God does not abandon people. Santorum is correct.
If he did, there would be no opportunity for repentance, no chance to turn back.
Instead of poring over the Old Testament, read Christ's words about the Good Shepherd, who will abandon the 99 in search of the 1.
Oh, and read the different situations in which Jesus went to sinners to bring them to Him.
The Old Testament is not a reflection of Christian attitudes, and should not be presented as such. Jesus brought a new way of living.
He indeed brought a new convenant, but did not change what God was hoping for, nor his judgment.
17. Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets: I came not to destroy, but to fulfil. 18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished.
And for sure, the love of Christ for sinners is truly a grace, that the second chance is always there for those who repent. But don't forget his words in Luke, 24 v. 44. And he said unto them, These are my words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must needs be fulfilled, which are written in the law of Moses, and the prophets, and the psalms, concerning me. 45. Then opened he their mind, that they might understand the scriptures; 46. and he said unto them, Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer, and rise again from the dead the third day; 47. and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name unto all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48. Ye are witnesses of these things.
Anyways, special protections in this material plane certainly can be withdrawn (abandonment) without any particular abandoning of hope for the miscreant's souls. Up to the day they expire, they have an opportunity for repentance. But they don't need special perquisites of divine protection up to that point....nor are they entitled to such.
I don't think God abandons people. I think people abandon God.
Yes, right now we see Jesus as the Lamb of God but He is also the Lion of the tribe of Judah. The question is which side do we want to experience? It is easy to forget the Savior and Shepherd is also King of kings and Lord of lords.
Rev. 6:16-17 "And said to the mountains and rocks, 'Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?'"
What a paradox--wrath coming from a lamb!