Below is a short excerpt from Pastor Josh Moore’s recent sermon “Glorifying God in our Work”
As we turn now to God’s word I want all of us to engage in a quick exercise. Grab a pew bible and open it up right to the beginning there. Go to page 2. You should see Genesis 2. I want you to look and see where Genesis 2 is in relation to the Fall.
The Fall of course is that dreadful moment when man and woman disobeyed God, rejected his plan for them and plunged all of us into a state of misery and death.
In Genesis 2, which was read earlier in the service, we read of how God took the man that he created and placed him in the garden to work it and keep it. In other words, he was given work to do.
My question is, did this happen before or after the fall?
Work Itself is Not a Result of the Fall
This happens before the great Fall of man and woman; it’s before the curse and before death entered into the world.
The implications of this are profound.
Think about this. The call for man to work and keep the garden was given to him before he sinned. Paradise was a place of work; it was a place where we were busy with work.
In other words, contrary to popular opinion, work is good. It was a part of the goodness of God’s creation before sin and death corrupted it.
Vicent Bacote, Professor of Theology at Wheaton College, writes:
“Though the entry of sin is real, all is not lost. The Fall does not obliterate the image of God in humans. [And just] as the divine image remains with us, so does work itself as a component of our essential dignity.”–“The Goodness of Work: Work that Leads to Flourishing” in Whatever You Do For An Integrated Life, 67.
In other words, when God curses the man and the woman, work itself is not a part of the curse. In fact, work is an essential part of what it means to be human and to be made in the image of God. Work is made harder, but it is not itself a part of the curse.
Moreover, when you look at the entire story of the opening parts of Genesis we find not only a man and a woman created with tasks to do and work to perform, but we find a God who works.
God is a worker.
What this means is that a part of the very image of God within us is the ability to work.
In the very act of working and laboring, you are, whether you intend it or not, pointing to God, the original worker.
My life is one of contradictions. I’m a southern boy living in northern New England; a boring guy married to super-fun girl; a conservative pastor in a progressive Christian denomination; a changed man in need of change; a sinner loved by a holy and perfect God.