A review of Ademola Adedeji’s book “Forgotten but Not Forsaken”
|Author Name||Ademola Adedeji|
FORGOTTEN, BUT NOT FORSAKEN
[The God of the mountain also stays with you while in the valley]
|Number of Chapters/Words||14 / 41,870|
The annals of history is awash and replete with memories – some comely, others – just the opposite, of those who have either carried out brave and memorable acts or who, for the sake of following their mundane desires, have succumbed to dastardly deeds.
What do you suppose is a standout similarity between the above mentioned scenarios? Viz, those who history have chosen to not-remember as a result of their nefarious acts or those who, as a result of their selfless acts – acts of extreme goodness, history has left unreplied?
The reply is as simple as the word ‘go’: They have not just been forgotten, but have been forsaken because the world does not want to associate with a scrupulous character, and at the same time prefers to leave the graves of martyrs strewn with flowers than attempt to gain valuable lessons from a life lived selflessly.
This has been the motto of the ages, a recurring theme in contemporary times and unfortunately, a cause for concern in the present moment. This book by Ademola Adedeji gives a reprieve to this unfortunate reoccurence. It provides an exhortation for the Pastor “struggling with the work of the ministry”, it shows an escape path “for that family in distress”, it clothes with encouragement “the promising young man whose dreams seem unrealizable”. It explains the “role of God’s kindness in the lives of the ‘Mephibosheth’s’ of our time”. And many more!
Succinctly put, this is a book of “spiritual suggestions” – priceless guidelines to assist those Forgotten, those Forsaken in the ever trudgy and bumpy life-journey.
Chapter 1: NOAH – THE MAN OF GOD
“Noah took up a task on the instruction of God”: Nothing transcends the noble act of carrying out a task, a task divinely given. However in Noah’s case, this was a task that ultimately “severed him from his friends and people”, and a task that also made him “drop his regular vocation for a divine assignment”. The author lends a clarion call – “see yourself in the light of Noah for a moment!”.
Noah was given an assignment, in the same vein, you were given an assignment. Noah was made a promise – of the coming floods, the same applies to you. The circumstances that surrounded Noah’s interesting 100-years-plus of waiting may be the same circumstance you are facing. I for one, can imagine that the jokes and jeers he would have received will trounce any stand-up comedy we have in the present day. “Noah could have felt dejected, rejected, disappointed, disgraced, and forgotten of God, so its only natural that you feel the same way”.
In the words of the author, “when it seems God’s promises are not forthcoming remember this, he has not forsaken you”.
Chapter 2: JOSEPH – THE DREAMER
Joseph – the recipient of the coat of many colours. His story characterizes the tales of those who have been “highly-favoured and highly esteemed”, therefore, they could dream. “They are always top performers and achievers in their places of employment”, therefore, they could dream.
This chapter highlights the importance of guarding your dreams. No wonder we were exhorted on these lines – “be swift to hear, and slow to speak”. This is a proactive measure used in guarding your dream. This is not a call to paranoia or of suspecting anyone without basis, but a call to be careful about whom you share your dreams with. The author gives some suggestions on how your dreams should be shared:
- Read books that shed more light on your dream.
- Know more about the people who have threaded the path of your dream – what challenges they encountered and how they weathered the storms. What successes they experienced and what failure (setback) they suffered.
This chapter contains inexhaustible nuggets on Joseph. It is a must read.
CHAPTER 3: THE CHILDREN OF ISREAL – A FAMILY IN DISTRESS
The author remarks, “Is your family identified with these? (the suffering of the children of Israel in Egypt). All you see around you is lack, failure, and all kinds of problems. There is no one who is actually doing any better; no one to inspire you as far as your family record is concerned. You can’t see any ray of hope; you sigh and feel your family has been God-forsaken. Remember this, the children of Israel also sighed by the reason of the bondage, and cried to God. You may have to do the same. When the children of Israel cried to God, He remembered His covenant with their fore-fathers, and had concern for them”.
This chapter is a reminder that if you can lead your family to cry unto God, your deliverance is on the way. The author highlights four things that happens on God decides to favour a family, viz: Favour, Progress, Speed and Peace.
CHAPTER 4: RAHAB – THE HARLOT
As the author remarked, “Rahab was a product of the moral decadence of her world”. Tears of pity will well up in your eyes if you ever had the opportunity to listen to or read the stories of so-called bad guys in the society. Indeed, many excuses such as peer pressure, poverty, low self esteem among others. But many of these decadence can be traced to an “extreme reaction” of disappointment by God, stemming mostly from unanswered prayers.
Perhaps you find you find yourself in the class of Rahab, this is a reminder that God has not forgotten, neither has he forsaken you.
CHAPTER 5: JEPHTHAH – THE OUTCAST
Jephthah – the left-handed area father who happened upon a situation that was not of his own making. A product of an illegitimate relationship, forced into extreme circumstances.
God has not forsaken you if you identify with the circumstances of Jephthah.
CHAPTER 6: OBEDEDOM – THE NONENTITY
A fortunate recipient of the result of an unfortunate incident. This comes as a reminder that many unfortunate incidences may just be precursors to a bigger picture – a bigger picture of God’s remembrance. The same heat that melts wax makes cement hardened. Similarly, the same ark that killed Uzzah was used as an object signifying God’s remembrance on an otherwise forgotten household.
It should be noted that Obededom was a Gittite – a stranger in the land, and every time David saw him, he was probably reminded of Goliath the Gittite. However, God’s remembrance wasn’t impeded by location. He is still in the business of remembering someone even in the unlikeliest of places.
CHAPTER 7: THE WIDOW
Widowhood is a gory period. Especially in certain parts of the world, the travails of widows are quite horrific. They are not spared the ire of jealous friends and relations. Theirs is a case of a magnet that attracts all metals. The widow highlighted in this chapter was a wife of one of the sons of the prophets in the time of Elisha.
This chapter highlights the various constraints that widows face, lessons to learn from other appelations of the word “widow” and other spiritual nuggets.
CHAPTER 8: JABEZ – THE CURSED CHILD
“The troubles of Jabez could be traced to his birth; he was cursed by his mother. He was christened by his mother in the name, Jabez, meaning ‘a child of sorrow’.”
The question to be asked, as the writer quipped is, “why should a mother curse her child?” He gives an insight by stating that, “There are many young women in our world that lost their virginity as victims of rape. Many were raped by their father or loved ones. Some were raped by armed robbers or gangsters in schools or on the streets. The emotional trauma, the shame, and the stigma lingered, but faded away after sessions of counselling.”
This must have been the case of Jabez’ mother. There are those who deny the reality of curses. In effect, they are real. Jabez prayed a powerful prayer that forced God’s hand to work for him. The details of these prayers are stated in this chapter.
CHAPTER 9: MEPHIBOSHETH – THE HANDICAPPED
“Mephibosheth was born a perfect child. He was born with a good pair of feet that were strong enough to stand him on the ground, and also move him around. But as revealed in the text (in the chapter), he became lame at age five”. This summarizes the story of Mephibosheth and gives reprieve to those who found themselves in situations they had originally not bargained for.
CHAPTER 10: HANNAH – THE BARREN WOMAN
One of the major aims of marriage is procreation, which incidentally accounts also as one of the joys of marriage.
But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut her womb. (1 Samuel 1: 5)
The author duly noted that “the course of barrenness in Hannah was not medical but spiritual”. He also noted that “Michal was one of the wives of King David; and she was the only barren woman in the Bible (as recorded), that died childless”. This lends credence to the first assertion.
The highlight of this chapter is an encouragement to keep “a living faith”. More of this can be read in the book.
CHAPTER 11: DAVID – THE LAST BORN
Various privileges are associated with being the first born of a family. Remarkably, even more privileges are keenly associated with being the last born of a family. However, you must note that for every privilege comes a constraint, a constraint that must either be exploited or rejected.
David was privileged, if you may, of being the last child (at the time) to his parents. However, he was also very low in the pecking order – a rung that accorded him looks of condencension and spite. Skill, courage, resilience, kindness, forgiveness, faithfulness, stanchness and reverence for God were the attributes, among others, David used in exploiting his constraints. What constraints do you face? Why not borrow a leaf from David?
CHAPTER 12: MORDECAI – THE OLD GATEMAN
This chapter is a reminder that there is little or nothing a man can amount to in life except God approves of it. Learn this great lesson from Mordecai and understand that patience and perseverance with a firm conviction, are invaluable attributes one must possess to initiate the hand of God in one’s life.
CHAPTER 13: DANIEL AND THE 3 HEBREW BOYS – YOUTHS WITH A DIFFERENCE
The author remarks that “if you want to make a difference in life you need to draw your own line of demarcation. Your line of demarcation is your choice to be different. It is your choice to stand out. It is your decision to choose between good and evil; between rights and wrongs. It is your choice not to follow the crowd, mob, or the multitude to do wrong”.
It must be reiterated to the youth folk that being in this world is not your making, but being of this world is your choice. There were other Hebrew children in Israel at the time, but only Daniel and the remarkable 3 stood out. Yes, God had a hand in their final turn out, but they made an explicit choice of not defiling themselves as other youths of their time were wont to do. Let that be your resolve.
CHAPTER 14: JONAH – THE SLEEPING SOLDIER
Many situations that have made us feel as if we have been forgotten by man or forsaken by God may be necessarily our own making. When we decide to SLEEP, we leave – unconsciously, the ‘environment’ and ‘atmosphere’ God has chosen for us to be in. “Give not sleep to your eyes nor slumber to your eyelids” says the book of Proverbs.
This icing-on-the-cake chapter seeks to demonstrate the extreme folly of the “sleeping soldier” – Jonah. While we may be comfortable in our leisure positions, it might be possible that we have drifted away from God’s remembrance.
Yet, his love still calls out to us. Wake up! Dust the soles of your foot! No one can keep you down. Like Jonah, may you arise. God will not forget neither will he forsake you.
Do you have any thoughts, questions or suggestions? Feel free to share in the comment section below.