We don’t like to work, but we do. We complain about having to go to work; but are miserable when we are unemployed. We are glad to go back to work on Mondays, to get some rest, after an exhausting weekend. Working has benefits.
In considering the creation story, it is interesting that after God created man, and before man sinned, He placed man in the Garden of Eden “to cultivate it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). God knew mankind needed something to do, a job to perform.
As part of his punishment for eating the forbidden fruit, this cultivating and keeping would become more difficult. Mankind would have to “toil” the ground if they were going to eat “all the days of [their] life” (Genesis 3:18). He would have to work “by the sweat of [his] face” (Genesis 3:19).
These facts reveal several things about the benefits of a person working. God has always done things and looked out for the good of creation and their benefit.
While God could have “set food on the table” for Adam and Eve, He did not. He made them work for the food they ate. We have learned that we appreciates things more if we work for them than if they are given to us. There is satisfaction in working.
History has demonstrated that life is filled with struggles; things are not going to come easy. People will have to “sweat” for achievement. The benefit is the sense of accomplishment when the “fruit” of their labors is realized and victory over the “struggle” or “difficulty” is reached.
We do not like to “sweat,” but there are some medical benefits to exerting energy to accomplish the task. Medical research has concluded that when the body is moving, for the most part, it functions very well.
The supreme authority was pushing mankind to “do for himself.” God was not wanting us to feel like we could do nothing. God wanted people to think they were worth something.
Adam had the same 24-hours in a day we have. He had to sleep so his body could function the next day. But, he also had to get up the next morning and “go to work.”
In our world, people are not growing their own food as Adam did. Nothing has changed, it still must be grown. While farmers are growing our food, and we should appreciate them, working to eat is still a requirement (2 Thessalonians 3:10).
Jobs are different; all are important. Working to eat is as fundamental today as in the days of Adam. Going to work every day has great benefits and is an indispensable part of living God’s way.
Carlton G. McPeak is an evangelist working in the Florida Gateway region. All Scriptural quotations are from the New American Standard Bible, Holman Bible Publishers, unless otherwise stated. He may be contacted at email@example.com.