“Let your conversation be without covetousness and be content with such things as you have; for He has said, ‘I will never leave you, nor forsake you'” (Hebrews 13:5).
Leave (Gr.): Aniemi: To send away, Desert, Abandon
Forsake (Gr): Egkataleipo: To leave behind in some place
There are two great aspects to the love of God in Christ Jesus and our union with the Lord in the Spirit; and the words leave and forsake capture them perfectly. The Lord has given His word to us, and we can take great comfort in them knowing we have a God who cannot lie (cf. Numbers 23:19).
The Lord has promised, “I will never leave you.” The Lord has committed Himself to the Saints by His Word. The Lord has given us His promise, I will never send you away from Father’s House. I will never kick you out to the streets and leave you to fend for yourself. Secondly, the Lord has promised, “I will never forsake you.” I will never move out and abandon you. I will never not be there for you with loving care and provision.
The human psyche is sometimes insecure. Even Joshua, the great leader of Israel, needed to hear the promises of God again to go forward in his mission:
“There shall not any man be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not fail (Heb: raphah: let alone, forsake, leave) you, nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5).
It was not just the leadership to whom came the word of the Lord, but Moses spoke to all the people:
“Be strong and of a good courage. Fear not, nor be afraid, for the Lord your God, He it is who goes with you. He will not fail (Heb. raphah) you, nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
In The Great Commission Jesus said to His disciples:
“Teach [the people] to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
Jesus gave us His promise in the positive voice, “lo I am with you always”, instead of the negative voice, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” In the end they are the same promise. He will never leave us or forsake us. He will always be with us. That is His promise. That is His word. That is His commitment to us forever.
The Apostle wrote to the Corinthians and reiterated the promise of God when he said:
“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken (Gr. egkataleipo); cast down, but not destroyed” (II Corinthians 4:8-9).
Hearing the promise of God encourages the soul. It strengthens the heart. It builds up our faith. It motivates the will to continue in the work and never look back. In our weakness, it gives us hope and in our struggles we need not despair. Oh, when the Helper comes with the word of the Lord to lift us up and help us stand. It brings a sweet smile of contentment, knowing the Lord is near.
“Be content with such things as you have”. We have God’s word. We have God’s promise. We have the Holy Spirit. We have the communion (Gr. Koinonia) of the saints. We have everlasting life. We have the Kingdom.
Are you going through difficulty? Are you troubled? Perplexed? Persecuted? Are you struggling in so many ways? Remember the promise of God: “Lo, I am with you always.” “I will never leave you, nor forsake you”. You always have a place in Father’s House, at His table, in your room prepared for you. Keep faith and trust in the One who cannot fail.