Feb 24, 2021, 2:49 PM
Anyone conversant with the Bible, will often come across God’s repeated assurances to His people: “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” or “and God was with …..” Whether we take Him at His word is another matter; but God never reneges on His word, nor does He ever show up late. In essence, God’s eyes are always looking out for the interest of His children – His treasured possessions.
Our level of faith is crucial in the relationship we have knit with Our Father; it is the determining factor governing the outcome of any situation we will find ourselves in. Whether we choose to shout to the Lord for help - by way of prayer or by sacrifice – God’s presence makes the difference.
A case in point was soon after Moses died, and the LORD spoke directly to Joshua telling him to take over, to assume responsibility. Among all the assurances God gave young Joshua was; “As I was with Moses so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Joshua 1:5b) When Moses harboured fears that God would abandon the Children of Israel because of their misdemeanour, they received His firm assurance that His presence will go with them. This was confirmed at the point when the Children of Israel were leaving Egypt on their way to the Promised Land. He personally guaranteed their safety by His continued presence in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. (Exodus 14:24)
Just when Isaac was thinking of going into exile in Egypt because of a severe famine in Israel - as did his Father Abraham - God assured him to “stay in the land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you.” (Genesis 26:3) It did not seem like the promise would be fulfilled because Isaac encountered myriad difficulties in the hands of the Philistines who were out to ensure he failed.
He kept on digging wells until the Philistines gave up as a result of his resilience and left him alone. Isaac planted crops in Gerar and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him.” (Genesis 26:12) Still they relentlessly pursued him and this time he moved to Beersheba where the LORD appeared to him and said: “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid for I am with you…..” (Genesis 26:34) Maybe your situation is not different from that of Isaac; but remember that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, if we do not despair. So hold on tight, never give up. God will come to your aid at the right time.
The story is told of Hannah who was barren. What made it worse, was that her mate Peninnah had been provoking and tormenting her with endless references to her state of barrenness. When Hannah could not bear it any longer she turned to the LORD for help. Every year, she would go to Shiloh to offer prayers that God would look kindly upon her situation and open her womb.
The third year she prayed earnestly until the high priest thought she was drunk. She pleaded her case as someone with a heavy heart. “I am a woman who is deeply troubled ... I was pouring out my soul to the LORD.” The high priest prayed for her. Upon returning home the LORD remembered Hannah and she conceived and gave birth to a son whom she named Samuel. (1 Samuel 1:19)
When God instituted prayer, it was a means of quick access to His attention, even though there is nothing He is unaware of. He wants to hear it from you and me first hand so He created a pathway to relieve us of the heavy burdens we carry. Take it to the LORD in prayer. Whatever we are going through and we humbly call upon Him for help, He will graciously answer our cry.
Leah, one of Laban’s daughters who along with her younger sister Rebecca were married to Jacob, suffered greatly in her marriage. The reason was that Jacob, her husband loved Rachel more than he did Leah. “When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, He opened her womb; but Rachel was barren.” (Genesis 29:31) And so Leah gave birth to most of Jacob’s offspring. Then God remembered Rachel. He opened her womb and she begat Joseph who was the last-born and the apple of his father’s eye.
If for any reason we feel God has abandoned us, look no further, it is because we have abandoned Him in the first instance. God’s nature is not to forsake His own. Besides He wants to lose none of us to the ruler of the world – the destroyer. When we fall by the wayside, and we are serious about having our relationship restored, like the Prodigal Son, we can arise from out of the rubble and head home where we belong. He assures us that “He who comes to me, I will never drive away.” (John 6:37b) The reception He gave the Prodigal Son is not atypical of His Love – that is His nature. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
God is jealous about His Children to the extent that He wants all of us saved – meaning that He has reserved a place in His abode in heaven for all those who call upon His name.