That is a word we do not want to hear from God. It is also a word we do not want to do against God. The word means, “ leaving something or someone behind when they need you to stay.” Yesterday we talked about God forsaking the remnant. 2 Kings 21:12 “Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I am going to bring such disaster on Jerusalem and Judah that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 13 I will stretch out over Jerusalem the measuring line used against Samaria and the plumb line used against the house of Ahab. I will wipe out Jerusalem as one wipes a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down. 14 I will forsake the remnant of my inheritance and give them into the hands of enemies. They will be looted and plundered by all their enemies; 15 they have done evil in my eyes and have aroused my anger from the day their ancestors came out of Egypt until this day.” 2 Chronicles 36:20 “He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. This was not the plan for the Promised Land but they were told it would happen if they did not obey.
I know what you are thinking; God would never forsake His people. You have probably heard people quote Hebrews 13:5 “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” or Psalm 94:14 “For the Lord will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance,” yet He forsook the remnant. This is where the bible meets the church. Yes people have these ideas in their heads, passed down from generation to generation, that God would never do that to us but yet the bible makes it clear that He will and has. It is interesting that people speak about God using their own words yet do not use His words to describe Him. Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” So the church thinks that God will be with them always no matter what. All they have to do is go but look closely at the verse. It says teaching them to obey. This is the key, as we must obey. Paul said Colossians 1:23 “if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.” We have talked a lot about that little word if. This word is important and it can’t be ignored. Joshua 1:8 “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” It really is so important to grasp the if and then of scripture. 1 Chronicles 22:11 “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would. 12 May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. 13 Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”
Both Solomon and Joshua found out what happened when they disobeyed. Solomon lost his kingdom and Joshua was defeated in the Promised Land because of Achan’s disobedience. Joshua 7:25 “Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.” We saw this with Solomon. 1 Kings 11:9 “The Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice. 10 Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command. 6 So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord; he did not follow the Lord completely, as David his father had done.” Even though the promise to Joshua was one of victory, they were defeated in the Promised Land even though God had said to Joshua, Joshua 1:3 “I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Yet, the enemy at Ai routed them. To be victorious, we must obey. 1 Chronicles 28:9 “And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”
This is not about God’s promise but about man’s refusal to obey. If we choose not to obey, we loose the promise. Romans 2:5 “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.” They were told what to do and given the power to do it, yet they refused to obey. God said in, Deuteronomy 32:20 “I will hide my face from them and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful.” Joshua 24:20 “If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, he will turn and bring disaster on you and make an end of you, after he has been good to you.” They were told already what would happen. Deuteronomy 31:16 “And the Lord said to Moses: “You are going to rest with your ancestors, and these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them. 17 And in that day I will become angry with them and forsake them; I will hide my face from them, and they will be destroyed. Many disasters and calamities will come on them, and in that day they will ask, ‘Have not these disasters come on us because our God is not with us?” Even though the people said Joshua 24:16 “Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods!”
Once again Solomon shows us clearly what will happen when we forsake God. 2 Chronicles 7:17 “As for you, if you walk before me faithfully as David your father did, and do all I command, and observe my decrees and laws, 18 I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father when I said, ‘You shall never fail to have a successor to rule over Israel.’ 19 “But if you turn away and forsake the decrees and commands I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, 20 then I will uproot Israel from my land, which I have given them, and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name. I will make it a byword and an object of ridicule among all peoples. 21 This temple will become a heap of rubble. All who pass by will be appalled and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this temple?’ 22 People will answer, ‘Because they have forsaken the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who brought them out of Egypt, and have embraced other gods, worshiping and serving them—that is why he brought all this disaster on them.’” We also see this with King Asa. 2 Chronicles 15:2 “Azariah went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.” Ezra 8:22 “The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him, but his great anger is against all who forsake him.”
Teaching people that no matter what they do or how they live will have no affect on your relationship with God is not biblical. Revelation states even if you are lukewarm you will be spit out. Revelation 3:15 “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 2:4 “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” 2 Chronicles 29:6 “Our parents were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on him. 9 This is why our fathers have fallen by the sword and why our sons and daughters and our wives are in captivity.” Instead as Jesus said, we must teach obedience to God’s word.
We need to understand that God did forsake the remnant but not permanently as per his covenant with David. 2 Samuel 7:11 “The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’” Again what people miss is that Solomon lost the kingdom and Israel and Judah and the remnant were defeated by their enemies and taken captive. So even though the church has a promise, does not mean the church can forsake God and not be forsaken by God. We see the result of this because there is no power of the Holy Spirit. God’s promise to David will stand. “Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.” But remember for example when 2 Kings 11:1 “When Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she proceeded to destroy the whole royal family. 3 Joash remained hidden with his nurse at the temple of the Lord for six years while Athaliah ruled the land. 4 In the seventh year Jehoiada sent for the commanders of units of a hundred, the Carites and the guards and had them brought to him at the temple of the Lord. He made a covenant with them and put them under oath at the temple of the Lord. Then he showed them the king’s son. 12 Jehoiada brought out the king’s son and put the crown on him; he presented him with a copy of the covenant and proclaimed him king. They anointed him, and the people clapped their hands and shouted, “Long live the king!” 20 All the people of the land rejoiced, and the city was calm, because Athaliah had been slain with the sword at the palace. 21 Joash was seven years old when he began to reign.” So for a period of time the enemy ruled the land but in the end there was victory once again,
When Jesus was dying on the cross, Matthew 27:45 “From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”) But again when you read the scriptures, Psalm 22:1 explains this. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? 2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest.24 For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.” So yes God will turn His face from us so we ask Psalm 80:19 “Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.” 2 Chronicles 30:9 “If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”
Isaiah 55:6 “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” Psalm 9:10 “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.”