“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)
This marvelous promise of security ought to serve to strengthen us in the face of any and all opposition. Our trust is in the Lord and His promises, in stark contrast to the preceding admonition to let our mindset “be without covetousness; and [to] be content with such things as [we] have.”
A covetous spirit actually breaks the last of the ten commandments, and this warning tells us that such a spirit can afflict a Christian if he allows himself to become discontented with God’s provision. The presence of God is far more precious than material possessions, and this should be enough.
The promise is even more emphatic in the Greek. The word “leave,” which means to uphold or sustain, is preceded by a twice-repeated negative. It literally means “I will not, I will not cease to uphold you!” The word “forsake” implies forsaking one in a position of hopelessness and is preceded by a thrice-repeated negative: “I’ll never, never, never abandon you in a hopeless state!”
Furthermore, this is a personal promise from Christ Jesus. The phrase “he hath said” is in an intensive mode in Greek and could rightly be translated, “He, himself, hath said.” Our Lord stakes His reputation on His ability to provide us security. No wonder “we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (Hebrews 13:6). The last verse from the grand hymn “How Firm a Foundation” now takes on new meaning. JDM
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I will not desert to his foes.
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.
Click here for the sheet music for this hymn.