When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.
1. The love of our heavenly Father towards all men, but especially His children by adoption and grace, is infinitely beyond the love of earthly parents towards their children.
(1) They may prove unnatural; their bowels may be crusted up against the fruit of their own bowels. But the Lord cannot but love His people. He can as well cease to be, as to love.
(2) Their love may be alienated by needless jealousies, or false suggestions, and so lost. But His love is durable; He loveth His own unto the end. He knoweth the singleness of their hearts, and will receive no accusation against them. They, alas, are negligent enough; unthankful, undutiful children: nay, stubborn and rebellious. But as David's heart longed after Absalom, because he was his son, though a very ungracious one: so His bowels yearn after those that are no ways worthy to be called His sons. Forgiving all their by-past miscarriages upon their true repentance; receiving them with gladness, though they have squandered away all their portion with riotous living, if they return to Him in any time with humble, obedient, and perfect hearts; and in the meantime using very many admonitions, entreaties, and other artifices to win them to repentance; and forbearing them with much patience; that they may have space enough to repent in. And if upon such indulgences and insinuations they shall come in; He will not only welcome them with kind embraces, but do His part also to hold them in, when they are even ready to fly out again, and were it not for that hold, would in all likelihood so do.
(3) Parents' affections may be so strongly biassed another way, that in the pursuit of other delights they may either forget or disregard their children. But no such thing can befall our heavenly Father, who taketh pleasure in His people and in their prosperity,
2. Fathers and mothers, through human ignorance, cannot perfectly understand the griefs of their children, nor infallibly know how to remedy them if they did. But God, who dwelleth in light, nay, who is light, knoweth the inmost recesses, the darkest thoughts and secrets of all men's hearts, better than themselves do lie perfectly understandeth all their wants, and what supplies are fittest in their respective conditions. His blessings are our daily food, His corrections our physic.
3. Whereas our earthly parents have a limited and very narrow power, and cannot therefore do their children the good they would; our heavenly Father's power is infinite: not hindered by any resistance, or retarded by any impediments; not disabled by any casualties, occurrences, or straitness of time.
4. Our fathers and mothers, where are they? And do prophets, or Princes, or any sort of men live for ever? They all pass like a shadow, wither as grass, and are driven away as the grasshopper. When they must go, they cannot help them. selves: and when they are gone, they cannot help us. They are mortal men; lie the immortal God: they are dying men; He the living God. Life is one of His prerogatives royal. And therefore, when our fathers and mothers, and friends forsake us, because either their love faileth, or their skill faileth, or their power faileth, or their life faileth: our heavenly Father, who wanteth neither love, nor wisdom, nor power, nor life, but is infinite in all; we may rest assured in every way accomplished to succour us at all assays, and to take us up. And that He will engage all these for our relief, if we will but cast ourselves wholly upon Him; we have His gracious promise to fill up the measure of our assurance.
Parallel VersesKJV: When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.