repent will be at their disposal when and where they decide.

Refusing the Holy Spirit is like every other thing we can become less sensitive to because a desensitizing happens, your heart becomes hardened.  An alcoholic or drug addict alway needs more to reach the same high because of desensitization. The work of sin and each time you resist the work of the Holy Spirit “Hardens Your Heart,” it becomes easier and easier to refuse. That’s why the writer of the Book of Hebrews gives this warning.

Hebrew 3:7- 19 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
In the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
And saw My works forty years.
10 Therefore I was angry with that generation,
And said, ‘They always go astray in their heart,
And they have not known My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest.’ ”

12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said:

“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

Failure of the Wilderness Wanderers
16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

You CAN’T Choose to believe ONLY the Blessings of God and NOT Believe the consequences of a life of willful rebellion and sinning against God.

If you have created a Jesus of your own liking that is ONLY Love and Forgiveness you fail to know the Word of God because He is covered in the blood of the wicked that He has slain in Revelation 19:11-16 and described in Isaiah 63:1-6.

If Jesus the Savior is hard to imagine as also a slayer of the wicked consider the same angels that were sent to save Lot in Genesis 19 were also assigned to destroy the cities and ALL the people ,

Genesis 19:13 For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”

In Judges chapter 19, the account of the wickedness found in the land of Benjamin sounds like a retelling of the Sodom and Gomorrah account of when the Angels went to save Lot and his family. In Judges chapter 20, after all the other tribes who had been loving brothers, and tribes working together to drive out the inhabitants of the land came against them, ONLY 600 men escaped with their lives.

In Noah’s time, the wicked were Forsaken, in Lot’s time the wicked were Forsaken, in the time of the Judges the wicked were Forsaken. For 2,000 years Israel, it’s land and it’s people, except for a remnant were Forsaken. Zechariah tells us in the last days, two thirds of the inhabitants of Israel will perish,

Zechariah 13:8-9  And it shall come to pass in all the land,”
Says the Lord,
“That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die,
But one-third shall be left in it:
9 I will bring the one-third through the fire,
Will refine them as silver is refined,
And test them as gold is tested.
They will call on My name,
And I will answer them.
I will say, ‘This is My people’;
And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ”

ONLY God knows when a person’s, a city or a nation’s “cup of iniquity” becomes “Full.” I thank God often that He didn’t let me die in my sins. Surely, from my point of view, my cup of iniquity was very close to being full. I am so thankful God sent His Angel of Repentance to visit me one more time with such strong conviction of my sins and what the consequence of those sins would be.

For your sake, and For Christ’s Sake, please don’t Harden Your Heart the next time the Holy Spirit of God pays you a visit and compels you to repent. Don’t disregard the last words Jesus spoke to His disciples before ascending up into heaven,

Luke 24: 46 and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.

Didn’t Father God for a moment “Forsake” His Only Begotten Son Jesus when the sins of the world were placed on Him on the cross???

Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

There is a Wonderful and Terrible day coming, maybe in the not too distant future when people who are playing games with God or have lost their first love and fallen away will see just who God Will and Will NOT Forsake. I’m speaking of the Rapture of God’s Elect, the Bride of Christ, The Wise Virgins, Those that Have Made Themselves Ready.

Malachi 3:16-18

A Book of Remembrance
16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another,
And the Lord listened and heard them;
So a book of remembrance was written before Him
For those who fear the Lord
And who meditate on His name.

17 “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts,
“On the day that I make them My jewels.
And I will spare them
As a man spares his own son who serves him.”
18 Then you shall again discern
Between the righteous and the wicked,
Between one who serves God
And one who does not serve Him.

Throughout the Bible, it is clearly written that some WILL Be Forsaken by God because they Refused to Believe God’s Warning and Instructions on how NOT to be Forsaken. They Refused the work of the Holy Spirit drawing them to Repent of Willful Sin. They try to Mock God and Trample the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ with a False, “We’re Not Under the Law” understanding that the Apostle Paul NEVER taught.

Everyone is under a Law. Either it’s the “Law of Moses” or the “Law of the Spirit of Life.”

Romans 8:2-4 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:13-14 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

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