Why Did Job Say “The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away”?


In the story of Job, we encounter a man whose faith is put to the test in the most extreme circumstances. It is in this context that he utters one of the most profound and oft-quoted lines in scripture: “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away” (Job 1:21, NKJV). This statement has become synonymous with accepting the trials and tribulations that life throws at us and acknowledging God’s sovereignty in all aspects of our lives. In this blog post, we will explore the meaning behind Job’s statement, its relevance in the face of suffering, and how it can provide inspiration and guidance for believers today.

The story of Job is one of the most well-known in the Bible, and it explores the nature of human suffering, divine justice, and faith. Job, a wealthy and upright man, is suddenly beset with a series of catastrophes that leave him destitute, in pain, and questioning the justice of God. In the midst of his afflictions, Job’s friends come to comfort him, but their counsel is not always helpful or wise. The conversation between Job and his friends forms the majority of the book and serves as a backdrop for his famous statement.

Understanding Job’s statement and the context in which it was spoken is important for Christians who seek to understand the meaning of suffering and how to respond to it faithfully. By examining the story of Job and his unwavering faith in God, we can learn valuable lessons about the nature of divine providence, the importance of trusting God, and the complexities of human suffering. With these insights, we can better navigate the challenges of our own lives and find strength and solace in the knowledge of God’s sovereignty and love.

The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away

The Story of Job and the Context of His Statement

The story of Job begins with a description of his wealth, his piety, and his standing in the community (Job 1:1-5, NKJV). Soon, the narrative shifts to a heavenly scene where God commends Job’s righteousness to Satan, who challenges Job’s faithfulness, arguing that it is only because of his wealth and comfort that he serves God (Job 1:6-11, NKJV). God permits Satan to test Job’s faith by removing his blessings, but with the stipulation that Satan cannot harm Job physically (Job 1:12, NKJV).

In rapid succession, Job loses his possessions, his servants, and his children (Job 1:13-19, NKJV). Despite these devastating losses, Job remains faithful to God and utters his now-famous statement, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21, NKJV). This declaration reveals Job’s acceptance of his situation and his unwavering belief in God’s sovereignty.

Job’s Friends and Their Misguided Counsel

As Job’s suffering continues, three of his friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, come to comfort him (Job 2:11-13, NKJV). Their initial response is one of silent mourning, but soon they begin to offer their counsel, attempting to explain the reasons behind Job’s suffering. They argue that Job must have sinned and that his suffering is a result of divine punishment (Job 4:7-9, 8:20, 11:13-15, NKJV). This explanation, however, is misguided and fails to account for the true nature of Job’s predicament.

In response to his friends’ accusations, Job maintains his innocence and questions the justice of his suffering (Job 6:24-30, 9:20-24, 10:1-7, NKJV). He recognizes that his friends’ counsel is flawed and that their understanding of divine justice is limited. Instead of accepting their explanations, Job appeals directly to God for answers and vindication (Job 13:3, 19:25-27, NKJV).

The Response of God and the Restoration of Job

Eventually, God speaks to Job from a whirlwind, answering Job’s questions with a series of rhetorical questions that highlight the limitations of human understanding and the vastness of divine wisdom (Job 38-41, NKJV). God’s response serves as a reminder that human comprehension cannot fully grasp the complexities of divine providence and justice. While God does not directly explain the reason behind Job’s suffering, His words underscore the importance of trusting in His wisdom and sovereignty.

In the end, Job acknowledges the limitations of his understanding and repents of his doubts (Job 42:1-6, NKJV). God then rebukes Job’s friends for their misguided counsel and restores Job’s fortunes, blessing him with even greater prosperity than before (Job 42:7-17, NKJV). The story concludes with a reaffirmation of God’s sovereignty and the importance of faith in the face of suffering.

Lessons for Christians Today

Job’s statement, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away,” offers several important lessons for Christians today. First, it reminds us of God’s sovereignty in both the blessings and the hardships of life. Just as Job acknowledged God’s hand in his trials, we too must recognize that God is ultimately in control, even when our circumstances are challenging or inexplicable.

Second, Job’s story demonstrates the importance of trusting God in the face of suffering. While it is natural to question and seek understanding, our faith must remain steadfast, even when answers are elusive. We can take comfort in the knowledge that God’s wisdom and love are beyond our comprehension, and that He is always working for our ultimate good.

Finally, the book of Job highlights the limitations of human wisdom and the dangers of offering misguided counsel. As Christians, we must be cautious not to presume that we have all the answers or to judge others based on our limited understanding. Instead, we should humbly seek God’s guidance and support one another in our journeys of faith.


In conclusion, Job’s statement, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away,” is a powerful testament to the sovereignty of God, the complexities of human suffering, and the importance of faith. By embracing this perspective, we can better navigate the challenges of our own lives, draw strength from our relationship with God, and provide support and encouragement to those around us. May we, like Job, be able to declare in both good times and bad, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

About The Author

Scroll to Top