Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Biblical Principals of Work and the Biblical Work Ethic (Part 4)

Biblical Principals of Work and the Biblical Work Ethic (Part 4)




Work and Rest Balance

Thus far here are some of the following things the Bible establishes regarding work. First, work is established as a creational ordinance. Secondly, work is diverse in that there are various types of work namely in two overarching categories: mental and physical. Thirdly, work to be done properly is driven by applying certain skills. the Bible teaches that a persons competiencies, abilities and gifts are given by God and are to be used within their necesary calling. Fourthly, in order to work properly and confidently one must identify their gifts they will know what type of work to do in order to use their competencies in the work environment. Fifthly, work is foremost established not for the benefit of earning money but for the pleasing of God by being obedient to Him.


With all this talk of work, work, work, is there a balance regarding work and labor? The answer is, "Yes!" We are commanded in the scriptures to work six days and to worship and rest on the sabbath. The sabbath is the one in seven principal of work as worship / rest. In the Old Testament the sabbath was the day we know as Saturday. In the New Testament the sabbath is Sunday, the first day of the week or the Lord’s Day. Sunday is the one in seven day of rest for the believer after the resurrection of our Lord. For the believer for it is the day of the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in the context of the sabbath / Christian sabbath that God commands men to work six days a week. There is nowhere a mention in the Bible that we have the opportunity not to work if we are able. With the proper work / rest, worship commandment being obeyed there is great blessing to mankind and especially beleivers. Notice the command of God regarding work and rest / worship:
Exodus 20:8-11 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Deuteronomy 5:12-15 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.
Isaiah 58:13-14 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

The creational work ordinance pattern of work is seen all through the Bible. We note it in the early chapters of Genesis especially at the account of Creation, restated at the covenant of preseveration with Noah, and again the same labor ordinance given to Moses in the fourth commandent in the Decalogue. The work / worship principal is this: Work six days - labor and toil, doing all for the glory of God then worship and rest one day which is called the Lord’s Day. On the day od rest and worship you re called to give prayer and praise to the Creator of all things, hear and read God’s Word, and do good to any of your fellow men in works of love, mercy and necessity as is needed.

Often we miss one things and that is that labor is an integral part of the fourth commandment. But if one leaves that out then the day of rest has no meaning. Rest is meaningless apart from the clause "Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work". Rest is do be accommplished as opposed to the six days of labor ordained by the Lord.

The Lord not only commands us to labor but He gives us also the knowledge to know that we are to be consistent in working. There is to be labor for a consistant six days, then there is a day every seven days of rest and worship. This cycle established by God for man is one very important cycle for all men in all societies. Our God is so kind and gracious that "for man he made the sabbath".We do not need to guess if there is work we are to do or if we can get a break from our labor. We have the word of God and are sure of constancy in a weekly work and patterned sabbath rest.

Many of the economic bills, woes, relationships, and work pressures as a family and as a nation could be solved if we would but live according to this God ordained work and rest cycle. Let’s look at it this way "we" work 5 days a week, and without rest we "spend seven". "We" are always working for the past and not the "now and future" since we ow credit card and other bills. This brings undue pressure on the husband, wife, children. . It is in this pattern that one cannot find work pleasant. , and bill collectors. Not only has the breaking of the creational ordinace of work caused problems economically but has also caused a moral decline in our nation and world. Our twenty-first century society does not take the time to remember the Lord, His word and His ways. We have as a society "worked" our way into a spiritual and ungodly mess. Perhaps it is time for you to rediscover the Lord’s day, call it a delight and be blessed in all your life. If you do call the sabbath a delight there are great blessings. Isaiah 58:13-14 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Below are sever passages of Scripture that direct us in the creational ordinance of work and the blessings of keeping the sabbath the Lord made for each of us.

Genesis 1:26-31 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. and God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 2:2-3 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
Genesis 9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
Exodus 20:8-11 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Deuteronomy 5:12-15 Keep the sabbath day to sanctify it, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee. Six days thou shalt labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and that the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.
Mark 2:23-28 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him? And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Work is not for only the male or those that are hired to be servants of others. But all men , women and children are to please God and work as he has ordained. Men are to work in order to obey God and to provide for his home and family. Women are to be working in the family structure for the good of the family and the support of the .home to the glory of God (Prov 31). Children are to work. they learn to work through their play time and through the chores the parents set up for them and hold them accountable to perform. For children proper playing, doing chores and school work are to be done for their development in the kingdom of Christ.

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