Rarely when reading Genesis 1-2, do we think about the subject of work. However, there are at least 2 encouraging truths about work that emerge from these sections.
1. Work was an integral part of God’s perfect creation.
Genesis 2:5 talks about a problem, “there was no one to work the ground.” Solution? “God formed a man from the dust of the ground” [Gen 2:7] and “put the man he had formed” [Gen 2:8] to work. From the beginning, God designed work to be an integral part of his creation.
In fact, after creation was completed, when God declared everything as “very good” [Gen 1:31], work was included as well! Work was not a result of the Fall. The Fall simply made work hard just as it made everything else hard [Gen 3:17-19].
2. Work is a way of rendering worship to God.
The word that is translated “work” in Genesis 2:5 and 2:15 is also translated as “worship” or “serve” elsewhere in the Old Testament [e.g. Exod 3:12, Josh 24:14]. Hence, it is biblical to see work as a way of rendering worship to our great God.
These 2 reasons give us a biblical basis to view work in a God-exalting manner. Work is not a necessary evil that we have to put up with. It is a means through which we can fulfill God’s purposes for our lives. Therefore, without grumbling about work, let us continually strive to glorify our great God in our respective workplaces. Such an attitude will also result in experiencing joy!
Let us apply the words of the apostle Paul in our workplaces: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23). Jesus Christ is our ultimate Boss! He will reward all our labors—even if earthly bosses fail to recognize our efforts.
So, don’t be discouraged even if your work is challenging and you feel that nobody appreciates you. Lean on the power of the Holy Spirit as you seek to continually glorify Christ at your workplace.