When all the froth and bubble is sipped away from beverage that is one life, the key and vibrant truth most pertinent to the living of life is God, present and with us, everywhere, every time, in every situation. We can, therefore, be content. We are to be content. This is the meaning implicit and explicit in Hebrews 13:5-6, with the Greek words (the original language the New Testament was written in) above and the New Living Translation below. I will explain why I’ve added the Greek later:
(Greek) Ἀφιλάργυρος ὁ τρόπος, ἀρκούμενοι τοῖς παροῦσιν.
(NLT) Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have.
αὐτὸς γὰρ εἴρηκεν·
For God has said,
οὐ μή σε ἀνῶ οὐδʼ οὐ μή σε ἐγκαταλίπω,
“I will never, not in any way, fail you.
I will never, not in any way, abandon you.”
ὥστε θαρροῦντας ἡμᾶς λέγειν·
So we can say with confidence,
κύριος ἐμοὶ βοηθός,
“The Lord is my helper,
[καὶ] οὐ φοβηθήσομαι,
so I will have no fear.
τί ποιήσει μοι ἄνθρωπος;
What can any human being do to me?”
When we consider the power money has over many of us we know it takes our attention and devotion away from the things of God. But money is merely one salient symbol of idolatry – anything that takes us away from the purposes and plans of God is not only bad, but a waste of our time.
The Lord’s Unfailing Presence
The main focus of this article is the line οὐ μή σε ἀνῶ οὐδʼ οὐ μή σε ἐγκαταλίπω. Each οὐ in Greek means “not” and each μή means “definitely not”; add to this the οὐδʼ which also means “no” or “not”. There are five negations in this one verse, and two of them are strong, emphatic negations.
What this means is that the Lord will never, ever fail us, no, not ever in any way; the Lord will never, ever forsake us, no, not ever in any way.
For the very reason that God is with us, everywhere we go, at all times, and will never ever fail us or forsake us in any way, no, not ever, we ought to be unfailingly content.
Nothing can keep us from God and nothing and nobody can dissuade us from the blessing God has ordained for us. But we must agree that our Lord has our best in mind, always; that God alone is faithful.
All this generates an irrepressible “confidence” in us; a boldness that is not built in pride, but in the righteousness of God.
Take heart; take comfort; God is present everywhere. He who seeks you always will never, not ever, fail you, nor will he ever forsake you, no, not ever.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.