Going Forth to Work | The Institute for Creation Research
Going Forth to Work

"Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labor until the evening" (Psalm 104:23).

This verse is a capsule job description of God's plan for man after the Flood. Psalm 104 first deals with the initial creation (vv.1-5), then with the Flood (vv. 6-9), and finally with God's provisions for the life of the post-Flood world -- plant life, animal life, and human life (vv. 10-35).

As in the beginning with Adam (Genesis 3:17-19), man's life would continue to be structured around his personal labor to provide for himself and the needs of his family. It is thus ordained by God for man to labor in some honorable vocation, but disgraceful for him not to work as long as he is able. "The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labor" (Proverbs 21:25). Christians are exhorted to be "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord" (Romans 12:11). The apostle Paul commanded "that if any would not work, neither should he eat" (II Thessalonians 3:10).

It is significant that the modern recognition of the dignity and importance of labor largely originated in Christian nations, especially England and America. Labor Day itself seems to have started with an annual parade in New York City back in the 1880s, organized by an early labor union, the Knights of Labor. It was in 1894 that Congress passed a bill making the first Monday in September a legal holiday. Like most holidays, however, its original purpose now seems to have become largely taken over by commercialization and recreation. The former six-day, dawn-to-dusk work week has given way to the 40-hour (or less) work week and the TGIF syndrome.

But this attitude should not characterize Christians. The job assignment God has given each of us to do should be done "heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men" (Colossians 3:23), "forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (I Corinthians 15:58). HMM

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