God Will Never Forsake You

Hebrews 13:5–6

The love of money — a craving for money as the source of our security — is an epidemic in our world, and maybe especially in our nation. So how do we kill the craving within us? In this lab, John Piper models what it means to fight temptation with the promises of God.

Principle for Bible Reading

Some of the most difficult texts in the Bible are God’s commands us for us to feel (or not feel) certain things — joy, love, anger, contentment, and more. Fortunately, the Bible does not give us commands to feel without truths to awaken those feelings. Study the promises God has given us, and pray that he would cause your heart to feel in accordance with those great truths.

Study Questions

  1. The commands in Hebrews 13:5 are commands to feel (or not feel) certain things. How do you approach commands to feel in the Bible? What does it mean, practically speaking, to obey those commands?
  2. The author of Hebrews quotes God’s promise to Joshua in Joshua 1:5. Why would he be comfortable applying a specific promise to an Old Testament believer to his readers (or to us today)?
  3. Identify each of the essential points in the argument of Hebrews 13:5–6 (John identifies six). Then place the points in logical order, and explain how they relate to one another.
Piper: “If he’s bought us at the price of his Son’s blood, surely every promise in the Old Testament is true for us.”

Introduction/Prayer (00:00–01:07)

How Do We Obey Commands to Feel? (01:07–02:57)

  • How do we obey commands to feel (or not to feel)? It seems like we have so little control over our feelings.
  • We’re commanded to flee love for money (a feeling), and put on contentment (a feeling) with what we have. (Hebrews 13:5–6)
  • The “love of money” is not just a commitment, but deep desire and longing — a craving for money as a means of security. (Hebrews 13:5)

One Promise from God (02:57–04:53)

  • How does God expect us to obey commands to feel? (Hebrews 13:5–6)
  • “For” in Hebrews 13:5 gives us the basis for feeling how we ought to feel.
  • If the Bible gives reasons for why we should not be discontent, we should not give up until those reasons feel real and effective to us.
  • Hebrews 13:5 quotes Joshua 1:5 to help us feel content, “I will never leave you or forsake you.”
  • The author of Hebrews applies Joshua 1:5 because of texts like 2 Corinthians 1:20 and Romans 8:32.

Preach to Yourself (04:53–06:48)

  • From Joshua 1:9, the author turns to something we can confidently say. (Hebrews 13:6)
  • Why does he use “say” instead of “believe” or “trust”? (Hebrews 13:6)
  • He expects us to preach to ourselves, because believing can be so elusive.

The Path to Change (06:48–10:39)

  • God promises his presence.
  • So I say, “The Lord is my helper.”
  • Therefore, man cannot ruin me.
  • Therefore, I will not fear.
  • And thus I am freed from my craving for money as the source of my security.
  • Therefore, I am content.
Piper: “We obey commands in the Bible to feel by preaching God’s promises to our hearts until they change us.”