There is a powerful biblical passage from Job 1:20 that has for years moved me deeply. Job (pronounced Jobe) was a righteous man who honored God with every aspect of his life. He was also a very blessed man with 10 children and many grandchildren. He held vast possessions and wealth. Then in one day Job lost it all through horrific circumstances.
In response to his losses Job said,
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
and naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Obviously there is a lot of theology in Job’s confession that space here doesn’t allow me to address. Even though the story clearly tells of Job’s calamities being caused by Satan, Job recognizes that in God’s sovereign power nothing happens without God allowing it to happen, thus Job correctly declares that the Lord gave and has taken away.
Apparently in the unseen world there is an ongoing effort by Satan to discourage humans from believing in the goodness of God and therefore dissuade humans from following God. Every time a believer understands that and worships and glorifies God in spite of their painful circumstances, often others can look at that person’s faith and trust and be moved closer to God.
Matt and Beth Redman have written one of my favorite worship songs based upon the text from Job and the theology of God’s goodness in spite of circumstances titled “Blessed Be Your Name”. The song is embeded above.
Tuesday night I was in a worship gathering of about 500 people and we were all singing this song in worship of God and in testimony of our trust in Him. Three rows in front of me was a man in his 30’s that I’ve seen often at these gatherings but I’ve never met him. He has cerebral palsy and is limited to a wheelchair and has great difficulty speaking. In this midst of everyone singing “Blessed be the Name of the Lord” I happened to notice him singing with all his heart. With arms flaying and head awkwardly gyrating he was confessing in song that God is good, even though he has spent his entire life with the painful limitations of CP.
It’s one thing for me to testify that I believe God to be a good God. I have my health, a wonderful family, all the possessions I need and a meaningful purpose to my life. However, to me it was a 100 times more powerful that my acquaintance three rows in front of me knew and experienced God to be good.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord.