Work: Created by God before the Fall
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth." Genesis 1:28
Work is literally a four-letter word. Most have experienced times where their work has been difficult or frustrating. From sick co-workers to supply chain shortages, there can be many things that disrupt our work. However, work itself was a responsibility given by God before humanity’s fall into sin, like marriage. Before the fall, work was a good thing like all of God’s creation. Once the fall took place, sin tainted all of God’s creation, including work and caused the ground to be cursed, labor to be done with sweat and pain, thorns and thistles to sprout up, and will the worker of the ground will eventually return to the ground.
God charged Adam and Eve to care for God’s creation by subduing the earth and working the ground. As Christians who view all things as good gifts of God, we see how one’s work within one’s calling is part of God’s charge to humanity and also part of our worship of God. Though sin frustrates our work, Christians can find joy in their work as a blessing and gift from God. This teaching provides rich applications for the people of God as they consider how their unique callings and gifts are used for the sake of God’s service to the world.
This means that work is not evil, but tainted by sin, yet something created and blessed by God. Work may happen within the home or in a place of business, but always within our God-given vocations. Therefore, we can work and serve in our daily lives where the Lord has placed us and with the gifts given to us so that we might be His chosen instruments in our homes and communities. May we then find joy in our daily service to “work heartily, as for the Lord” in whatever callings God has given to us!
Prayer – Heavenly Father, grant Your mercy and grace to Your people in their many and various callings. Give them patience, and strengthen them in their Christian vocation of witness to the world and of service to their neighbor in Christ’s name, through Jesus, Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan
Thanks to Dr. Joel Biermann for his treatment of “Work” as a good gift from God.