I hate the prosperity gospel with a passion! You know, that garbage peddled by false teachers who repeatedly tell you God wants you to be healthy, wealthy, and prosperous. They tell you that God wants you to be “the head and not the tail.” They tell you that you can “decree and declare” whatever you desire. These heretics teach that the purpose of God’s existence is to glorify man so he can enjoy his best life now. Yes, that’s the prosperity gospel I hate. And I hope you hate it too!
It is easy to praise God when your cruising down the highway in your fully-loaded BMW, or lounging around in your multi-million dollar home. It is easy to worship God and praise him when your bank account is full, your marriage is going extremely well, and your children are healthy. Why, even pagans offer thanks to God for these things. But what about when God kills? Or takes away? Or ruins? “My God would never do that!” Your right, your God probably would never do that. But the God of the Bible would and in fact, He does.
Who killed Job’s children? Who killed his servants and demolished all that he had? Who left him ruined in a city dump covered from head to toe with maggot infested sores? God. That’s who. Three witnesses testify that it was the Lord who brought all this evil upon Job. Satan, the weather, the Sabeans, the boils — these were mere instruments used by God to carry out His purposes. They were secondary causes. But God was the primary cause. He was the architect. And he designed it all for Job’s good.
Witness #1 – Job
“Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:20-21.
False teachers hate this verse. For instance, Creflo Dollar writes:
“Reading a single verse out of context can be misleading. After Job loses everything, he says God gives, and God takes away (Job 1:20, 21).We later read that God is a giver, not a taker. Jesus came to give us abundant life, not take it away (John 10:10). Job later repented of what he had said earlier. He admitted that he did not know God before, but now was seeing Him with his spiritual eyes (Job 42:5, 6, AMP).”1
Creflo Dollar claims that Job was wrong to attribute to God his loss. He also claims that Job later admitted that he was wrong. Creflo does what false teachers do best. They twist and manipulate Scriptures to their own destruction. Notice how Creflo conveniently leaves out the very next verse:
“In all this Job did not sin or charge God with wrong.” Job 1:22.
Did you catch that? Job did not sin or charge God with wrong! But didn’t Job just say that it was the Lord who has taken away? Yes! That’s exactly what he said. Job did not charge God with wrong because he knew that God was Sovereign and in control.
Witness #2 – God
“And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” Job 2:3-4.
God is on record. He tells Satan, “you incited Me against him to destroy him without reason”. God destroyed Job’s children, Job’s servants, Job’s property. Satan was only a vessel used by God to accomplish His purposes.
Witness #3 – Author
“Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him.” Job 42:11
The author of the Biblical text clearly states that it was the Lord who brought all this evil upon Job, not Satan as false teacher, Creflo Dollar claims. Clearly, the author has knowledge of Satan since he mentions him in the first two Chapters. Job never repents of his statement in Chapter 1. Later on, Job repents of his words, and his faulty attitude towards God but note, he never repents of saying: “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21.
I wonder how Creflo Dollar and the other heretics would respond if God ruined them like he did Job? Would they say:
“Blessed by the name of the Lord” Job 1:21
“Though he slay me, I will hope in him” Job 13:15
Or, a more important question to ponder is, how would I respond? How would you? Would we accuse God of being unfair, and unloving? Or, would we, like the Apostle Paul, and countless others throughout the history of the church, learn the secret of being content because we know that, “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 ESV).
God does promise to bless every believer with health, wealth, and prosperity, but that promise is reserved for the new heavens and the new earth. And it is to that end that we set our hope, knowing that the sufferings of the present life cannot compare to the glory that awaits us on the other side!
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal”. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18.
It is easy to praise a God who only lavishes you with health, wealthy and prosperity. But will we worship a God who slays, takes, and ruins?