Does God abandon people?

My God, My God why have you abandoned me?

I encourage you to read Psalms, chapter 22 which begins with your quote. Our Lord uttered the phrase from the cross, not as an expression of despair, but one of hope. The Jews of that time frequently memorized large portions of scripture (as books/scrolls could be very expensive) and most would have been able to recite the rest of the psalm in the same way that people of today can remember song lyrics.

There is also the famous poem Footprints in the Sand by Mary Stevenson

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,
“The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you.”

Copyright © 1984 Mary Stevenson, from original 1936 text, All rights reserved

Basic answer to your question: God never abandons us.


Agreed: God never abandons us. I like the passage in Isaiah (49: 14-16)
“But Zion said: ‘The Lord has forsaken me.’
Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb?
Even should she forget, I will never forget you.
See, upon the palms of my hands, I have written your name…”

The psalms are full of references to God’s steadfast love. Read for example Psalms 136, 117, 118, or 51. St. Paul tells us in Romans 8:38-39

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord

One of my most favourite passages :slight_smile:

He abandoned Saul, first King of Israel. In 1 Samuel we find the account of Saul’s disobedience that lead to the LORD taking the kingdom away from Saul. In 1 Samuel 28:16 we have the account of Saul conjuring up the spirit of Samuel (deceased) by way of the medium/witch of Endor. Samuel tells him:

"16 And Samuel said, “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has turned from you and become your enemy? "

In that abandoned despair he committed suicide, 1 Samuel 31:4-6

“…Saul took his own sword, and fell upon it. 5 And when his armor-bearer saw that Saul was dead, he also fell upon his sword, and died with him. 6 Thus Saul died, and his three sons, and his armor-bearer, and all his men, on the same day together.”

Maybe this will help

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.”
Isaiah 49:15
“God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’”
Hebrews 13:5

Actually Saul abandonded God and He respected that decision.

No but we abandon God.

There is a beautiful commentary on this very topic in the Catholic Answers’ Minute by [user]Fr. Vincent Serpa[/user] that can be found here. It starts at approximately 12:41 into the program, so you’ll need to skip ahead if you don’t want to listen to the rest of the show. Not sure if it can be found elsewhere independently. It’s definitely worth a listen. :yup:

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit