5-19-23

God’s promises are true. We can take them to the bank. One of those promises is that He will never leave us or forsake us.

In case you are just tuning in to this series, let me catch you up:

Background: As our singing group called Matthew* continued to travel and sing while my brother Randy, Dale and I were attending Oklahoma Baptist University, Dale began to hone his gift (he graduated with a Music Arts degree in Theory/Composition). The story behind this song is:

During college days at OBU, Dale was a worship leader for the college department at First Baptist Church, Shawnee. His college ministry leader was Charlotte Lankard who told a story of loyalty in familial love in the context of a hospital stay. Her goal was to illustrate God’s loyal love in all circumstances.
Dale was moved by the story and immediately set out to write a song in honor of Charlotte and the college department at FBC. He remembers writing the song in less than 30 minutes. The song seemed to write itself.
Trivia buffs for Matthew (our singing group) will know that David Polk sang lead on the song in Matthew concerts. Dale sang the lead in the solo album, Love Song, from which this recording is taken.

Father

Father, how the children cry and how they wonder why You never seem to hear,
And why You never speak out in their darkest night
and why they only hear the silence in the loneliest time of their lives.

Alone again, feeling alone again, feeling like nobody even hears.

Well, I once heard a story of a lady sick in bed,
she’d been suffering there for hours with only silence in her head;
And every time she’d wake up and open up her eyes,
her husband would be sitting there in the silence by her side.

So Father, help the children realize that in Your Word You promised You’d never leave their side,
and that You said You’d be there in their darkest night,
and sometimes in the silence is when You seem to speak the most.

There are several passages in the Bible that speak of the ever-presence of God, particularly in the lives of His followers. As Moses was handing off his leadership position to Joshua, Moses addressed the people and said, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” Deuteronomy 31:6.

One of my favorites is Psalm 73:23-26 by Asaph:

23 Yet I am always with you;
    you hold me by my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will take me into glory.

What I like so much about this passage is the difference in perspective: I am with Him rather than He with me.

In the New Testament, we have Matthew 28:19-20, which is the Great Commission,

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.

The writer of Hebrews in chapter 13 reiterated the Lord’s promise from Deuteronomy,

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,

“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”

So we say with confidence,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?”

Then he told us to “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” What a great promise from our Lord! May we take the same attitude as those who have gone before us.

Abba, may we take courage in the faith of our fathers. May we look for a kingdom not made of hands to which we belong, one that has You as its Chief Cornerstone and we as its living stones (Ephesians 2:20-21). We look forward to the fulfillment of that Day, O Lord. Amen.

*Matthew consisted of Randy Anderson, David Polk, Dale Griffin, Kelly Anderson, Bobby Anderson, and David Anderson.

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