Nov 27, 2017
We were created in God’s Image. He’s a Creator, a worker… one who adds value.
Work isn’t a curse. Despite all of the jokes about dreading “manic” Mondays, work is actually a gift. In the Garden of Eden, Adam worked before sin, before the Fall, before the curse. We were designed to create, steward, and add value to the world around us.
Note how things unfolded way back in the beginning:
First, we were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Redemption restores the fractured image of God that has always been present. Jesus takes the pieces and puts them back together such that we clearly resemble who He is.
Second, God is a worker- when He walked on the earth 2,000 years ago Jesus testified that the Father had been working since the beginning (John 5:17).
Jesus verified, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
God has always worked. He has always enhanced the places He’s present. He has always “added value” and made things better through His activity.
Third, since we are created in His image, it makes sense that we are fulfilled when, like Him, we work. He created people to work just as He works (Genesis 1:28f.). In the same way that God is a Creator, we- being formed in His image- are creative.
The problem is not work. Rather, the problem is toil- when there is not an ease and a fulfillment to the work. When the work doesn’t “add value.” When the work seems mundane instead of creative. When the work seems a drudge rather than life-giving.
This negative association with work was birthed in Genesis 3:17-19, as a curse of the Fall (emphasis added):
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “ Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it, all the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”
Man had been working before the Fall (since Genesis 1:28f.). And, it is only after the Fall that creation moves from completely “good” to its “thorn-infested” state. In the same way in which the old pattern of sin distorted the full glory of humanity, the glory of creation which we see now is a limited glory from its original display.
Creation anticipates the day we will walk in our full glory, our total freedom (read: redemption). Romans 8:19-22 says that creation itself currently groans with birth pangs, waiting to be released from its bondage, awaiting for the full revelation of the sons and daughters of God (us!).
Here, we see that Creation itself if part of the redemptive work of Jesus. Our full glory is connected in some way to creation’s; creation’s full glory is intertwined with ours.