Work: The Gift of God
Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work - this is a gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 5:19)
"I like work; it fascinates me. I could sit and look at it for hours." So said a poster in an office. Perhaps a sentiment shared by many! But the Bible tells us that work is not a nuisance to be avoided, but rather the gift of God! And as his gift, it carries a promised blessing.
From the very beginning, God designed us to work. He told Adam and Eve to "be fruitful and increase in number" (Genesis 1:28) – the work involved in family life. He told them to "fill the earth and subdue it" (Genesis 1:28) – the work involved in ruling nature. He put them in the Garden of Eden with a mandate "to work it and take care of it" (Genesis 2:15) – the work involved in taking responsibility for ourselves and others. All of this shouldn’t surprise us, for God Himself is a God who works, Jesus told us; and since we are made in His image, we, too, are designed to work just like Him.
After the Fall, sin began to spoil everything, of course. But it’s at this point that many of us have a faulty memory of what the Bible actually says; for it is not work that is now cursed, but the ground that we have to work on. In other words, work would now be hard at times, and not always the joy that God meant it to be; but work itself is not under God’s curse. Indeed, how can it be when it is His gift? And this is why we can ask Him to bless it, and why He promises to do so.
If your work has been getting you down or wearying you recently – and by work we mean the duties of the young mother at home just as much as the laborer on the building site or the executive in the office – then reclaim it as God’s gift to you; and with it, His promised blessing on all that you set your hands to.
Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands … (Deuteronomy 30:9)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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