God Works

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Gen. 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The first chapter of Genesis shows what God created in those six days, light, water, flora, and fauna. Considering the Creation, His Works are so amazing and powerful that no one can begin to understand either how the creation originated or how it actually works. For the most part, God commanded the creation into existence but how that works we have no idea. It just works.

Gen. 1:31 God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Gen. 2:1 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts.

God created all that was necessary for life and for His plans to give life to His most important creation, people, as we see when He breathed into Adam the breath of life.

While God created the Earth, He left its development, as we will show later, to people, like tilling the soil for food to eat in order to live.

To give us a better understanding of work in the creation and all else, we have these Hebrew definitions:

dAbDo {abad, aw-bad´; a primitive root; to work (in any sense); by implication, to serve, till, (causatively) enslave, etc.

Part of the root word for work ab means father. Just as God, the Father, created life, fathers create life, babies according to the way God formed people. In work, things are created that never existed before: a new potato, a new orange, a new dress, a new car and so forth. Unlike God who created all from nothing, people create, obviously, from the things already in existence.

bDa }ab, awb; a primitive word; father, in a literal and immediate, or figurative and remote application.

Some of the ways people work are defined below:

5648. dAbSo {abad, ab-bad´; (Aramaic) corresponding to 5647; to do, make, prepare, keep, etc.

Being a servant often has a pejorative meaning, but not necessarily so. Does not God serve us when He provides all the necessities of life? We have to breathe, drink water, eat, sleep, make houses and clothes. In order to live, we must live within the confines of the creation. Of course, the word “confines” sounds better than “serving” the creation. However, we serve in so many ways in working, as noted in detail later.

5649. dAbSo {abad, ab-bad´; (Aramaic) from 5648; a servant:—servant.
5650. dRbRo {ebed, eh´-bed; from 5647; a servant:—
2. bAa }ab, ab; (Aramaic) corresponding to 1:—father.
3. bEa }eb, abe; from the same as 24; a green plant:—greenness, fruit.

When people work on the six days God set aside for working, they act like God, in whose image they are made. While work should be a person’s major occupation, six days worth, a seventh day rest renews a person to work better the next six days, renews his connection with the creation and basks in the holiness of that singular day.

Psa. 104:24 O LORD, how many are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all;
The earth is full of Your possessions.


Work does not have to be physical labor. A person can plan an action, hear a symphony in his mind like Mozart. God commanded much of the creation into existence.

6213. hDcDo {asah, aw-saw´; a primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application.

God created a dynamic universe with energy pulsating, various kinds of materials existing to the far ends of the world and innumerable kinds of life reproducing and interacting with other life and everything else.

Jer. 51:15 It is He who made the earth by His power,
Who established the world by His wisdom,
And by His understanding He stretched out the heavens.

Jer. 32:17 ‘Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You,

Even without excuse, many believe the entire world either came into being without an external cause or always existed. These are the scientists, as we know came into being to refute the church, the Bible and a Creator. They echo the words of the serpent of Genesis, did God say? That echo tells us something about scientific origins. Some pagan beliefs picked up by the traditional churches taught things that were not true, but the Creation as demonstrated in God’s Word is not a fable but the Truth.

Rom. 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Made: 4160. poi poieo, poy-eh´-o; apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do (in a very wide application, more or less direct):

Rev. 15:3 And they *sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and marvelous are Your works,
O Lord God, the Almighty;
Righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the nations!

2041. rgon ergon, er´-gon; from a primary (but obsolete) rgw ergo (to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication, an act.

“God works in creation and providentially throughout all human history oOÚp H7189). Naturally his works are perfect and bring him great pleasure (Ps 104:31, hRcSoAm, H5126). His supreme work in creation was humankind (Ps 8:4-8) yet his works are manifold and inexhaustible (92:5 [6]; 102:25 [26]). God’s works are a demonstration of who he is, his power, magnificence, glory, authority, etc. It is largely through God’s works, deeds, and acts that he is known and that he is worthy of all reverence in our worship (Exod 15:11; 34:10; Ps 19; 92:4 [5]).” TWOT (Theological Word Book of the Old Testament)

God Is Working Now

After the creation, God continued to work within the completed world to show people who they are by the nature of the creation, what they could do, and His plans for them. God revealed by His Word His plans for giving people knowledge of how to live by revealing the commandments, which, of course, we have shown are embedded in the creation. God also worked with many people to bring them into an understanding of His plans for life. He worked with Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and many more. He continues to intervene in people’s lives in this day and age. Furthermore, will be working with many people at the end time. (He upholds the universe all the time.)  

In early times, God cleansed the Earth from the pollution of a mankind’s rebellion against Him by the flood; their evil destroyed themselves and others because their thoughts and actions were antithetical to God and the work of the creation. God’s work in the Creation promised to give life and eternal life to those He created in His image. His work continues to this day and onward to achieve this hope for all those made in His image.

Gen. 7:4 “For after seven more days, I will send rain on the earth forty days and forty nights; and I will blot out from the face of the land every living thing that I have made.”

Without hearing about things of the past, we could not know of them and believe in their actual existence. Thus, God spoke to certain people, His Words being written or some other way saved. Then God created the situations where people could be made aware of what He said, the Truth, so they could choose to accept the Word as God’s or continue to believe the words of someone else or believe what the eye sees or thinks it sees. God sends people with His Word to give them the opportunity to believe in Him and His Work and Works.

Mal. 3:18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.

These examples illustrate some of the various ways in which the concepts of service, servitude, labor, and work are put into use in various settings: toward God, other persons, animals, and activities in general.

4639. hRcSoAm ma{aseh, mah-as-eh´; from 6213; an action (good or bad); generally, a transaction; abstractly, activity; by implication, a product (specifically, a poem) or (generally) property.

God Works in People

John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

During the six days of creation, God made a good Earth that contained everything that could bring people a great life. After having set the creation as an example of good, God works in all people to help them work and walk His way.

Eph. 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

1John 1:7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.

The Creator, while finished building the physical universe, now creates a good work in people.

Phil. 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

The verse says God causes the sun to shine and the rains to fall.

Matt. 5:45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

The rest on the Sabbath is a cessation of our occupation, labor and work, not a cessation of doing good.

John 5:16 For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath.
John 5:17 But He answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working.”

Just as God’s Word or Command created the world, so does His Word created in people a likeness to God in numerous ways.

1Th. 2:13 ¶ For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.

1Cor. 12:6 And there are different activities, but the same God is active in everyone and everything.

Jesus healed a man who needed healing, not because the disease was a result of sin.

John 9:3 Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

It is God’s Word and Way that works within people as well as His divine intervention.

Col. 1:29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

Phil. 2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

God worked when he resurrected Jesus.

Heb. 13:20 ¶ Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord,
Heb. 13:21 equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

God works within people when they exercise His spiritual gifts.

1Cor. 12:6 There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.
1Cor. 12:7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
1Cor. 12:8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;

Rom. 8:28 ¶ And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

Heb. 4:10 For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.

God Created the Earth as a Place For People to Work

Indeed, man given the authority and command to continue the creation: cultivate the ground, serve God and labor six days as God did.

“Work is a God-ordained activity and was set forth from the beginning, and sometimes called one of the creation ordinances, to fill, subdue, and rule the earth (Gen 1:28), to keep the garden, and to labor (2:5, 15), dAbDo (serve, work, labor, slave, perform, H6268). Work is to be done as a central aspect of humankind’s purpose before God (Ps 8:6 [7]). Although the original dignity of work is enhanced by the fact that God was the supreme worker in his creation, for humankind, sin’s effects on work involved a change from joy to travail (Gen 3:17–19), (NwøbD…xIo, painful toil, H6779), and in many cases became the cause of various evils and idolatries when not brought under God’s law and covenant (Deut 25:13–16; Jer 23:13–14; Ezra 9:13). This loss of joy does not remove the dignity of work among God’s people as long as labor and toil are guided by wisdom, righteousness, and charity and are done prayerfully under God’s sovereign will and to his glory (Deut 24:19–22; Prov 22:29; 24:27). Though greatly hindered by sin’s curse, all are to be engaged in some form of work six days a week (when there is no sacred festival), as they are able (Exod 20:9; 31:15). Idleness (sloth) is condemned by its very consequences (Prov 6:6–11; 21:25). Work is the ordained means of the production of wealth and material culture, yet God’s people were repeatedly warned never to trust or boast in either (Deut 8:17–18); one is not to find any final integration point in either work or its produce, for all these things will pass away (Ps 39:6, 11; 49:6 [7]; Eccl 2:17–19; 5:10). The Sabbath itself was a weekly reminder that they were not to have an attitude or expectation of enslavement to work as their final end. Yet, in this latter point, we are not to diminish the value and significance of work and human deeds for they will all be brought to judgment or recompense in the eschaton [the final event in the divine plan; the end of the world].” (Ps 28:4; Prov 11:4; Jer 31:16).” TWOT.

The Ground

Gen. 2:5 Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground.

“Gen 2:5 indicates clearly that one of the purposes for the creation of M∂dDa, humankind, was to till (dAbDo) the ground before the Fall. So it was always God’s design that humans would work the ground the Lord/God had created in Eden, an inherent religious act when done to fulfill the Creator’s purposes. In 2:15, two infinitives construct indicating purpose, work/till, in parallel with watch over/keep (rAmDv), establish this point farther.” TWOT

Serve the One God Designates

Gen. 25:23 The LORD said to her,
“Two nations are in your womb;
And two peoples will be separated from your body;
And one people shall be stronger than the other;
And the older shall serve the younger.”

“Ecclesiastes can even assert that the sleep of the laborer (dAbDo) is sweet (Eccl 5:12 [11]). Work in the sense of the kinds of duties carried out to earn one’s living becomes subsumed in the word. Esau’s servitude to Jacob was both a result of and foretold in a divine word of Yahweh attending their birth (Gen 25:23). Hence, the relationships among various persons/nations are dependent in various ways on God’s sovereignty.

“Yahweh limited the work week of his people, as an act of grace (cf. Egyptian 10-day work week), to six days with a seventh day of refreshment and rest for not only humans but animals as well (Exod 20:9; Deut 5:13).” TWOT

Forced Labor

Ex. 1:13 The Egyptians compelled the sons of Israel to labor rigorously;

“On the other hand, forced labor in building Pharaoh’s supply cities was imposed upon the Israelites by Pharaoh and termed “oppressive/harsh labor,” carried out under intolerable conditions (Exod 1:13; 5:18), the purpose of which was to destroy God’s people (5:18). This cruel oppression was both foretold and subsequently punished/judged according to God’s pronouncements in Gen 15:14. Servitude to the Philistines was likewise a burden suffered in Canaan (1 Sam 4:9).” TWOT

Refuse to Serve

“Hezekiah, on the other hand, could refuse to serve the Assyrian king, and God blessed him (2 Kgs 18:7), for God had given him the freedom to do so. But Zedekiah was directed by Jeremiah’s word to serve the king of Babylon in his day. Who serves whom is ultimately Yahweh’s decision, but is tied to the moral, ethical, and religious condition of the persons/peoples involved (cf. Exod 14:5). Israel rightly refused to serve (dAbDo) Solomon’s son Rehoboam (1 Kgs 12:7).” TWOT

Perpetual Slave

“Hezekiah, on the other hand, could refuse to serve the Assyrian king, and God blessed him (2 Kgs 18:7), for God had given him the freedom to do so. But Zedekiah was directed by Jeremiah’s word to serve the king of Babylon in his day. Who serves whom is ultimately Yahweh’s decision, but is tied to the moral, ethical, and religious condition of the persons/peoples involved (cf. Exod 14:5). Israel rightly refused to serve (oDbAd) Solomon’s son Rehoboam (1 Kgs 12:7).” TWOT

Serve God

“Thus, the verb refers to the performance of the cult in the sense of worship, honor, serve in a purely religious sense, in addition to caring (dAbDo) for its physical upkeep and maintenance. The goal of the Exodus was the worship (dAbDo) of the Lord at Sinai (Exod 3:12; cf. 1 Chron 28:9; Mal 3:18). “To serve Yahweh” ([dAbDo] yhwh) is found 56x (e.g., Exod 4:23; Deut 6:13; 1 Sam 7:3; Ps 100:2; Jer 2:20), all referring to worship, cultic service or faithfully keeping his covenant as his people.” TWOT

Conclusion

All that people do when they work as ones made in His image serve God, whether they know it or not, for their labors continue to keep life flowing on Earth.

Amen,

Gil Kovacs

Sabbath Christian Church

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