Summary: he fact that God alone is sovereign, having all power, must be understood by every person who would enter into a covenant relationship with the Lord. That the sacrificial death of Christ on Calvary’s cross was not to enable us: to never get sick,
Evangelist Herman E. Wesley III
THE LORD GIVETH, THE LORD TAKETH AWAY
Prepared for Delivery at the Magic City Lectureship
Birmingham, Alabama at the Bush Hill Church of Christ
Monday, September 13, 1999 at 7:45 p.m.
Peter Moss, Host Minister
It is with great humility that I have accepted this invitation to appear once again on this, the Magic City Lectureship in the City of Birmingham, Alabama. I am humbled that so many great preachers as you have in this city, would count me as worthy to share a word or two from the Lord with the Christians here in Birmingham. I commend the lectureship committee, men that I have come to know and respect, Steve Clark, W.C. Edwards, Elijah Bush, and our host minister, Peter Moss, for the great work that they are doing here in this city. I am equally delighted to be sharing this evening with my good friend and Alabama’s favorite son, Bernard Gatson of San Antonio, Texas. We just appeared together on a lectureship in Little Rock, Arkansas on Labor Day, with very similar subjects. There I had to come behind him. I am much more comfortable and at ease with him having to come behind me.
We bring you greetings from the capital city of Montgomery, and the saints of the NorthPointe Church of Christ, where God has called me to labor with some of the greatest Christians this side of glory. People who love the Lord, love the church and love the preacher. God has anchored me with some great leaders who are supportive and visionary, and we thank God for that...thank God for good, solid, consistent and dependable church leaders.
My wife and sons are with me tonight...I’d like for them to stand. And of course, a good number of members have journeyed up to Birmingham tonight as well, and I must acknowledge them...please stand. Now I did this for two reasons. First of all, I am proud to be associated with them, and I want you to know who they are. Secondly, the same highway that can bring a busload from Montgomery to Birmingham can do the same from Birmingham to Montgomery. We sure would like to see ya’ll some time down in our neck of the woods. If you can’t make it, at least visit us on the internet at www.northpointechurch.net
Open your Bibles now, and meet me in the land of Uz. The quickest route is the Book of Job. Now, the subject that I have been assigned comes to us from the Book of Job, particularly verse 21 of the first chapter, but I want us to read the first five words of verse 16, 17, and 18, then we will read 20 and 21. Stand up on your feet and read this aloud with me, please.
The subject given to me from verse 21: THE LORD GIVETH, THE LORD TAKETH AWAY.
The fact that God alone is sovereign, having all power, must be understood by every person who would enter into a covenant relationship with the Lord. That the sacrificial death of Christ on Calvary’s cross was not to enable us:
to never get sick,
to never get weighed down by the cumbersome burdens of life,
to never have hardships, trials, and tribulation,
but rather to be victorious by His blood over the greatest enemy, eternal separation, is something we all must be cognizant of. For everything that transpires, everything that occurs, everything that happens in the life of God’s Children does not happen apart from His knowledge and His direct or permissive decree. We do not live in a vacuum, out of eyesight and earshot of the Lord, for David tells us that the "eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry" (Psalm 34:15).
THE LORD GIVETH...AND THE LORD TAKETH AWAY.
Because of your general theme, WHY BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE, I know there will be a great deal said off Job and his calamities throughout this week, so tonight, I am going to extract some intricate details from the verses I have been assigned, as to not step on everybody else’s lessons, which, as the preachers in this audience can tell you tonight, can be very easy to do.
I want to look briefly at three things tonight. I want us to consider:
I. JOB’S GRIEF (verse 20)
II. JOB’S PIETY (verse 20,21)
III. JOB’S VICTORY (verse 21)
Ya’ll got time for this tonight?
I. JOB’S GRIEF
The text assigned to me begins by saying "Then Job arose." But before we can understand the significance of the "Then" we need to understand "When" the "Then" was. We’re talking about Job’s grief. After the Heavenly Conference and Heavenly Challenge, here comes some Divine calamities in the life of Job. I call these Divine because they did not originate in the depths of the pits of hell, but these calamities came forth from the very throne room of God as God allowed Satan to begin systematically tearing down the hedge that God had previously erected around His servant Job. All in an effort to get Job to curse God.