This post is part of a series looking at misquoted verses of the Bible. Click here to see others.
Is it true that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away? It’s generally accepted to be that way. We often hear this at funerals or whenever some unexplainable disaster hits us. It’s a way of acknowledging things don’t make sense and throwing all responsibility to God alone. This statement originally came from the lips of a man who loses everything himself. In the book of Job we see the awful experience of a guy who loses his possessions, his health, and his children. He gets to keep his wife, although I have a feeling he would have traded her for one of the things he lost after she tells him to “curse God and die” (2:9).
Job expresses his reaction to his suffering like this:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” (1:21)
We sing worship songs with this lyric as you can see from the Matt Redman video above (at the 2:16 mark). If you’ve been around in church for the last ten years you’ve likely sang it. The context for Job saying it was worship as well (1:20). But stop a moment and consider what this means. If you lose your job, did God take it away? If a woman is raped, did God take this away from her? For the little child who is murdered, did God take them away? Is God the source of pain in our lives?
What kind of a sadistic view of God does this actually create?