“The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”
Faith During Devastation
Job was one of the richest men in history. He had thousands of sheep, oxen, donkeys, and camels. He was blessed with seven sons and three daughters. And, best of all, he had tremendous faith in the LORD. Life was very good for Job, until the day when four disasters left him devastated.
It started when a messenger informed him that raiders had stolen all of his oxen and donkeys. Before that report was over, a second messenger arrived to say that fire from the sky had burned up all of his sheep. While he was still speaking, a third messenger came with news that bandits had carried off all of his camels. Before he could finish, a fourth messenger told Job that all of his children were killed when a building collapsed on them.
In grief, Job tore his clothing, shaved his head, and fell to the ground. And this is where you expect Job to curse God. Could you blame him? Whenever life takes a devastating turn, cursing the God who governs life seems like the natural thing to do.
Yet instead of cursing God, Job praised him: “The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” Only a believer can praise God when trouble comes and it seems like God and his love are gone. Job did not praise God for the loss of his riches and children, but for the blessing God had given to him in his riches and children.
When you endure times when you cannot see God’s love, Job’s response is a necessary reminder that your faith is not based on your health, wealth, and feelings. As Job said, those things come and go. Instead, your faith is fixed on the LORD and his promises that everything he gives is good. It is certain that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Lord God, whether you give or take away, help me to always praise your name. Amen.