Saturday, January 19, 2013


This is the second in a series of posts on work and why work is essential to our physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

In the last post titled “TWO KEY FACTS ABOUT THE BIBLICAL ORIGINS OF WORK” we established that God Created Work and God Created Man to Work. If you missed the post you can read it at The modern day definition of work from Webster’s dictionary was presented as [to] “Be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a purpose or result.”

There are three innate reasons that man engages in work and those reasons have changed little in over 6000 years. They are:

Man works to eat. The first recorded work that man performed was for an essential purpose that continues to this very day – in order that he has food to eat. In Genesis 2:5 scripture reads “Now no shrub of the field had yet grown on the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground.” From the dawn of time God intended for man to cultivate the ground and produce food to sustain himself. Man not only gardened and gathered food from the fields but he also worked in the form of hunting animals for food. There are numerous references in Genesis to the hunting of game for food.  In Genesis 26:28 it says that “Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game”. Food is essential to life. Man has always worked in order to eat.

Man works to clothe himself. Almost every child from a very early age knows the Biblical story of Adam and Eve and how God provided clothing for them in the Garden of Eden. Man’s need for clothing originated almost as soon as man originated. The idyllic climate of the Garden of Eden changed immediately when man was kicked out into the world as we know it today. The change in climate outside the Garden of Eden is well chronicled in the Old Testament in numerous accounts of floods, hail storms, droughts, etc. The harsh climate outside the Garden of Eden no doubt required special garments to provide cover, warmth and comfort. The importance of clothing is reinforced in the Old Testament through the sixty plus times that clothing is mentioned. There are many descriptions of animal skins and animal fur being used to produce garments for protective clothing. The Bible is filled with examples of man’s need for clothing for warmth and protection. One such example is in Job 31:19-21 where Job talks about providing warm garments to the needy so that they might not perish. Man has always worked to clothe himself.

Man works to shelter himself. There is clear documented evidence that in Patriarchal times Abraham, Issac and Jacob lived in tents. And it’s reasonable to assume that the art of tent making was likely derived by and passed down through ancestors who learned to knit animal skins together to provide cover from rain and other inclement weather. The Israelites were well known as sheep and goat herders. Sheep and goats not only provided food but their fur was woven together to make tent fabrics. Man hunted animals and raised goats and sheep to help provide shelter for him. In the Old Testament there are many references to the fortified cities that were constructed to provide sheltered protection from attackers. Jericho is one such fortified city of shelters described in the book of Joshua. Houses of the Old Testament provided shelter for man and often times provided shelter for domestic animals in the harsh winter climates. Man has always worked to provide shelter for himself.

It was God’s plan that man would work to provide food, clothing and shelter for himself and we are somewhat hardwired for it in our very nature. In future posts we will discuss how avoiding responsibility for work leads to life problems because of the conflict it causes personally, societally and spiritually. So the next Monday morning you feel that slight urge to play hooky from work you’ll have THREE BIBLICAL EXAMPLES THAT EXPLAIN MAN’S BASIC NEED AND DESIRE TO WORK to remind you why you need to head on in.

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