Why Have You Forsaken Me?

Psalm 119:87

In Psalm 119:87, David surveyed the attacks of his enemies, but then declared that he “did not forsake”  the precepts of God. 1David used the phrase “did not forsake” (“לֹא-עָזַבְתִּי”). meaning here that he did not leave or abandon the precepts of God.  In contrast, David felt “burning indignation” at the wicked who had forsaken (“עֹזְבֵי”) God’s law (Psalm 119:53, page 977).  David emphasized the relationship between attacks and sufferings in Psalm 119:87.  He counted upon God being faithful to him, and delivering him, especially because he steadfastly followed the precepts of God, even while his enemies assailed him.    


Psalm 9:10

In Psalm 9:10, page 863, David followed that same theme of trust in God.  David there proclaimed that God does not forsake those believers who put their trust in Him. 2David used the Hebrew phrase “not forsake” (“לֹא-עָזַבְתּ”) as a prime attribute of God who steadfastly sustains David and all believers who trust in Him for deliverance and strength  

Psalm 37:25

Similarly, David also observed in Psalm 37:25, page 890, that he had never seen God “forsake” the righteous, or his descendants begging bread. 3David used the Hebrew term “forsake” (“נֶעֱזָב”)  to describe God as never abandoning the righteous. As a niphal participle, David apparently emphasized that God faithfully holds the hand of the righteous, even when the righteous fall–God never abandons the righteous to begging bread permanently. David had observed the righteous over the course of his lifetime, and concluded that God never abandoned the righteous, and always provided food for them. 

Psalm 37:33

In Psalm 37:33, page 891, David declared that God “will not leave” the righteous in the hand of the wicked enemy. 4David used the Hebrew terms “will not forsake” (“לֹא-יַעַזְבֶנּוּ”) in the sense of leave behind in evil hands.  This use of the term “forsake” indicated that God delivered believers from the grasp of the enemy, as well as keeping believers out of the grasp of the evil ones.

Summary

In these examples, David described the activity of God in delivering people from evil and troubles.  He also focused upon his trust in God acting as a deliverer in contrast to a forsaker.  God delivered him from the wicked plots and schemes of his enemies.  I find it particularly interesting that even when David stumbled spiritually, he still expected that God would never forsake him.  The wicked aroused indignation through their evil actions, but David trusted the LORD to deliver him. 5Of course, believers freed through faith from condemnation and the wages of sin never experience the suffering and payment for sin required by holy justice.  The Lord Jesus Christ uniquely, finally, fully and vicariously, suffered for sinners and paid the full debt, experiencing spiritual death for us (1 John 2:1, page 1904; Romans 8:1, page 1768; Hebrews 10:10-18, page 1880). God only required one sufficient payment for sin, and Christ fully and finally satisfied the debt and the demands of all justice.  David never expected the LORD to forsake him permanently to his enemies, because he maintained steadfast trust in God for deliverance.

References │ Page Numbers Below Footnotes   [ + ]

1. David used the phrase “did not forsake” (“לֹא-עָזַבְתִּי”). meaning here that he did not leave or abandon the precepts of God.  In contrast, David felt “burning indignation” at the wicked who had forsaken (“עֹזְבֵי”) God’s law (Psalm 119:53, page 977).
2. David used the Hebrew phrase “not forsake” (“לֹא-עָזַבְתּ”) as a prime attribute of God who steadfastly sustains David and all believers who trust in Him for deliverance and strength
3. David used the Hebrew term “forsake” (“נֶעֱזָב”)  to describe God as never abandoning the righteous. As a niphal participle, David apparently emphasized that God faithfully holds the hand of the righteous, even when the righteous fall–God never abandons the righteous to begging bread permanently.
4. David used the Hebrew terms “will not forsake” (“לֹא-יַעַזְבֶנּוּ”) in the sense of leave behind in evil hands.
5. Of course, believers freed through faith from condemnation and the wages of sin never experience the suffering and payment for sin required by holy justice.  The Lord Jesus Christ uniquely, finally, fully and vicariously, suffered for sinners and paid the full debt, experiencing spiritual death for us (1 John 2:1, page 1904; Romans 8:1, page 1768; Hebrews 10:10-18, page 1880). God only required one sufficient payment for sin, and Christ fully and finally satisfied the debt and the demands of all justice.