MAT 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” -which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Forsaken is a word that is not commonly used in the world today. However, to me it has a very powerful meaning. This is especially true in the verse above. The thought of the Messiah at a point when he has been forsaken by the Father because of our sins must move us. Does that thought move us as a Christian? To forsake means to desert or abandon. Sometimes the phrase “God foraken wilderness” is used to describe a region that is totally desolate and has no one to look after it. Have we ever felt deserted or abandoned in our lives? If we have, it was probably by someone that is close to us. We would not feel abandoned by someone we have only a casual relationship. Listed below are a few places where the word “forsaken” is used in the scriptures. Let’s take a look at these passages and think about what they are saying to us with the definition of “forsaken” in mind.
PSA 37:25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
Here the Psalmist writes that he has never seen the righteous forsaken during an extended period of life. Many people today seem to feel that God has forsaken them because of the suffering they have to endure. I want to make the point that suffering and being forsaken are different things. It is made clear that those truly trying to serve God are going to suffer because of it. We need to remember that God will never forsake those that are serving him. This is evidenced by the fact that even though we as Christians suffer like all, God will provide us with the comfort and support to endure whatever that suffering might be.
2CH 15:2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
If God does not forsake the righteous, will He forsake anyone. The scripture above makes it clear that He will. The important thing to remember is that the one God forsakes has forsaken Him first. How can we abandon God? You have to first acknowledge who and what God is. Remembe earlier I pointed out that it would be hard to feel forsaken by someone we have a casual relationship with. This is better illustrated by the next verse.
REV 2:4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.
The church described here had actually loved God. It not only loved God among man other things, God had been it’s FIRST love. Have we ever seen someone totally turn their back on someone that at one point in time meant more to them than anything else? Have we done this ourselves? Do we look at people who are extremely enthusiastic about becoming a Christian slowly lose their zeal for God as time goes by? While I do not want to imply that this a sign that someone has totally forsaken the Father, I feel it is a question we all as Christians must address as the cares of this world try to invade our service to God.
ISA 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
The last verse I want to look at shows that there are some things a servant of God should forsake. Again let us think about the definition of forsaken as meaning to desert or abandon. Is this what we do with sin when we become a Christian? We talk of repentance and forgiveness of the sins we have in or lives. But what about all of the sin that still exists in the world? God expects us to forsake it, just as the Messiah was forsaken on the cross!
These are just a few thoughts that I had on the topic of being forsaken. I hope this will be helpful to all in their service to God and causes to think about the meaning of this word when we do encounter it