Never Will He Leave You
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. Deut. 31:6
Tina’s eyes welled with tears, her heart raced and the words barely formed on her lips. Her husband spent the past hour criticizing her, her mothering, her housekeeping, but 6 words penetrated deep, “You are a disappointment to God!”. Those were the words she could not shake, those were the words that were the easiest for her to believe. After all her husband was constantly upset with her, her marriage was a mess, she was depressed and struggled through every day. Surely, God must be disappointed, she believed she failed at everything God made her for.
There was no point in trying to comfort her by pointing to her faithfulness, perseverance, long-suffering or love of Christ. Her husband’s words twisted and locked onto a universal truth, all our lives are littered with sins and failings. Her husband's words did not lovingly point her to the love and forgiveness of a savior, one who we all need. They were meant to torment her. His stinging accusations left her believing that she was unworthy of God’s grace and goodness. If God could not love her, who would?
But God does not leave us, it is not our merit that compels him to come near to us, it is his heart for us. God does not reject us when we fail, he helps us. In times of trouble and fear he promises to come with, and be with us. Hebrews 13:5-6 echoes a similar truth, “‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So, we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’“
God has a continued presence in our lives. But oppressors want us to feel abandoned, desperate, weak and helpless so that we cling to them. Tina’s husband, Bill, wanted to undermine Tina’s relationship to the Lord. For, Bill to be able to continue to control Tina he needed her dependent upon him, believing that no one else cares for her, not even God.
God’s words here proclaim a very different truth. God is our constant and forever helper. There is nothing that would cause him to back away from us. There is nothing we can do or not do which changes that.
If we were to look at Hebrews 13:5 in the original Greek, there are five negatives in this short sentence, "No, I will not leave you; no, neither will I not utterly forsake you." There is a beauty in the emphasis. Almost as if God is anticipating our mentally challenging his commitment, as he is speaking these powerful words to us. He wants to be extraordinarily clear- he will never ever leave you, not ever!
God’s makes a powerful promise to remain with us, always, despite what we do. His care of us is based upon his love for us not our merit. C.S. Lewis puts it this way, “He loved us not because we were lovable, but because He is love.”
What words does your oppressor use that make you believe you are not worthy of God’s love and care?
Spend time praying that God’s promise to never leave you will drown out the vicious lies of your oppressor.