Blog: Max Dawson
November 26, 2015
To be sure, that is a strange question. I would not want to be either the robber or the robbed. I am sure you feel that way too. But why such a strange question?

It has to do with something a preacher said more than 300 years ago. The preacher is the well-known Bible commentator, Matthew Henry. If you have the CD Power Bible that many of us use, you have likely seen two of his commentaries on that computer program. Henry was born in 1662, and died in 1714, four months short of his 52nd birthday.

Henry was known as a non-conformist minister. He was a preacher who did not conform to the governance of the established Church of England. He would have been regarded somewhat as a rebel by the church hierarchy in his country. He did not believe that church should be under state control. He was right, of course.

On one occasion Henry was traveling on horseback to a church meeting where he was scheduled to be the guest speaker. Suddenly, a masked bandit appeared out of the woods. The robber was armed with a gun. He ordered the preacher to get off the horse and hand over all of his money. There wasn’t much to hand over. Henry quickly complied and the crook dashed off into the woods.

As he continued on his journey, Henry thought about the command of God that is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:18

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

How do you give thanks when you have just been robbed? In the sermon he preached, he concluded his lesson with the story of the robbery and how he could be thankful.

“First, I am thankful I have never been robbed before. Second, I am thankful he took my money and not my life. Third, I am thankful he did not take more; he could have taken my horse and my clothes as well. Next, I am thankful that what I had stolen from me really did not amount to very much. Then I am grateful that what I lost, in time, can be replaced. But, finally, and most importantly, I am thankful that I was the one robbed and not the robber!”

That last line is significant, isn’t it? Which would you rather be?


Have you every been robbed or cheated? I have. And it can hurt. When our house was burglarized 20 years ago, the crooks took everything of value that they could carry away. And while there were some things stolen that could not be replaced, there was no harm to Lee or me or anyone in our family.

We could even give thanks that we were not at home when it happened. I was preaching in Fort Worth when the burglars broke into the house. If we had been home and if they invaded our house in the middle of the night, only God knows what might have happened.

And, while we regretted the loss we experienced, in cases like that, I would still rather be the robbed than the robber. The robbed has committed no wrong to either God or man. The robbed will never have to flee from the police or worry about being caught. The robbed will not have to face a judge and jury. The robbed will not have to give account before God for this crime.

Can you see why it is better to be the robbed than the robber?

Today is Thanksgiving Day, 2015. We have so much for which to be grateful==even if we have been robbed, cheated, lied about, or had some other crime committed against us.

Whatever your circumstance today, whether you have much or little on your table, chances are, you still have a lot of things that you can be thankful for.

Express your thanks to God. Today. Every day.