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Summary: Many people have feelings of abandonment. Perhaps this feeling comes from a childhood event or a traumatic event in our adult years, but the Bible reminds us God will never abandon us! Four reasons.

NEVER ABANDONED

Neh. 9:19,31

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR: ALONE

1. In the operating room of a large hospital, a young nurse was completing her first full day of responsibilities.

2. "You've only removed 11 sponges, doctor," she said to the surgeon. "We used 12." "I removed them all," the doctor declared. "We'll close the incision now."

3. "No," the nurse objected. "We used 12 sponges."

"I'll take full responsibility," the surgeon said grimly. "Suture!"

4. "You can't do that!" blazed the nurse. "Think of the patient." The surgeon smiled, lifted his foot, and showed the nurse the 12th sponge. "You're the nurse I want!” he said.

[Today in the Word, April 7, 1992.]

5. We all prize faithfulness and think badly of those who abandon their duties or those they’re in charge of.

6 That’s why it’s especially difficult for us when we feel like God has let us down, has failed us in some way.

B. THESIS

1. Many people, within & without the church, have feelings of abandonment.

2. Perhaps this feeling comes from a childhood event or a traumatic event in our adult years.

3. Possibly it’s derived from our modern isolationism – we don’t even know our neighbors, usually.

4. Maybe it’s from the hardships of life or modern overload. But the Bible reminds us that God will never abandon us, though everyone else might.

5. Tonight I want us to look at 4 reasons we can be assured we are not, and never will be, abandoned by God.

I. GOD DIDN’T ABANDON UNFAITHFUL ISRAEL

A. ISRAEL’S FEELINGS (IN JUDGMENT)

Isa. 49:14-16; “But Zion said, “The Lord has forsaken me,

the Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…”

C. HE LOVES US & IS MERCIFUL

1. If you think about how disobedient the Israelites were during the 40 years in the wilderness, that would have been an ideal time for God to say, “They’ll never measure up! I need to start over with someone else.”

2. But Nehemiah recounts how patient and loving God was with them (and with us!):

3. “Because of Your great compassion You did not abandon them in the desert. By day the pillar of cloud did not cease to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take…But in Your great mercy You did not put an end to them or abandon them, for You are a gracious and merciful God.” Neh. 9:19, 31 (NIV).

4. God continues to perform His promises, despite our unworthiness to merit them.

II. JESUS (AS SIN) WAS ABANDONED

1. Now understand, the Israelites DESERVED TO BE ABANDONED. But it was God’s GRACE that that covered over the multitude of their sins and kept them in fellowship with God.

2. But SIN MUST BE PUT AWAY, AND THE SINNER TOO MUST BE JUDGED! That’s why Jesus was abandoned -- so you and I would never be abandoned.

A. JESUS CITED HIS ABANDONMENT

1. “Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will abandon Me. Scripture says, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’” Mark 14:27 (God’s Word Trans).

2. “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Mark 15:34.

3. Jesus was abandoned by all His followers. Judas betrayed Jesus. Peter denied that he knew his close friend, Jesus. God the Father abandoned Jesus’ sin-infested body on the Cross, turning His back on the sins of the world placed upon His Son.

4. Jesus was abandoned so you and I would never be abandoned in this life or the life to come.

B. BUT THE FATHER NEVER ABANDONED HIS SON

1. EVEN THOUGH IT LOOKED LIKE GOD ABANDONED JESUS, THE TRUTH IS, HE NEVER DID. Listen to the words of Jesus:

2. “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will You let your Holy One see decay” Ps 16:9-10 (NIV).

3. No matter what our feelings or fears tell us, THE LORD OUR GOD WILL NOT ABANDON US.

4. Sometimes, God does invoke “radio silence.” That’s when we must continue to believe – without evidence!

III. WHY WE’LL NEVER BE ABANDONED

A. GOD IS WITH US AT ALL TIMES

1. Immanuel, “God with us,” came so that He could always be among us. Jesus came to earth so we would never be abandoned.

2. Acts 17:28 says “‘In Him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed His offspring.’ (ESV)

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