by Jonathan McLeod

This content is part of a series.

The Beginning of Work (4 of 9)
Series: The Beginning
Jonathan McLeod
Genesis 2:1-17

''The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it'' (v. 15).


In Genesis 2, we read that God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Many people think that one of the perks of paradise was the absence of work. However, if you read Genesis 2 carefully, you'll discover that work was a part of God's original ''very good'' creation.

[Read Gen. 2:1-17.]


If your job is getting you down, you might want to think about some of the messy, gross that some people do for a living (, ''11 Messy Jobs for the Bravest Among Us''): pro-fessional smeller ($39,000 a year), pet food taster ($40,000 a year), crime scene cleaner ($600 an hour), frog pickler, professional patient ($15 an hour), roadkill collector ($25,000 an hour).

Many of us struggle with the difficulty or the dullness of our work. (I've had some jobs that I didn't enjoy.) Someone has said, ''I hate how Monday is so far away from Friday and Friday is so close to Monday.''

In Genesis 1-3, we find several truths about work. (These truths can be applied to both paid and unpaid work.)

Work was a part of God's original plan for humanity. God ''put [Adam] in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it'' (Gen. 2:15). Work is also a part of God's plan for the future (''they shall beat their swords into plowshares,'' Isa. 2:4).

Work brings personal fulfillment. We were made in God's image (Gen. 1:26-27), and work gives us the opportunity to imitate God (e.g., by being creative, by enjoying the fruit of our labor, by doing good for others).

Work became difficult after the Fall. After Adam sinned, God said to him, ''Cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat ...

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