Made for Creation
Wisdom for Work from the Word
Made for Creation
Refresher on a Biblical view of work - Part 2 of 6
The first word in the Bible which is translated as work is the Hebrew word Melaka which comes three times in Genesis 2:2-3, and refers back to God's activity in the 6 days of Creation.
In Genesis 1 we know that God created by the authority of His word - He speaks and stuff happens. But if we read the text more fully we can see other clear attributes to God's working style in Creation.
There are activities which repeat day after day: He saw; He divided; He named; He was satisfied. There are other attributes implicit in the text: He planned (otherwise the order of creation would go amiss); He administered (that is what the dividing and naming is all about); He evaluated (otherwise how else could He be pleased); He was (and still is) invested in what He had made; and His Creation revealed something of His nature - He is the Creator God.
This Hebrew word 'Melaka' is not a word used exclusively for God. It is a word used elsewhere in the Hebrew to speak of human activity, the sort of human creativity found in skilled work - a craftsman or woman, someone who makes something of beauty that brings satisfaction from their efforts.
We are image-bearers of the God who finds pleasure in His work - we are made capable of planning, executing, creating, administrating, evaluating and getting pleasure from our work. He makes us to be involved in miniature acts of creation as we care for all that He has made... This creative, joy-giving work is a fundamental dimension of 'human being'.
This is why we crave job satisfaction. So when we find ourselves structuring a deal, teaching a class, diagnosing a patient, writing code, anything that uses our innate God-given skills to good purpose, we get pleasure from that because of this special way we have been made. But when we find ourselves bored by routine or by work which fails to challenge, we lose pleasure. Work was designed in the beginning to be a source of satisfaction and joy.
Of course there is more to be said, we no longer live in Eden, but in a world shaped by human sin, and this has a profound effect on our experience of work - more of that in the future. For now it is good for us to take stock, evaluate the aspects of our work or activity which bring us satisfaction and to see how these bear the image of our amazing Melaka God, and to develop a habit of praising Him for the good things in our work on a daily basis. And whatever you do work to the best of your ability “as if working for the Lord not for men.”