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God's Promise Never to Forsake.

God's Promise Never to Forsake.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 08, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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GOD'S PROMISE EVER TO FORSAKE.BY JAMES W. ALEXADER, D. DAs if it were not enough tliat God has given ushis Son, and with him all things, we are cim-tinually repining and distrusting. ot instructedby a thousand instances in our past lives, in whichGod has extricated us from difficulties, and beenbetter to us than all our fears, and forgetful of thegreat fact in our history that not one good thinghath failed, of all that the Lord promised, we actover again the murmurings and the incredulity of Israel in the desert. " They forgat God their Sa-viour." "Yea, they despised the pleasant land,they believed not his word, but murmured in theirtents, and hearkened not unto the voice ox theLord." Ps. 106. In such circumstances, it would be(nfinitely just in God, to take us at our word, andleave us to sink in our own unbelief, and suffer allwe fear ; but blessed be his holy name, his waysare not as our ways, nor his thoughts as our thoughts.He condescends to reason with the wayward, ungrate-ful child, and to bring his promises into view. Soin that remarkable passage of the epistle to the He-brews, in regard to anxieties about temporal sup262 • COSOLATIO.port, tlie apostle says, " Be content with such thingsas ye have ; for He hath said, I will never leavethee nor forsake theeP It is not certain what parti-cular passage of the Old Testament is here quoted,for such are the riches of promise that the mean-ing is found in many passages. The reference mayl)e to the case of Abraham (Gen. 28 : 15) : " Andbehold I am with thee, and will keep thee in al]places whither thou goest, — ^for I will not leave thee,until I have done that which I have spoken to theeof" Or to the case of collective Israel : (Deut. 31 :6) : " Be strong and of a good courage, fear not,nor be afraid of them, for the Lord thy God, he itis that doth go with thee ; he will not fail thee, nor
foi'sake thee."There is a gracious mystery about covenant pro-mises, which we should earnestly seek to understand.What God promises to any one of the Old Testa-ment saints, he promises to every behever, with suchmodification as suits his particular case. For alliiiBse promises are different leaves of the same treeof life, different expressions of the same covenant of grace. In this sense, whatsoever things were writ-ten aforetime, were written for our learning, thatwe through scriptural patience and comfort mighthave hope. It is in this way that thousands of be-lievers have drunk at the same fountain ; and whatGod said to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob has beenthe refreshment of many souls in all generations*This principle of interpreting promises is impliedin the verse just quoted. The apostle clearlyGOD WILL OT FOBSAKE. 268invites all Christians to receive, collectively and in-dividually, that comprehensive promise, which mayoriginally have been addressed to an indi^ddual orto " the church in the wilderness." He gives it aform so general that it is not so much one promise,as all promises in one. And he adds a force of as-severation, which our language cannot reach ; for inthe Greek these few words contain no less than ^venegatives ; to give the full force of which we shouldhave to read it thus : " I will never, never leavethee, I will never, never, never forsake thee." Theprecious truth therefore which I commend to youfor all coming years, is this : God engages in cove-nant, to be with the believer, for all needful good,now, henceforth, and for ever.*When God says that he will never leave, it is of course a promise to be ever present. But this meansmore than that omnipresence which reaches equallyto all creatures. This indeed sustains their existence,but does not insure their happiness; because theworst and most wretched of men might say withthe Psalmist, "If I make my bed in hell^ beholdthou art there !" It means more than that provi-
dential sustentation and help, in regard to whichGod causeth his sun to rise and his rain to fall, onthe evil and the good. It is not only a benignantand bountiful but a gracious presence, founded onthe provisions of the covenant of grace. God willnot forsake his Son, the head of the mystical body,and therefore he will not forsake any one of those* Ov firj (re avca, ov5' ov firj a€ ey/caraXiVo).264 COSOLATIO.who are joined to his Son. Let us clearly appre-hend this connection. There is no gracious dealingwith any, but through the Mediator. There is noadoption of any, but in the only begotten of theFather. There are none reconciled, but throughthe Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of theworld. There are none accepted, but " in the Be-loved." All the wealth of blessing is treasured inhis hand ; and in him all the promises ai'e Yea, andin him Amen. Which will serve to answer a ques-tion that no doubt has been rising in the reader'smind, to wit. To whom is the promise of the textmade ? It is made to believers, and to none others.To all men, without exception, God is loving andbountiful ; but his promise never to forsake is madeko such only as by receiving Christ make all thepromises their own. That God will leave and for-sake the finally impenitent, and that to all eternity,is a truth which ought to thunder in the ear of every ungodly reader.How can I expound such a promise as this ? It issimple and clear as light. It needs not so much ex-position, as belief and application. It is not thepromise of one blessing, but of all. It does notBO much say what God will do, as declare that thereis nothing which he will not do. The Lord God isa sun and shield ; no good thing will he withholdfrom them that walk uprightly. In these words heoffers not simply his gifts, but himself. Whateverthere is in God of help and comfort, is herein madeover to the believer, through Christ Jesus . for he

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