We often get the idea that work is a bad thing. However, God didn’t create work to be that way. In the Garden of Eden, Adam had work responsibilities.
And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (Gen. 2:15)
Notice first that God put Adam in the garden. God was the One Who created work. As we saw in the previous verses, God made everything good, so work must be good. In Genesis 3, work became difficult due to sin, but work itself was created by God to be good for mankind. God made human beings to be productive.
Next, see that “dress” is the Hebrew word for “work”. It is the same Hebrew verb translated “till”, “cultivate” or “work” in Genesis 3:23. Adam originally was a gardener. His work was to care for the plants.
Adam was also to “keep” the garden. This meant he was in charge of it and should watch over it. He was to observe the growth and take care of harvesting the fruit as needed. What else this entailed in a world in which there was no sin is something that the text does not address. Suffice it to say that Adam was responsible for whatever needed done in the garden.
What this means for us is that we shouldn’t look upon work as drudgery or something to be avoided. Nor should we consider it a necessary evil. God didn’t intend that. God wants us to be productive in the world He created. This is seen in the New Testament also where work is commanded of all. (2 Thes. 3:10-12) We should embrace work as serving God in whatever we do.
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