WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 31, 2022
TOPIC: GOD WILL NOT FORSAKE HIS CHILDREN
BY T. O. BANSO
“For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people” (1 Samuel 12:22 New King James Version).
In the Old Testament, the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites and made them His people. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 4:20 that the LORD brought them out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to be His people, an inheritance.
Deuteronomy 7:6 emphasizes this further: “For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth” (New King James Version). Deuteronomy 14:2 says the same thing.
Because of the special relationship God had with the Israelites, they were to keep the commandments He gave them and there are blessings for their obedience and punishment for disobedience. “Also today the LORD has proclaimed you to be His special people, just as He promised you, that you should keep all His commandments, and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, in praise, in name, and in honor, and that you may be a holy people to the LORD your God, just as He has spoken” (Deuteronomy 26:18-19 New King James Version).
In Deuteronomy 28:9, the Bible says, “The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways” (New King James Version). Deuteronomy 28 highlights both the blessings for obeying the commandments and the curses for disobeying. Thus, the Israelites were not ignorant of the consequences of disobeying God’s commandments.
Under God’s covenant with the Israelites, He never forsook them even when they sinned. Nehemiah 9:17 says, “They refused to obey, and they were not mindful of Your wonders that You did among them. But they hardened their necks, and in their rebellion they appointed a leader to return to their bondage. But You are God, ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abundant in kindness, and did not forsake them” (New King James Version).
God told Moses that after his death, the Israelites would prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they were entering and forsake him and break His covenant. Therefore, He would become angry with them and forsake them (Deuteronomy 31:16-17). Nevertheless, God didn’t completely forsake them. After ten of the tribes of Israel (Northern Kingdom) had been carried into captivity by the Assyrians, the LORD said in 2 Kings 21:14 that He would forsake the remnant of His inheritance (the people of Judah – the Southern Kingdom) and deliver them into the hand of their enemies; and they would become victims of plunder to all their enemies. The Babylonians later carried the Southern Kingdom into captivity. By then, Assyria had fallen to Babylonia.
God cast the people of Judah out of His presence (Jeremiah 23:39) but He didn’t forsake them in the sense of completely abandoning them. He later restored many of the Jews to Jerusalem and they rebuilt the city. Psalm 126:1-2 speaks thus of the return of the Jews from Babylon: “When the LORD brought back the captivity of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Then they said among the nations, ‘The LORD has done great things for them’” (New King James Version). God didn’t forsake the children of Israel. None of the twelve tribes has gone to extinction although we may not know where they all are.
The New Covenant is a better covenant, established on better promises (Hebrews 8:6). Those who believe in Christ are God’s people – a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and His special people. They are to proclaim the praises of Him who called them out of darkness into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). Believers in Christ were once not a people but are now the people of God; they had not obtained mercy before but have now obtained mercy (verse 10).
The LORD didn’t forsake or abandon the Israelites; He will not forsake or abandon His people, the followers of Christ, today. If you’ve given your life to Jesus, God will never abandon you. Jesus told his followers, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20b New King James Version).
Quoting from the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; Joshua 1:5; 1 Chronicles 28:20), the writer of the book of Hebrews says, “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5b-6 New King James Version)
As it was with the Israelites, sin will interfere with your fellowship with God but He will never leave you or forsake you. Isaiah 59:1-2 says, “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (New King James Version).
God will not forsake you but a sinful lifestyle will take you away from His presence and this will make it seem as if He has forsaken you. Genuine repentance is the solution. Recalling the instruction that God gave Moses to the Israelites, Nehemiah said that God said if they returned to Him and keep His commandments and did them, though some of them were cast out to the farthest part of the heavens, He would gather them from there, and bring them to the place which He had chosen as a dwelling for His name (Nehemiah 1:9).
When a child of God returns to Him, God also returns to Him. But the truth is that God never went anywhere. It was His child who forsook Him. God will never forsake you. If you have forsaken Him return to Him now. God always asks His children to return to Him (Isaiah 44:22; Jeremiah 3:1, 7; 4:1). If you return to Him, He will return to you, not because He has gone away. “Therefore say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Return to Me,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 1:3 New King James Version). Also, Malachi 3:7 says if you return to Him, He will return to you.
God will not forsake you. But return to Him if you have gone away from Him. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8 New King James Version). The father of the prodigal son never forsook him but eagerly awaited his return home.
When the prodigal son came back to his senses, he returned home. “And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him” (Luke 15;20 New King James Version). Before then, it might have appeared as if his father had forsaken him. But the father never did. The son had done away but the father never left where he was. When he returned, he met the father where he had always been – at home. The father ran to meet him, fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Don’t forsake God. As a loving Father, God disciplines His children (Hebrews 12:6-7). But He will never forsake them. God won’t abandon you. Repent of your sins. If you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive you your sins and cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
God’s presence with you is not a matter of feeling but having faith in Him and believing what He has said. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you” (Isaiah 43:2 New King James Version).
1 Samuel 12:22 says, “For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people” (New King James Version). This also applies to God’s children today. God will not forsake His children because of His great name and because He chose them to be His people. If you’re a child of God, rest assured that God will not forsake you. But don’t forsake Him.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: In the name of Jesus, I shall not forsake God. I shall not serve another god but the living God all the days of my life. Father, thank You for being ever present with me. Holy Spirit, help me to draw nearer to God every day. I pray that all those who have forsaken God will repent and return to Him.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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