A life-changing verse about work
The employee says, “If I can just survive until 5:00…until Friday…until retirement.” The student says, “If I can just survive until 3:30…until Friday…until graduation.” The parent says, “If I can just survive until bedtime.”
Regardless of your “work,” it’s easy to consider it a necessary evil, but Genesis 2 flips our whole understanding of work. After God had worked, creating the world, he rested. His work was good. You’d think the garden paradise wouldn’t need touched, but read Genesis 2:5-7. Even in its perfect state, it needed some TLC. So…
“The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (Genesis 2:15).
You have to notice the chronology: God told Adam to work BEFORE Adam sinned. Before the curse, Adam worked. Never assume that work is the curse. Yes, now our work is cloaked in sweat and tears. Our co-employees, clients and bosses are broken people. Work is hard, but it’s not the curse.
Because God told Adam to work before the curse, we draw several conclusions:
- We were created to work. When people choose laziness, they are rejecting how God created them to flourish, which is why Proverbs is full of so much instruction regarding work ethic. (Let me add two sub-points here: First, if the world was created for mankind to tend to it, man is not the enemy of nature. He can take this role with careless behavior, but it’s not a given. Second, we can assume we’ll be doing sweet, rewarding work in the life to come.)
- Work is good. Your job may be rotten, but the concept of work is good. When people are allowed to work, when they are motivated to work hard, and when they are surrounded by good workers, civilization flourishes.
- Work is part of God’s providential care for people. The farmer can be God’s vessel for feeding the city. The banker can be God’s vessel for providing a home for a family. You can be part of God’s care for the world. What an awesome privilege!
I’m so thankful that God gives us insight into one of the most important parts of our life. I pray His Word will give perspective and purpose to your work.
I dug into this topic in a sermon on 1/10/16. You can find the audio here.