Work in the Bible
Genesis 1:22; Exodus 31:1-17
The pandemic lockdowns slowed down everything. Work from home has become the norm. And yet, so many of us still feel tired and restless from working. Many have been busier than ever before. Why? Because we’ve been made to jump on the bandwagon that says doing more is an asset. It’s the latest craze in the pandemic. Companies expect more from you. Less staff, more work, the better chance to keep the job. Work now has become a dreaded thing. What does the Bible say about work?
1. God created us to work for Him.
“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Genesis 1:22
· We were made to work in the most prestigious manner – as representatives of God in creation.
· God separated mankind from the rest of His creation and gave as the esteemed position of representing Him in His creation.
· “Be fruitful” gives the idea that the earth must yield its fruits, produce and riches to mankind.
· To subdue and rule gives us the idea of that mankind has been given dominion over everything on behalf of the sovereign Creator.
2. God gave each person a job to do.
Exodus 31 is a good place in the Bible to demonstrate this truth. “Then the Lord said to Moses, 2 “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 3 and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills.”… 6 Moreover, I have appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, to help him. Also, I have given ability to all the skilled workers to make everything I have commanded you:” Exodus 31:1-3, 6
· God chose Bezalel and Oholiab to build the tabernacle – His portable dwelling place amongst His people.
· Bezalel and Oholiab were filled with the Spirit of God for the job.
· The delicate design and workmanship demonstrated excellence, quality of work.
· Likewise, God has also given each one of us a job to do and He is concerned with the quality of our work.
“23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:23-24.
· All things done for His glory will be rewarded with just and eternal compensation.
3. God wants your work to bear witness for Him.
“7 the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law with the atonement cover on it, and all the other furnishings of the tent— 8 the table and its articles, the pure gold lamp-stand and all its accessories, the altar of incense, 9 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, the basin with its stand—10 and also the woven garments, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when they serve as priests, 11 and the anointing oil and fragrant incense for the Holy Place. They are to make them just as I commanded you.” Exodus 31:7-10.
· Everything in the Tabernacle must bear witness to the existence and attributes of God.
· Israel was chosen to be God’s witnesses to the world.
· Likewise, our work must bear witness of the existence of God in our life.
4. God tells us to rest.
“14 “‘Observe the Sabbath, because it is holy to you. Anyone who desecrates it is to be put to death; those who do any work on that day must be cut off from their people. 15 For six days work is to be done, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, holy to the Lord. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day is to be put to death. 16 The Israelites are to observe the Sabbath celebrating it for the generations to come as a lasting covenant. 17 It will be a sign between me and the Israelites forever...’” Exodus 31:14-17.
· Jesus invites people to come to him to rest. 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:18.
· When we allow our anxieties and worries to deprive ourselves of much needed rest, the quality of work will be affected.
· Set a day apart for the purpose of worshipping the Lord.
· We must guard this day so we can be renewed and be ready to work again for the Lord.