The Lord Gives and the Lord Takes Away:
“Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.” In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” (Job 1:20-22).
The song “Blessed be the Name” by Matt Redman is one of my favourites. The lyrics are:
- Blessed be Your name in the land that is plentiful,
- Where Your streams of abundance flow, Blessed be Your name
- And blessed be Your name when I’m found in the desert place,
- Though I walk through the wilderness, Blessed be your name
- Blessed be Your name when the sun’s shining down on me
- When the world’s “all as it should be,” Blessed be Your name
- And blessed be Your name on the road marked with suffering
- Though there’s pain in the offering, Blessed be Your name
This may come as a shock to some of you, but Job is one of my heroes of faith from God’s Word. The Bible says that he “was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.” (Job 1:1). He was a godly man, and yet he’s not remembered for any heroic deeds like slaying a giant or winning any battles. Does this make him any less of a hero? By no means! Job was a man who experienced incredible suffering. He lost everything that was dear to him—his possessions, his loved ones, and even his health. I wonder how many of us would continue to have faith and confidence in God during such trying times? What an example of faith Job is to us. In the midst of a wilderness, on the road marked with suffering, Job still chose to worship His God. He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Now, there are some people who disagree with that statement and say, “The Lord doesn’t really take away. God gives, but it’s the devil who takes away.” And although it’s true that it was the devil who asked God for permission to bring suffering into Job’s life, we need to remember that it was the Lord who gave Satan permission to do so (read Job 1:6-12). So we see that Job made a true statement—that the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. “In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong.” Even though Job experienced suffering, He didn’t turn away from God—He continued to bless the name of the Lord. Even Job’s wife came to him and said, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job 2:9). But Job said, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” (v.10). The Bible says, “In all this Job did not sin with his lips.”
How many of us can say, like Job did, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.” (Job 13:15). Do we love God just because of what He can do for us? Or do we love Him because He is God? Do we only worship Him when the sun’s shining down on us, and the world’s “all as it should be,” or do we still worship Him when we go through difficult times? I want to challenge you today with the truth from God’s Word that says the Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity? Blessed be the name of the Lord.
You can check out the youtube video to Matt Redman’s worship song below:
Pastor Chris Jordan