Work is created by God, but damaged by sin

Last updated on April 19, 2021

“The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)

When God created the first human, Adam, He gave him the task to work and keep the garden of Eden. Work thus belongs to God’s good creation; it is not a result of sin but fits into God’s good purpose for humans. For example, it was Adam’s task to give all animals a name (Genesis 2:20) and to have dominion over the animals (Genesis 1:28).

At the same time, sin has damaged everything — including work. When Adam had disobeyed God, He told him:
“… cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life […] By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread” (Genesis 3:17-19). The daily work of humans thus would become laborious and tiring. And this has been a common human experience ever since. Moses even says: “The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble” (Psalm 90:10).

And yet, work on itself can still be something good. “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil” (Ecclesiastes 2:24).

Do you experience your daily work as exhausting, or do you enjoy it?

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