Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him?
What would we gain by praying to him?'
Last night I was singing the Matt & Beth Redman song "Blessed Be Your Name" at our youth group. It's a great song of surrender and truth. Declaring that God's name is to be blessed and he is worthy of praise in the good times and the bad. At the end of the song is the couplet that says "You give and take away, my heart will choose to say Lord blessed be Your name".
I love to sing this line. I want to say to God that he can have his way in my life and I want to surrender to his will. However it frustrates me when the lines attributed to Job (Job 1:21) are taken as universal truth. That when every tragedy happens we are told "well, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away". When an expectant mother loses her baby, when a man looses his wife, when a whole family is wiped out by a hurricane, when a marriage falls apart - "the Lord gives and the Lord takes away".
What picture does this paint of God? I think people can tend to loose sight of the fact that Job later repents of this theology.
Job also says "Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me?" (Job "10:8)
and "I hold my head high, you stalk me like a lion
and again display your awesome power against me....
Are not my few days almost over?
Turn away from me so I can have a moment's joy
Why are these same passages not quoted as theological truths as with Job 1:21? Job says in 10:20 that joy can be found when God is turned away from us, and in 10:16 that God stalks us like a lion. Is this true? Of course not. Why then is it assumed that everything that is taken away from us is at the hands of the sovereign Lord?
In Job 42:3 Job says "Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know."
and he repents saying in 42:6
"Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes."
Job realised that his blueprint theory of God was wrong and he had judged him in error. I love how despite Job's error in his thinking about God, God still does not reject him. Job was raw and honest and even though his theology told him he should reject God, he didn't. He worshipped God because God is God. I love that about Job, he was angry and desperate before his God and still he worshiped him.
We have an enemy who prowls around like a lion. It is not God, it is the great Satan who is our enemy and out to get us and bring disaster and pain and suffering to us. In ALL this God can bring good out of such tragedies and he does for he is God and worthy of all our praise. He is a God who can genuinely be trusted that he is out for our good.