I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee
Last Sunday when the pastor asked me to give the devotional for today I was so glad, and I immediately started to pray and ask God that he would give me the right subject and show me how to deliver it. I searched the scriptures diligently but as the week wore on it seemed that God was not answering my prayer.
When I woke up yesterday morning I just lay there praying to God and telling him that I thought that it would be best for me to not give the devotional after all. The week had gone poorly. I was hurt, tired, disappointed. God hadn’t answered my prayer. I hadn’t fought a very good fight. How could God use me in this condition?
Let’s look at some scripture together:
"And the servants of Achish said unto him, Is not this David the king of the land? did they not sing one to another of him in dances, saying, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands? And David laid up these words in his heart, and was sore afraid of Achish the king of Gath. And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard."
I Samuel 21:11-13
"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
David was having a very bad day. But God did not leave him nor forsake him on that day.
When I pray, often God will bring scripture to mind as a way of speaking to me. It’s almost like a conversation. It’s not a verbal conversation but I’m going to relate it to you as best as I understand it in the form of a verbal conversation because I think that you will understand it easily that way:
“God, I really wanted to give the devotional tomorrow, but I don’t see how I can. I have had a bad week and you have not given me a subject to speak on.”
“Son, do you remember the lesson that Brother Ed gave last Thursday?”
“Yes, it was on the little foxes that spoil the tender grapes in our lives.”
“Son, there’s a little fox of bitterness running around in your heart right now and you have a choice to make:
You can let it continue to run around in your heart, but if you do so it’s going to start yipping and the other little foxes named "Anger", "Doubt", "Unforgiveness", and "Hopelessness" that aren’t very far away will hear that sound and come running into your heart too. They’ll make a mess out of those tender grapes that I’m trying to grow in your heart. Now son, I love you. I want the very best for you. Why don’t you let me drive that little fox out of your heart?”
“….O....well...ok, Father, you can do that.”
“Good. Now I know that you are tired and disappointed and hurt. You are not the only one. Do you remember the story of the good Samaritan?”
"And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee."
Luke 10: 30-35
“Someone that will hear this devotional is wounded. They are not only wounded but they have been left alone. I want to heal them and I want to do this through you. Are you willing?”
“God, how can you use me? I’m wounded too.”
“Part of the answer to your question is contained in your statement, “I’m wounded too”. Often it takes someone who is experiencing a problem to help a person with that same problem. Don’t you remember what I have said about the priests in the Old Testament?”
“Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.”
“But you not only have to be able to relate to that person who is wounded, but you have to be able to point them to me because I am the great High Priest and I am the Great Physician. Are you willing to do that?”
“Now you are going to have to be honest about yourself in this devotional and when you do so you are not going to look very good in the eyes of others. Are you sure that you are still willing to do this?”
“Yes, if you can use me I’m willing.”
“OK, that’s good. You have told me about your bad week but now I’m going to tell you how I saw your week. Your ways are not my ways, and your thoughts are not my thoughts. You can take what I am going to show you and use it for the devotional tomorrow. Do you remember early in the week when you fell off your swivel chair and landed on your back in the isle way between the cubicles, and how as you were laying there the supervisor came by with a couple of the ladies that you work with? Do you remember that you mumbled something in your embarrassment and your face started feeling hot as you tried to untangle your feet from the chair?”
“Yes, I remember that. Did you really need to remind me of it?”
“Son, the reason that I’m bringing this to your memory is because I want you to realize that I was with you when you were lying on the floor on your back. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
“And do you remember when you prayed for the brother who had shared a burden with you last Sunday? I saw you weep for him. I heard your prayer. It pleased me. You don’t know how I answered it, but I did. I was with you then too. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
“And do you remember when you heard two of your co-workers talking about me? You could have used that as an opportunity to share the Gospel with them but you just let that opportunity slip by. You disappointed me son, but I was still with you. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
“And do you remember when you gave a simple Gospel tract to the gas station attendant and smiled at her and asked her to read it? I was with you then and I was the one who encouraged you to do that. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
“And do you remember how tired you were during the week?”
“Oh yes God, I remember that.”
“I was still with you.” I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
“And do you remember last night when you worked late. You were really beat. Someone said something hurtful to you then. I was there. I heard that. I also saw what was in your heart: you wanted to say something hurtful back. But you prayed to me right then and I heard your prayer and helped you. I was with you then. I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
“Son, I was with you when you were foolish and ashamed and embarrassed. I was with you when I put it into your heart to pray for your brother and to give my Word to that lost woman. I was with you when you sinned. I was with you when you were tired and hurt and when you asked me to help you. I was even with you when you were bitter, and it was I who removed that bitterness from your heart. I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. And if you are willing to let others know that you are nothing more than a man who is:
Compassed with infirmity
No better than a common Samaritan
Even like the beast that I used to carry that half dead man
then I can use you to show that wounded brother or sister that....
"I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."