GOD NEVER ABANDONS HIS PEOPLE
"Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you” – (Isaiah 49:15)
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The car rocks up and down and swerves from side to side as it negotiates from one ditch to another on the road and the shock absorbers are called in to do their best to cushion the effects of the galloping of the car on the passengers. They do their best, but having to do this daily for months, they are stretched beyond capacity and they fail, and so do the brake pads, the hubs and the entire traction system of the vehicle. The tyres are not left without adversity, and so are all other parts of the car worn out from the terrible condition of this road. The worst scene of all is when the rains come pouring down and the road which intersects a swamp, becomes all miry and marshy, with all sorts of cars, buses and trucks getting stuck for days on this portion of a federal highway, and some have to be recovered with the aid of towing vehicles. This portion of the road which normally takes five minutes to drive through now takes about thirty minutes to pass. This is just the small way I can describe the road I had been plying to work regularly for about two years and there are no overstatements in my description of it. It is unquantifiable the toll this bad road condition takes on public health and on business.
This road which connects Calabar municipality with Akpabuyo and Akamkpa local government areas of Cross River State, and which leads all the way to Obanliku local government area on the Nigeria-Cameroun border, is unfortunately the only road anyone wishing to travel to these places can use. The road had been in use for several years and was in good condition until a contract for its dualization was initiated by the federal government of Nigeria under the agency of the Niger Delta Development Commission, as I am told. A Chinese firm mobilized to site and cleared off the existing asphalt and started digging and carrying out all other civil engineering procedures I may not be able to describe here. This went on for a few weeks and then the earth moving equipments could no longer be sighted and no Chinese contractors could be seen on site; they had withdrawn. What may have happened to cause the sudden withdrawal from the project is still a mystery to members of the public as there is no official statement from government on this, but it is widely rumoured that the Chinese contractor mobilized to site without a formal, due process award of the contract to it, and had hoped to force the government to award it the contract by starting the work. But could that explanation be tenable? One wonders why the Chinese contractor has not been held up to such act of vandalism of public property, the firm sealed off and its agents deported to their countries for prosecution. Whatever may have transpired, the simple word that describes this road project is “abandoned”. No remedial works have ever been undertaken by the State government (who claim the road is not its responsibility since it is a federal road) or the Federal government and the citizens have been left to suffer gruesome ordeals for two years now and no one knows when government will do anything about it. Abandoned! Such is the situation in very many other states, the landscape is littered with projects which are never completed. There is always a song in my mind when I go on this road, and it says “I am a divine project, I cannot be abandoned. I have a contract with my God and He will never abandon me until He finishes His contract in my life”. Governments everywhere abandon the people they are put in place to serve, and that is just the paradox.
However, it is not only governments that are guilty of abandoning its people and projects. People abandon other people. Friends abandon their friends, husbands abandon their wives to suffer while they go all over spending their fortunes on women of easy virtues. Parents abandon their sons and daughters and fail to provide for their education and basic needs. It could get so bad that even a suckling babe can be abandoned by its mother. Children, when they have grown up, may also abandon their aged parents to live in a squalor and to die in misery. It is with this in mind that we must consider the words in Isaiah 49 verse 15, which tells us of an exception to this order. God here tells His people He will never forget them. This is a wonderful promise to consider. But does God keep His promises, we may ask, knowing that husbands and wives who swear solemn oaths never to leave each other break such oaths and get a divorce, abandoning themselves, will God stay with His people to the end? Let us examine this noble promise and see if it indeed provides us with a cheer and a firm hope to look up to God.
First, we shall see that God has not abandoned the human race, though it has sinned greatly against Him. He made man in His image and likeness to be holy, just and righteous as He is, but the same man chose the ways of the devil and does wickedness and evils of all forms. Surely the giver of rain should lock up the Sky and close up the fountains of the earth so that sinful men would die of thirst, but He does not do so. Surely the giver of the air that we breathe should seize the air and in minutes, we will be all dead, but though He can do this without difficulty, He does not do it. A famous argument advanced by Atheists against God is that He lets floods, tsunamis, earthquakes and other natural disasters to occur, and so they say if He exists at all, He is mean. Such arguments miss the point and fails to see that most natural disasters are caused by man’s activities interfering with the course of the natural environment thereby leading to abnormal behaviour. Climate change activists will readily confirm this negative man-made impact on the environment. Again we know that God has no pleasure in the death of the wicked, He would rather have him or her to repent and give up their sinful ways and works (Ezekiel 18:23), and if it were that God must resort to the use of the elements to punish sinful men, the entire earth should by now be wiped out, for wickedness abounds on earth. However, God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son to die for the sins of the world that He may redeem the lives of the people He had created from their captivity to sin and the devil (John 3:16). It is now over 2000 years since God made this great sacrifice, and many men and women still scorn this amazing love of God and free gift of Salvation in Jesus Christ. Certainly God ought to abandon mankind by now, but He still waits with open arms to receive all who can just make it to the ark of His mercy before it closes and fiery wrath is poured out on the earth. This is proof that God does not abandon His people. O that sinners, no matter how vile and wicked, would only take a step to come back to God and He shall run to them, embrace them and throw a party for them in His Kingdom (Luke 15:20, Luke 15:7).
Furthermore, we shall learn from the experience of saints of all ages that God never abandons His Children. His marvelous providence for those who trust in Him stand as witness to this fact. No son or daughter of God was left to die out in the cold like the ungodly because God’s wrath will be his blanket in the coldest of nights. Difficult situations still confront children of God, but there is a certain fact that though the righteous may fall seven times, they bounce back again ever stronger after each fall (Proverbs 24:16). Let the ungodly fall, and that is his or her end because they have no God by their side to lift them up. God listens to the requests and petitions of His own dear children as they pray to Him and He answers them speedily. Joseph was cast into the pit and then sold to the Ishmaelites who sold him to Potiphar, the Egyptian. Joseph’s brothers abandoned him but God never did. he made him the prime minister of Egypt in the course of time (Genesis 37-46). Hannah was given up for a barren woman, but God never abandoned her. He gave her a son, Samuel the prophet and judge of Israel, and so was Elizabeth the mother of John the baptist (1 Samuel 1:1-20,Luke 1:1-80). Jephthah was abandoned by his family and driven out as a bastard, but God never abandoned him, and in due season, the same people who drove him out came begging and pleading with him to lead them in battle against their enemies. He became a hero and led those who had rejected him and counted him good for nothing (Judges 11:1-11). David was not counted to have the stuff of a military man to serve in Saul’s army, and while abandoned to keep a herd of sheep in the wilderness, God sought him out, anointed him and made him the slayer of Goliath and successor to king saul (1 Samuel 16:4-13). Gideon had concluded that God had abandoned His beloved people of Israel and had given them up for plunder by the Midianites, but God had not abandoned Israel and He used Gideon with three hundred men of faith to bring mighty deliverance to Israel thus showing that though sin can separate God from His people yet He never divorces them and welcomes them back when they repent (Judges 6:12-14).
God never abandons His people. In the cruelest persecutions in Christian history, when saints were fed to Lions, burnt at the stakes, crucified on crosses, drawn and torn apart by teams of horses and subjected to the harshest punishments imaginable, it was always said of them, that they withstood all that was done to them with a strength which only God could give. They met their last moments, though horrifying, with a gleam on their faces. Read the Foxe’s Book of Martyrs and you will agree with me that even in the darkest hours of this world’s outrage on Christians, God never abandoned His people. There are more than enough testimonies of God’s ever abiding presence and intervention in the lives of His sons and daughters. So many Christians have escaped unhurt from ghastly automobile accidents, so many have come out of extreme poverty to wealth by God’s miraculous provision. Like David, so many have come out from unknown and obscure families and communities to lead organizations without any human connections but by God’s promotion. I bet if you will ask and investigate around you, you shall see these great company of believers in Jesus Christ who can testify to the fact that God never abandons them nor any of His children.
This was the testimony of King David when he said “I have been young, and now I am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken nor his descendants begging bread” (Psalm 37:25). O what a great privilege it is to be a child of God. The Everlasting Father is the best father anyone could have in this world. Dear friend, why would you not put your trust and hopes in God? It is a joyful thing to know that even the children of the righteous are remembered and cared for by God for the righteous’ sake. Do you worry about how to cater for your family? Let me encourage you to live righteously before God and He will surely not let you or your children beg for your necessities. Do you feel abandoned by your government, your friends or family, and from people who should care for and keep you company, turn to God in prayers and you will know that His presence is worth more than a thousand of earthly companions.
Be encouraged to continue in holy living and in doing what is good and right and though the world may not applaud you for this, you have a God who takes note and shall reward you in due time. Though you stumble and struggle and even stagger on your way to Heaven, do not stay down or quit, let these words of the Psalmist nudge you on to victory. “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope. For you will not leave my soul in Sheol (grave, or hell), Nor will you allow your Holy One to see corruption. You will show me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; At your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16: 9-11).
God will never abandon me. You can be certain God will never leave you or forsake you if you are His child.
Are you His child? If you want to start a relationship with God today, He is ready to accept you and adopt you into His family by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. You need to repent and turn away from sin and live for God the rest of your life.
“Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.” If you have this prayer with the whole of your heart, then be assured God has heard you and saved you. You now need to seek out a church around you where you will get to know God more and live the new life you have received by Christ death and resurrection. God bless you.
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