Be strong! Be fearless! Don’t be afraid and don’t be scared by your enemies, because the Lord your God is the one who marches with you. He won’t let you down, and he won’t abandon you.
This passage speaks to one of the deepest fears in each of our hearts: being abandoned by people we love.
There’s plenty in Deuteronomy 31 that’s morally ambiguous at best and morally objectionable at worst – a promise that God will lead Israel into battle and “destroy” their enemies.
But this piece, the promise not to abandon us, not to leave us alone, is so important for us to hear. Do you remember what it was like as a child to get separated from your Mom or Dad in a store? That feeling of panic that arose in you until you found them again?
We all need people in our lives we can trust to be there…no matter what. Unfortunately, we know from hard experience that people are fallible. We let one another down all the time, even in our closest relationships. And not only that, but we’re also subject to so many things we can’t control, even when we have the best intentions. We get sick. Close friends move across the country for work. Sometimes, things just fall apart.
No matter what, God’s speaks this word: “I won’t abandon you.” Even when everything else around us fails – we can rest assured that God is still God. We can trust that the One who made us is the One who loves us. Always.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
Who are the people in your life who have stood by you at critical times, refusing to abandon you? Have you thanked them lately?
Prayer: God, there are many times when we feel abandoned and alone. Sometimes, those feelings reflect the reality of our situations; other times they are illusions created by our unwillingness to reach out for help. In every difficulty, remind us that you are as close as our breath and always so much larger than our problems. Thank you for never letting us down. Amen.