The Biblical View of Work

The Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.

–Genesis 2:15

Many people have distorted views of work. They put work on a pedestal and pour all their energy into their jobs. Or they embrace the opposite extreme that says work is meaningless. But the Bible says your job has meaning to God. It is part of God’s plan for your life.

Notice the purpose for which God put Adam in the garden of Eden: “The Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). God did not create the garden to be self-sustaining; He created the garden in such a way that it needed humans to cultivate it and make it productive. Adam was God’s partner in His purpose. Adam’s work was an extension of God’s work. In the same way, you and I were created to be workers. Our work is an extension of God’s work here on earth to achieve His purpose.

What is God’s purpose in the world today? You might say, “That’s easy. He wants people to trust in Jesus Christ as Savior.” That’s true. But is that the only thing God is trying to do in the world today? For example, do you think God is interested in punishing evildoers and rewarding the righteous? Psalm 33:5 says, “[God] loves righteousness and justice.” And He uses people to accomplish that purpose. Romans 13:1–4 says governing authorities are ministers of God sent to render judgment upon evildoers. In other words, God has appointed people to execute justice in the world today: lawyers, judges, law enforcement officers, and members of the military.

Is God interested in making sure people are fed and clothed? Of course. Luke 12:24–28 says if God feeds the ravens and clothes the lilies, then how much more will He take care of us? God has promised to provide for His creation, and He works through farmers, fashion designers, factory workers, truck drivers, and checkout clerks to accomplish His purpose.

Is God interested in entertainment? Yes. Ecclesiastes 2:24 says, “There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God.” God wants us to enjoy this life, not just to endure it. And He accomplishes that purpose by gifting people in the area of entertainment.

We are narrowminded when we limit God’s purpose to evangelism and discipleship. God is accomplishing many things in the world today, and He’s doing so through people. Your job is important to God.

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Today’s devotion is adapted from “Finding the Perfect Job” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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