“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Have you ever missed the school bus or a ride to an activity that was important to you? Being left is a terrible feeling! It is embarrassing and frustrating, and it can also be really sad – especially if you miss out on something you were really hoping to see or do. Sometimes it can even be dangerous to be left behind. What if you accidentally got left in a football stadium? What if you were on a hiking trail and got separated from your friends? It could be scary, and lonely, and maybe even harmful to be left like that.
Sometimes we rely on people too much. It is okay to count on your friends and family to keep an eye out for you and to remember your needs and hopes. But friends and family are human, and sometimes they forget or make mistakes. Some people might take off on you because they want to do something selfish for themselves, or some might turn their back on you when you have done something wrong. People are human. They might let you down. They might give up on you. They might leave you.
The writer of Hebrews 13:5 was reminding readers of what Jesus said to His disciples – that He would never leave them. He would never forsake them. Jesus is God; He is greater than our human friends and family. He is better than anything we might try to be or to get on our own. In this verse, the Bible shows us the kind of God Who promises to be faithful. That means He is not the kind of God Who lets His people down. He is not the kind of God Who leaves His people alone. He keeps His promises.
God is not a leaver. He has always been more trustworthy than anything or anyone else. He has always been more faithful than any of our friends and family could ever hope to be. He is God and always has been. In the Old Testament (Psalm 27:10), the psalmist writes, “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.” Most fathers and mothers would die before giving up on their children or leaving their children! But if a parent ever did give you up or leave you behind, you could still count on God. Even if you yourself fail, even if your best-loved friends and family fail, and even if everything you know and trust were to drop suddenly off the face of the Earth, you can remember that God is not a leaver. He is not a forsaker.
Again, the writer of Hebrews 13:5 was reminding the Hebrew Christians what Jesus told His disciples about never leaving them. It is for this reason – that Jesus does not leave us – that this verse teaches we should not covet. If we remember the kind of God we have – that He will never leave or forsake His people – then we do not need to want things we do not have. We should not desire something so much that we think we need it in addition to God or instead of God.
Do you ever wish you could have a certain thing? Do you ever wish you could have a certain someone for a friend? Remember that things, and even humans who love you, will fail you. Look at those things and people you trust the most. If they were ever to leave you or let you down, would you have anything left? Do not covet things or people to keep you company. Count on God to stay with you.
God is not the kind of God Who leaves. We can count on Him more than anyone or anything else.
» Am I trying to collect things or get friends so that I can protect myself from being lonely?
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