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  Bishop, B E Ward
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Mi-use of the Phrase,The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away

Recently I attended a funeral where several ministers lined the pulpit. One was the host and another, a women minister, did the service. I didn't go to look for judgement but when you have grown into another level of understanding then foolishness just pops out all around you. You see more clearly than ever before. We are to observe one another and try the spirit. But if you don't no anything then all things seem in order.

One thing you can bet own coming from all ministers is a lie in the first two minutes or less from the time they open their mouth. Such was the case with the host minister who's job it was to rouse the family and people. While hollering and screaming he said, "lets give God a praise" that sent the crowd into a spasm of cheering, hollering and clapping hands back at him. Actions of passion are needed but in order.

Now it was time for him to deliver his second lie to the people. In less than two minutes he said to the congregation while screaming, "God brought us here today for this moment!" Now I wasn't there to critique but this hit me no sooner than he said it. "Now why would God be so interested in a funeral and why would he, and he wouldn't, go around to all the people and tell them to meet at this particular temple for this particular funeral? Why would God want to attend a funeral in the first place? He wouldn't! God could care less about funerals. If he did he wouldn't have time for nothing else since someone dies every 3 seconds. So that preacher lied. Think about it!

Now it was time for the service to start. The woman preacher stood and began screaming to the top of her voice telling the crowd that we all must live and die and that we die once. The crowd came to their feet and the organ player hit the music and the crowd went wild standing and waving their hands like they were told something they never heard before.

But before I began I would like to say I do not know why black ministers scream and holler. I do not know why white ministers copy the black ministers and do the same. As I read my bible I cannot find one prophet or disciples that screamed and acted like they was possessed with a hollering demon. Jesus never did it either. So where did they come up with this ear pounding shrieking ridiculous actions? They created it! Some one down the line did it and it became a "thang! A "hit!". People had what they call "a good time" and it was copied from one to the other. Satan saw another way to further demeanor God's people.

There is no such thing as screaming when you are teaching. A school teacher or college teacher would be fired if they hollered and screamed at students, especially those in much lower grades. Church is suppose to be a place of spiritual learning for the heart, soul and mind practicing love and forgiveness through actions.  But yet, it is the place that show more foolishness of twisted attitudes and behavior than all other learning institutions when it should be the place to set examples and the world take examples from it.

Now back to the funeral and this minister's two minutes to lie. She told many lies but I'll focus on this one since every funeral that' held tell the same thing. I want to correct this.

What did she say within a two minutes? She said "God giveth and God taketh away." This is the scripture taken from the King James Version: Job 1:21,

"And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."

I will come back to this latter.

It is true that God give life and can take it away but this statement which every Church uses are not referring to God taking someone's life. You remember the story of Job that lost every thing because of his love for God and God's love for him. Well Satan became jealous and told God that if he with drew from Job that Job would turn on him and the only reason Job is loving him is because of the wealth he's given him. Satan said he could break Job if given the time.

God knew Jobs heart and gave Satan permission to attack Job to see if he could break the bond between God and Job. God told Satan to do what he must but do not lay a hand on Job. Satan began to go to work on Job by killing his flocks, most of his servants, his sons and daughters right down to making Job seriously sick. You can read this story in Job 1:6-21 and on.

Now lets take a look at verse 21 above. I will show you how the word is distorted. First of all lets read parts of verse 21 above. "And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither." This is not to be take literally. Job cannot every one knows you cannot go back into a mother's womb. What he mean is he came in this world with nothing and will go out with nothing. 

The next part read, and the true reading of this is  " the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.

Everything we have come from the Lord since he made everything. So we can say the Lord gave even though he didn't actually give it. He provided the mean for us to make a good life if we thrive for it. He didn't give us the gun, the hangman noose, Aids, murderers, illegal drugs, etc. though you might say he gave it because it came out of his creation. We now re-create, produce and do nearly all things.

In this case Job was blessed especially because he stood out from all others. He was faithful to God and God blessed him personally for being a leader in that time. It was Job work ethics that made him prosperous. He could have loved God but also not being an achiever  would have accumulated much of nothing like many today. His choice. Your choice.

So, everything we have we can say God gave it, as a figure of speech. To mean it in any other manner would mean God is blessing the haves and not the have not's. Blessing the rich and not the poor.

The next is "the Lord take away". Let me make this very clear. It was not God that killed Job's flock of animals or his children's. It was Satan. So for Job to say God did it was not true, according to scripture, but just what Job thought. In Bible history there were actually righteous people taken away literally. Even some men died by the hands of other directed by God to make a point.

Yes, God gave Jobs children's indirectly and Job was blessed by his own hands and worth through the grace of God thus building himself up. This scripture pertain only to Job but to us also letting us know what Job was going through, but proving that family and even material things should not come before the love of God. (Gave, give) This is about life as well as material things.

The last two thousands years and more God provided through his creation that if we work we can improve our lives. We have done nothing in the last two thousands years to warrant God to take special interest in us in any way as for as taking an individual's life as though it had worth to him at death.

God does not kill to be killing. For the Pastors to say at funerals that God gave life and he take it away is untrue. He did give life indirectly through birth but he did not kill it directly or indirectly or set a date and time that some one will die. Life is based on many variables. It is dictated by conditions, actions and behaviors. We can lengthen our lives or shorten our lives by these. 

A question must be asked! What in this day and time has any man done or doing that warrant God to suddenly rush in and consider that person a Moses and unlike Moses kill him or her? Who killed Jesus? was it God or was it the Jews and Romans? It was not God though in this era with the way pastors conduct funerals if Jesus was killed they would say "the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away which would be a lie.

If God is killing people, which in the scripture these people were killed and not died, then can God be labeled a killer? If he spends his time, which I know he doesn't, killing people for their worth then there would be no one living. Satan is the killer.

What about those that just die. Did God take their lives as pastors say? The answer is still a big fat no! No reason too. It expired from conditions and possibly actions and behavior.

If one loses their house because they did not pay the bills did God take it away? No! If one's lights get cut off because one did not pay their light bill did God cut them off. No! What about the Child that drowned. Did God drown the child? The answer is a big fat NO. Yes God indirectly gave to us by his creative powers causing the possibilities of recreation directly from us, but after that we are on our own with only the teaching of the word of God to direct our path for his future benefit.

So have I proving that God is not a murderer and does not go around taking lives from people? Yes, I did! Do God allow man to fulfill his own destiny? Yes, he does! Do man have the right to choose life or death? Yes! Can man or woman shorten or prolong his or her own life? Yes, they can!

In closing I want every one to stop saying, "this is the way God made me." I turned out this way because it is the way he made me. He gave me this life. Not true! History, genes, conditions, actions and behavior from past lives broke the perfect creative line of given birth.

You control your life and it is you who bring on the cause and effects and it is you that will answer for that life that you misused and abused after it was made to serve God and thrive for perfection from the ancient of time.

Pastors should discontinue the use of this phrase or scripture. If they continue it's use in their interpretation they commit God to being a murderer without mercy. Somehow this doesn't sit right when you think about it. Now think about it again!