Alex Enabnit – Programming Coordinator
This weekend we started our summer series, “That’s What He Said,” tackling some of the most popular misquoted verses of the Bible – verses that are most often misquoted simply because they are taken out of context.
Today’s misquoted verse comes from Job 1:21b. Leading up to this verse, Job has lost everything – his great wealth and his kids are all gone in an instant. To this, Job responds with a saying that has become popular for tragic deaths or unexplainable loss:
“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
may the name of the Lord be praised.”
The saying has a way of somehow helping the confusion by placing all of the responsibility on God. But if we look deeper, is this really His nature? Job certainly thought so in chapter 1, and it’s easy for us to stop there and cherry pick his worshipful sounding phrase, but as with anything else in the Bible, context is crucial! If we look at the other phrases uttered by Job about God, we find what happens when a person continues to place God at fault for everything:
“It is all the same; that is why I say, ‘He destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’ When a scourge brings sudden death, he mocks the despair of the innocent. When a land falls into the hands of the wicked, he blindfolds its judges. If it is not he, then who is it?” Job 9:22-24
“Are not my few days almost over? Turn away from me so I can have a moment’s joy.” Job 10:20
“Who is the Almighty, that we should serve him? What would we gain by praying to him?” Job 21:15
“You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me.” Job 30:21
Job’s theology throughout most of the book produces a God who is a cruel enemy, not worthy of prayer or worship. But here’s the good news: Job’s theology is wrong! Near the end of the Book of Job, God explains that He’s not like that. This causes Job to completely change the view of God that he started with in chapter one, leading him to repentance, admitting that he had been wrong about God.
One last verse to address comes right after Job’s repentance, in Job 42:7. In this verse, God commends Job for speaking the truth about Him. But how could this be true, if we already know that Job’s theology was flawed, something that he admitted himself? Because Job was honest with God, even when what he had to say was less than admirable. Although his accusations flowed from a faulty picture of God, he maintained a relationship with the Father – and this is something we can take from this whole series. You see, no matter how good our theology gets, it will always fall short of God’s fullness, and that’s why what matters the most is our relationship with Him.
Verses and quotes from the message:
Job 1:1-3; Job 1:20-21; Job 9:22-24; Job 10:20; Job 21:15; Job 30:21; Job 42:3b, Job 42:6-7; Romans 8:28
“God is a mean kid sitting on an anthill with a magnifying glass, and I’m the ant. He could fix my life in five minutes if he wanted to, but he’d rather burn off my feelers and watch me squirm.” – Bruce Almighty
Big idea: God is good, and only good!
Marvelous – Casey Darnell
This is Amazing Grace – Bethel Music
You’ll Come – Hillsong Music
This I Believe (The Creed) – Hillsong Music