Summary: Sermon 5 in the series You Need A Hug - Comfort in the Changes of Life
God Are You Still Here? Pt. 2 - Sermon 5
Series - You Need A Hug - Comfort in the Changes of Life
There is a recurring promise of the Old Testament used in different connections: "I will never leave you." We find it, first of all, made by God to Jacob at Bethel. The very same promise was handed on to Joshua and the people of God by Moses, as Moses was about to leave them. Then in Joshua’s own last charge to the Israelites, we find the promise repeated again. When David left Solomon instructions regarding the building of the temple, he also told his son that God wouldn’t leave him or forsake him. In the Epistle to the Hebrews we have the promise for our own daily provision and comfort, "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such as you have; for He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Heb. 13:5).
In this verse we have three precious things bound together by the divine Spirit. First, there is conversation without covetousness: "Let your conversation be without covetousness." Then we have contentment in the midst of all circumstances: "Be content with such things as you have." Finally, there is the companionship of Christ: "For He has said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." What God hath joined togethe0, let no man put asunder.
May we experience what it is to have conversation without covetousness! We are forever sinning in this direction; we covet what some people have or what other people wear. Pail declared that he would never have known the law had it not said, "Thou shalt not covet"’ (Rom. 7: 7). Then there is contentment in the adverse circumstances of life. Be content with such things as ye have. "Godliness with contentment is great gain"(1 Tim. 6:6). One of our prevailing sins is that of discontentment, and yet we are enjoined by the Holy Spirit to be content with the things we have.
Such a verse would mock us if it finished there. It is difficult indeed for some people to be content with such things as they have. We think of the many that are upon beds of pain, of others that find themselves in difficult circumstance. Going up to such men and women in these days of stress and strain, we would hurt their feelings if we said, "You must be content with such things as you have". But the verse goes on to say, "He hath said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." There is the secret of true contentment realizing the companionship of the Lord Jesus. If we realize that He is ever near, "the secret source of every precious thing," then we can have conversation without covetousness and contentment in the adverse circumstances of life.
1. Promise Maker
Think of the one who made this promise in our text. Notice the emphasis upon the pronoun. The writer is not telling us what he had experienced regarding the companionship of the Lord; he is not giving his testimony. It is the Lord speaking for Himself. As we have it in the Revised Version, "Himself hath said, I will never leave thee, I will never forsake thee." The character of a person has a good deal to do with the fulfillment of any promise He may make. We have many friends, who make promises, but we never look for a realization of them; we happen to know the promisers! Some men make promises that they may have the pleasure of breaking them." "He is faithful that promised" (Heb. 10:23). Here is the divine Promiser, "Himself hath said," and because of who He is, we know He will fulfil the promise that He himself made. Have you noticed that whether you read this promise forwards or backwards, it means the same? Here it is back to front: "Thee forsake never will I, thee leave never will I."
2. The Promise Not to Forsake You
Then we have His promise. "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." These two parts of the promise carry with them a two-fold thought. They do not mean the same thing. The Holy Ghost was never guilty of tautology when the Spirit made possible the word of God.
Now let us take these two phrases and look at them from different angles. "I will never, never leave you; I will never forsake you." It is possible to be forsaken and yet not left. It is possible to be left but not forsaken. But it is also possible to be left and forsaken.
But aren’t you glad that there is one who stands before us and declares He will never leave you nor forsake you. No matter how we may love each other, we are never in the presence f our dearest friends every part of every day, but there is one who declares I will never leave you nor forsake you.