Taken from “God-Given Work” by R. Paul Stevens (Excerpted from Work Matters: Lessons from Scripture)
The Bible shows that God is still working (John 5:17) in contrast to one popular perception that now that God has gotten everything running he is resting eternally. Throughout the Bible we see different images of God as a worker, such as gardener (Gen. 2:8), shepherd (Ps. 23), potter (Jer. 18:6), physician (Matt. 8:16), teacher (Ps. 143:10), vineyard-dresser (Isa. 5:1-7), and metalworker and refiner (Mal. 3:2-3; Ezek. 22:20), to name only a few. These are all rich metaphors drawn from almost every trade, craft, and role in human experience. God is as active and creative today — creating, sustaining, redeeming, and consummating — as he was when he began to make this vast universe. But there is more.
As God delighted in his creation (Gen. 1:31), humans too find fulfillment when they do good work. The two words used by God in his command (Gen. 2:15) for Adam to work are abad (work) and shamar (take care). Interestingly, these words are also used to mean “service to God” and “keeping of his commandments,” respectively. This implies that we should make no distinction between sacred and secular work. In God’s design there is no dualism — sacred and secular.
Note that the command to work was given before the fall and hence work is meant to be a blessing, not a curse. Toil is the result of the fall.
Published on Monday, March 24, 2014 @ 4:44 AM CDT