January 9: Life Is Work

Genesis 2:15. The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

God is the source of life. He is creator. We image him. We flow from him. His own breath made us alive. To live is to image God. To image God is to impact this world. How do we impact the world?

We work.

Working is a sign of God’s life in us. The word work in Genesis 2:15 is bigger than meets the eye. It is the Hebrew word abad. This same word is used to mean to serve and to worship. Adam was told to abad the garden. Or we might translate it as “serve” the garden. But can we also connect our working and serving to our worshipping?

Let’s look at how the word abad is used in Exodus.

Exodus 4:23. Then say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what the Lord says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I told you, “Let my son go, so he may worship [abad] me.”  (ESV)

Exodus 5:9. [Pharaoh said] “Make the work [abad] harder for the people so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies.” (ESV)

You can see that the same word is used to describe worship and then to describe physical work.

We were made to image God. We were made to worship. We were made to work. Therefore work is worship. Whoever or whatever we work for is who or what we worship. We cannot separate the two.

We cannot separate image bearing from work and worship, we cannot separate living from work and worship, and therefore we cannot separate Christ from work and worship.

If “to live is Christ” then he alone must restore our work to worship and our worship to our work.

Ephesians 2:10. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.

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