The Lord gives, the Lord takes away, Blessed be the name of the Lord

I was at a church recently and they sang Matt Redman's Blessed Be Your Name. When they go to the bridge (the part that says, You give and take away) they had changed the words to, 'He blesses every day'. I was ready to get on my soap box. Now I realize that they probably didn't mean this, but it sounded to me like they were saying that they blessed His name if He blessed them, but not if He didn't. The only thing I could think was, "Would they still say blessed be His name if He took away from them?" And I kept thinking, "No".

I think the church of the faith movement has gotten away from the original teachings of those they follow. God is our healer, provider, etc. He does desire to give us the desire of our hearts. But He is also sovereign and can do as He pleases.

My wife and I were talking this morning and she was saying that she believes that if there was something in our lives that was taking a higher place than God, He would remove it from our lives. I have to agree. God said He is a jealous God. (read the book of Exodous) He will not share His glory with anyone or anything. And I believe that if we keep putting something above Him in our life, He will remove it at least for awhile.

And even if He didn't have our best interest at heart (which He always does), He is still sovereign. Who can say to a sovereign, "You don't have the right to do such."? No one. That is what it means to be sovereign. No one would dare say that to the Queen and she is human. Why should be able to say it to God?

As one note to those would say that Job was wrong in saying, "The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." God said that Job did not sin, nor did he charge God foolishly right after he said that. So if God doesn't think it was a sin, then Job was not wrong in saying it. (Job 1:22)

Oh well, thanx for letting me get this off my chest. I managed to keep my mouth shut that night. I was just visiting the church and they don't know me that well, so I figured I ought not to start scolding them. And I know that is how it would have come across if I had said something right then. I just feel the church needs to find a balance between thinking of God as a loving Father who wants to dote on His children and thinking of God as an iron-fisted ruler. It isn't that He is something in between, but rather that He is both.

I think I will leave you with the bridge from Matt's Blessed Be Your Name. And I pray that you can truly say as Job did, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him."

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Blessed be Your name

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Comment by Junjie on November 5, 2008 at 3:46am
Well, at least they didn't change it to "He gives us take-away, he gives us take-away..." :)

And if you want to add more verses to the mix, why not add in Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things." (NIV)

But then we'll start on a theological debate about the book of Job that has lasted for many years. And if gifted scholars and bible teachers are still banging their heads over it, I doubt we're gonna come to some viable conclusion soon... :)

And let us also keep in mind that some of the people in that church you visited may think that if Job 1:22 was accurate in its most bare form, why would Jesus draw a distinction between the thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy, and himself, who came to give life?

I had this conversation once with a good friend and solid Christian thinker. One day he told me that even when he embraced the theology of this song he would refuse to sing it. Because to him it had the connotation of "My love for the Lord is so great, nothing can change it." And he saw that as pride and confidence in the flesh.

As you can guess, he had me chewing on that thought for quite a while.

That's about it for my chiming in. Not disagreeing, just throwing more stuff to stew in the pot and see what comes out. Hope it tastes yummy! :)

"Blessed be the LORD
who daily loads us with benefits,
the God of our salvation" Psalm 68:19 (NKJV)
Comment by Peter Tan on November 5, 2008 at 8:41am
Why pride and confidence in the flesh? Of course we're not to be cocky about our faith, but I thought it would be central to the Christian faith that our God takes us through suffering, not take away our suffering.

On another note: I would like to get the congregation I sometimes lead sing 'Blessed be the name', but I'm not confident folks can deal with the syncopation well.
Comment by Danny Groff on November 5, 2008 at 2:20pm
I tend to agree with Peter Tan....I don't consider it pride or confidence in the flesh to say that nothing can sway my trust in the Lord. It has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with Him. For I know that I can do nothing without Him. I have been through the valley of the shadow of death and when I thought everything was darkest, He convinced me to open my eyes and see Him walking through it with me. And it was then that I decided no matter what, I would serve Him and Him alone.
Comment by Danny Groff on November 5, 2008 at 2:21pm
Oh, and Peter, I don't know about congregations in your area, but the ones that I have worked with here in Arizona have no trouble musically with Blessed Be Your Name.
Comment by Elman Authement on November 6, 2008 at 9:46pm
I can understand the thought process of these people because of the scriptures that say He gives us richly all things to enjoy and many other blessing scriptures. I don't agree with it but it's not like they were singing something unscriptual. Because God blesses everyday is true.
I do have one thought... that just because God is sovereign doesn't mean he can do anything. He can't break anything in His Word nor will he go against it. If He promised it, then it's yes and amen. It's never going to be "no" if it's His promise and part of His covenant. Many people tend to believe that sometimes God heals and sometimes he doesn't. But the real issue is, Jesus already paid for healing along with salvation on the cross. It's all inclusive. Receive it if you yearn for it. But if I don't possess something because of my lack of faith, I'll never pass it off as God didn't want me to have it. I do understand that I have a better covenant based on better promises than Job did. In fact Job didn't even have the blessings of Deut. if he kept the law because the Law was not even given. So I understand that people would say in this Dispensation of Grace, He is a blessing God. Nevertheless I wouldn't change the song lyrics just because they don't appeal to my theology. Better left unsung.
I also understand what your wife was saying that there are things, positions, even loved one in our lives that God will remove (not kill 'em) and seperate us from for our good. We may not see it as good at the time. Many times we can't see the big picture. So if I'm in the pit today or the prison, it's not his intention to leave me there. It was just his way to get me into the palace! God sees the end from the beginning.
Comment by Worship The Rock on November 6, 2008 at 10:01pm
Well put Elman!
Comment by Junjie on November 8, 2008 at 2:06am
"I don't consider it pride or confidence in the flesh to say that nothing can sway my trust in the Lord. It has nothing to do with me, and everything to do with Him."

If that is where you are at in your journey in the Lord, that's great! My friend was probably thinking about the incident when Peter said "even if the rest of these losers leave you, I will never leave you." And he runs off within 24 hours.

And contrast that with a disciple saw himself as the one Jesus loved. Even when he ran away he couldn't stay away. The moments when he showed most strongly his love for the Lord were the moments he didn't notice his own love for the Lord. He was just caught up (and caught in) the Savior's love for him.

There are loads to see and study in the contrast between the two, like who was more confident to hear from the Lord. I think it's a simple way to see if we are trusting in our own love for the Lord, or at the point when we truly know, deep in our hearts, that's it's none of us and all of Him.

From a musical angle: the syncopation will not be a problem if there is an instrument somewhere clearly marking out the crotchets (quarter notes). If I have to use this song I'd be more concerned about the key. In A major the verse is croaky at congregational level, anything higher is too high for the chorus.
Comment by Michael Blue on November 14, 2008 at 1:46pm
Our church no longer does that song, because someone somewhere (I'll find out WHO!) didn't like that refrain.
Personally, I think a balanced (non Hippie-Westernized) view of God is important.

Comment by Danny Groff on November 14, 2008 at 4:40pm
I agree, Junjie, there is a huge contrast between the love of God and our love. My worship team and I were discussing just that Wednesday in our cell group study. I, like Peter, have done the put myself first thing and saw what it got me. Now I would like to believe that I have learned my lesson well enough to not do it again.

Michael, I agree with you as well. We NEED a balanced view of God. Yes, He is loving and won't go back on His Word, because He has placed His Word above His Name. However, He is the ultimate Sovereign. He can do as He pleases and nobody can condemn Him. I am His, He can do with me what He will. I am just so very thankful that He loves me enough to not do anything that is not good for me. (Romans 8:28) I think we here in the US have forgotten what a sovereign is. If we were living under a true sovereign leader, we would realize that we would have no say in what they did. I had a pastor one time that used to say that the kingdom of God is a theocracy, not a democracy. We don't get a vote. I always loved that saying. But of course we serve a loving King and not a tyrant. Therefore He will always do as He has promised. I have lived that one too. Lessons learned the hard way tend to stick, I guess.
Comment by Judy Ingram on August 12, 2009 at 2:46pm
I just recently lost a daughter, she died July 26, 2009 and its so hard not having her here and it hurts so much. Job had everything taken from him, his family too. He still loved the Lord and did what he wanted the Lord to do. It is so hard I keep asking the Lord to help me get through this he has always helped me thru everything else, this is the hardest thing that I have ever been thru, I wish he would have taken me instead, my daughter was mentally disabled and battled drugs she was doing so good she was going to church reading her bible telling others about the Lord and this last month in a half before her death she was slowly getting back into her old habits, she was off the drugs for 2 years has a 2 year old and doing so good, I was so proud of her and she started hanging around some of these kids and I know they got her to do those drugs again, I wish so much she was here, she came home that day from staying out all night and I know she was on something when she came home I got after her for not calling and she had an appointment to see her doctor and she got made at me for that, she would off and on take things the wrong way, I was trying to tell her that she had an appointment to see her doctor and I took the message for her and was trying to tell her that she had an appointment so she could go, and she told me to mind my own business and I was butting into her business I was just giving her the message, I went into her and told her I was sorry for yelling at her she was still made at me, One of her friends called he was suppose to come over for dinner,so I went into her room to ask her if she still wanted him to come over and that he called and she told me she would see him next week and they would do something then. I left and called him and told him what she said, well, later on I found out she called him and told him they would get together Aug 3 and go to a movie and go out then. Well, the lights went out and I went into her room to tell her and she was snoring so I left her alone, cause she would do this and stay asleep and wouldnt wake up until the morning, I kept checking on her several times that night she was still snoring, Went to bed that night and something woke me up during the night and I saw something a spirit in my room, I started to pray and asked the Lord for protection around my home and family and to put his angels around my home. The dog was barking got up and checked everything and went back to bed, Juliette her daughter was sleeping with us, so I got up started my day took my bath got my granddaughter up gave her, her bath, dressed and gave something to eat, later my husband got up was going to go to church and my husband said he wanted to take all of us out for breakfast, he got ready so I went into my daughters room to see if she wanted to go and if she didnt I wanted to let her know that I was going to take Juliette with us. So I went into her room and I was trying to wake her up and she wasnt moving and she was sleeping on her stomach with her head to the side laying on her hands. I turned her over and she and her hand was still on her face and she wasnt breathing and she was all cold, I called out to my husband, she is not breathing and he came running into the room we both were crying she was already gone, my husband told me to call 911 and I did and she died in the middle the night. The paramedics, police the cordnor, investagators, and people came to help us with everything, we had to stay out of the house they searched the house couldnt find anything to show that she took her life. We were able to go back into the house and it was so hard, I called all my kids before all of them came and they all came over and my friends, The police talked to all of us. They did an autopsy, recieved a letter and its still pending, they said it would take a month to a month and a half before we find out what she died of. My daughter also had a heart mur mur too. We had to take care of the funeral and my husband, daughter and inlaws were in a car accident someone ran into them and they were hurt but they are okay now. After we buried her birthday was the next saturday we went to see her at the cemetary and took her flowers,balloons and sang happy birthday to her. We went out to dinner after to celebrate my other daughters birthday they both were born on the same day different years and we had cake with both their names on it and sang happy birthday to her. It was so hard for her cause she was so use to celebrating their birthday together, My daughers little girl is going to be 3 this month and we are going to celebrate her birthday next, she knows her mommy died, she was there. She keeps saying mommy died and she isnt comiing back. I keep telling her she is with Jesus in heaven. I try so hard to do things that my daughter did with her and tell her that her mommy did those things iwith her. That her mommy loved her so much I went through her room, it took me a while to go into her room but when I did I went thru her things she had a jurnal and in it she wrote to the Lord alot and asked him to help her to be a better mommmy and had all positive things that she wrote, found letters to her friends telling them about the Lord and was trying to tell them about the Lord, when I went on her my space she had her heroes were God, Jesus and occasioally my parents. She really loved the Lord I would go into her room and she would be reading the bible, she would go to church, she was in the recovery program at our church. I want to go to a grieving support group going to go this week, I cry off and on for her, I love and miss her so much and It hurts so much,. The gives and the Lord takes away sometimes I ask the Lord why he took her, my daughter read this at her funeral, she read this to me the night before too This is what she read to me. Fearing Death: We must trust God We must trust not only that he does what is best but that he knows what is ahead. Ponder these words of Isaiah 57:1-2, "The good men perish, the godly die before their time and no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is taking them away from the evil days ahead. For the godly who shall die shall rest in peace, My what a thought, God is taking them away from the evil days ahead. Could death be Gods grace? Could the funeral wreath be God's safety ring? As horrible as the grave may be, could it be God's protection from the future? Trust in God, Jesus urges, and trust in me. This was written by Max Lucado God's Inspirational Promise. I have raised all of my kids in the Lord, took them to church, taught them about the Lord, they were all baptized and they did church programs serving the Lord, they went to church camp every year and I was in the food and clothing ministry my kids helped me with that too. I have always taught them to love the Lord we all worshipped the Lord together, my husband did go to church and then stopped going I kept going and took them and trusted in the Lord that he would help me, all my kids went to church, My daughter at age16 ran away from home she was getting into drugs and I kept praying and the Lord brought her back to me, I will tell you that story it was a miracle, I really think that an angel sent her home cause I prayed to the lord to send her an angel to tell her to call me and that I loved her and want her home, and I sent out flyers with her picture of her and I didnt send it to Las vegas, well my daughter called me she said that this guy came into a 7-11 and said I know you and she said you were, I seen a flyer on you, you mom is worried about you and loves you and wants you to call her. This is everything I told the lord and she called me and my husband went to get her, the next day I got this feeling that she wasnt going to come home, I called my church and told them and told them I need to pray that she calls me. We prayed she called me and said she wasnt coming home and I stayed on the phone for two hours had my husband on the cell phone too at the same time these people she was with were magazine people and they wanted my daughter and wanted me to give her to them and I said no and if they didnt tell me were she was i would have them arrested for kidnapping and they told me were they were and I kept them on the phone until my husband got there with the police. she was brought home safely, My daughter was put in the hospital when she got back, she was on and off drugs and tried to kill herself several times almost died and alot of other things happened to her that she told me that were so bad its hard to talk about. She would ask me and cry and hug me, mom do you still love me and I always told her I will always love you she asked me to forgive her, I did forgive her and she asked me to pray with her and she would ask Jesus to forgive her for everything and I know he has forgiven her, because he loves her and I know she is in heaven, Jesus loved her, it was so hard for her too, she was also dianosed with a mental disorder, peronatily disorder, skisoaffective and bipolor. She heard voices sense she was 4 years old, she told me and I prayed for her and told her that if she heard anything else to tell me, she never told me again until she was in the hospital that she always heard voices satan was really working on her since she was a little girl, I wish I would have done something back then but didnt know. The Lord has always help me with her and everytime something was wrong I would always know and I would pray for her or my family. I have six children, ages 31, 29, 28 25, 21 and 14. Please keep me in your prayers that the Lord will help me thru this cause this is one of the hardest things I have ever experanced. I hope you will write to me: my email address is


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