Summary: We can be assured of God's provision and of His love because He promised with a five-fold negative that He would never leave us nor forsake us. Four different people in Scripture received this promise from God, so we can see God's faithfulness to them.
“I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU NOR FORSAKE YOU!”
1. Steve Bauer was touring Ireland's countryside with a group of travel writers. They passed an immaculate cemetery with hundreds of beautiful headstones set in a field of emerald green grass.
2. Everyone reached for their cameras when the tour guide said the inventor of the crossword puzzle was buried there. “Which headstone is his?” they asked. He pointed, "Three down and four across."
5Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" Heb. 13:5-6.
C. THESIS: VICTORY!
I want to speak to you tonight about victory. How can a Christian have victory in the face of Sorrows? Trials? Difficulties? Persecution and martyrdom?
1. Many Japanese converts died in the terrible persecution of Christians in Japan in the 16th Century.
2. On one occasion a nobleman of the highest rank, his wife and six young children, with upwards of 40 other Christians were tied to stakes to be burned.
3. When the fires were set, the martyrs were seen among the bright flames with eyes fixed on heaven, their forms motionless and erect. The spectators watched silently in expectation of the horror that was to unfold.
4. Then suddenly out of that fiery furnace a melody arose – men and women and children singing a bold hymn of praise to the living God. Their sweet songs contradicted the sound of the red and thirsty flames.
5. Some of the onlookers erupted in prayers and tears while others uttered curses and defiance. The music of that marvelous choir slowly died away, one at a time, each sinking into silence as they went to meet their Savior. But they died with praise on their lips – that’s victory! [Knight’s 3000, p. 638).
6. The title of this message is, “I Will Never Leave You Nor Forsake You.”
I. TRAGEDY OF BEING FORSAKEN BY GOD
A. HUMAN LONELINESS
1. We have heard of many examples of human loneliness and helplessness.
2. I’ve told the story of the Japanese soldier from WW2, Shoichi Yokoi, who lived in a cave on the island of Guam, hiding in the jungle for 28 years.
3. He only came out at night and survived on frogs, rats, snails, shrimp, nuts, and mangoes.
4. Yokoi said he knew the war was over because of leaflets dropped, but he was afraid to come out because he thought he might be executed.
5. Finally two hunters came upon him in 1972 and told him that he need not hide any longer. He was free! He was given new clothes, food, and taken by plane to his home. He was 56 years old; 28 years of solitude!
6. We as Christians ARE FREE, but some don’t know that the war is over. You must claim your freedom; don’t hide any longer! [Paul Tan, 7700 #1651]
B. WILL GOD ABANDON US?
1. Jesus did pray, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" But He was unique in being cut off from God’s presence. We are never away from it.
2. Even Jonah, fleeing to Tarshish, was never out of God's presence.
3. And David said, "If I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there!"
C. ASSURANCE FROM OUR GOD
1. In Hebrews 13:5B, there are 5 negatives in the Greek language; 5 "nevers." “No! Not you, will I leave, nor, No!, not you, will I forsake.”
2. Antonio Curtis dialed a wrong number and got the following recording: "I am not available right now, but I thank you for caring enough to call. I am making some changes in my life. Please leave a message after the beep. If I do not return your call, you are one of the changes." Aren’t you glad God isn’t like that! He will never turn you away.
3. God says, "I will never, never leave thee" and then "I will never, never, never forsake thee." Here they intensify the meaning, giving us God’s 5-fold assurance that He will never leave us or forsake us.
II. THE 4 INSTANCES THIS PHRASE WAS USED
A. FROM GOD TO JACOB
1. God's promise to a man in trials.
2. Jacob had just fled from his family home:
a. His father loved his brother more than he;
b. Esau, his brother, hated him & desired to kill him.
c. Jacob had only a stone for a pillow.
d. He was friendless, solitary, alone.
e. To him God said, “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you” Gen. 28:15.