What Does Forsaken Mean In The Bible

Definition of Forsaken

The dictionary definition of the verb, forsake, is “to abandon or leave someone or something abandoned; to renounce; to desert”. So in turn, the noun, forsaken, means something that has been abandoned or renounced or deserted. A biblical interpretation of the word is to be willfully left behind by God.

Traditional Interpretations

The concept of being forsaken by God is a major theme throughout the Bible. It is often interpreted as referring to one’s own sinful, disobedient or even unfaithful behaviour. In Psalm 22:1 the psalmist writes “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish?” This is a statement of despair as the psalmist has broken away from God in some form or another and is longing to be taken back. By contrasting joy and sorrow, Psalm 22 conveys a sense of abandonment by God.


In addition to Psalm 22, several other Bible passages discuss the concept of being forsaken by God. Isaiah 53:3-6 refers to the suffering of Jesus and how he was “despised and rejected” and forsaken by God, his Father. Another example is Lamentations 5:20, where the psalmist cries out, “Why have You forgotten us forever? Why have You forsaken us for so long?” This passage speaks to the deep sorrow felt by the exiles of Babylon and their sense of isolation from God.

A Modern Interpretation

A more modern interpretation of being forsaken by God suggests that it is not necessarily about God leaving us, but rather it is about our attitude towards Him. When we disregard God’s will and our spiritual mission, we may feel hostile towards God and experience an unsettling sense of abandonment. Honestly assessing our own spiritual failings and allowing God to move us closer to His will can break us out of this cycle of self-imposed, spiritual separation.

Being Restored

The Bible promises that following repentance, it is possible to be restored to God’s favour. In Isaiah 54:10, the Bible says: “For though the mountains be moved and the hills be shaken, yet my love will not be removed from you, and my covenant of peace will not be shaken, says the Lord.” This verse is an example of how, through repentance and a relationship with God, we can be restored to Divine favour.

Finding Comfort

The Bible not only speaks about the consequences of being forsaken by God, but also the grace and comfort of being reunited with Him. In Isaiah 41:10 the Lord says “Fear not, for I am with you.” This speaks to the promise of God’s presence and the comfort it brings to those who have felt forsaken.

Humility and Obedience

Ultimately, the Bible teaches that obedience, humility and a continual relationship with God are the most important components of staying close to Him. The Lord Himself said in Deuteronomy 4:30, “Never forget what you have seen the Lord do for you. Obey all his commands, and you will be prosperous and successful.” Keeping this mind, the best way to avoid being forsaken by God is to remain in a close relationship with Him.

Restoration of Fellowship

Being restored to fellowship with God is a key theme throughout the Bible. This can look different ways, including being in a state of mutual love and understanding with Him, as seen in Hosea 2:14-15, as well as a deeper relationship of trust, as demonstrated in Jeremiah 24:7 “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.”

Living in His Abiding Presence

Ultimately, the Bible teaches that the key to avoiding being forsaken by God is to remain in close relationship with Him. Allowing Him to be an ever-present part of our lives, and embracing His grace, love and mercy will help us to stay in an abiding fellowship with Him.

Obeying His Commands

The Bible promises that through obedience and following His commands, we can remain in His grace and mercy. This is seen in Psalm 119:3, “Obey my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye”. The psalmist is reminded of the importance of obeying God in order to remain in His love and favour.

Seeking His Will In Everyday Life

Living in fellowship with God requires a conscious effort to seek His will and direction. Psalm 25:12 says, “Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose”. This shows that the path of obedience and living in fellowship with God requires one to actively seek Him out and learn His will.

Seeking His Forgiveness

When we do make mistakes and fall away from fellowship with God, seeking His forgiveness is one of the most important steps we can take to return to His love and favour. In Isaiah 55:6-7, the Lord says “Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord and he will have mercy on them.” This is a reminder of God’s mercy and willingness to forgive our sins.

Treating Others with Compassion

Treating others with compassion and mercy, as God has treated us, is one of the best ways to stay close to Him. In Matthew 25:40 Jesus says to His followers “Whatever you do to the least of these brothers of mine, you do to me”. This is a reminder to be merciful and loving towards others, as this will lead us to remain in a state of belovedness and peace with God.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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