Introduction to the Bible on Work
Wondering where to start? Use this series to explore God's word for work throughout the Bible.
From the beginning God intended human beings to be his junior partners in the work of bringing creation to fulfillment. We are created to work in relationships, relying on God's provision, and respecting God's limits.
We live in a fallen, broken world and we cannot expect life without toil. Nonetheless, God continues to provide for us, and work today is not less important to God’s plan, but more.
Having declared his theme that toil is vanity in Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, the Teacher nonetheless proceeds to explore various possibilities for trying to live life well. He considers, among other things, achievement, pleasure, wealth, and finding joy in God’s gifts. In some of these he does find a certain value, yet nothing seems permanent, and the characteristic conclusion in each section is that work comes to a chasing after wind.
In God’s kingdom, our work and prayer are not two separate activities that need to be balanced, but two aspects of the same activity. When we work in Jesus’ name, we work to accomplish the work God wants accomplished.
When Jesus washes his disciples feet, he sets an example we are meant to follow, so far as we are able. This attitude of humble service should accompany all we do because doing so brings us tangibly face to face with the reality that godly work is performed for the benefit of others.
Babylon and her minions come to a terrifying end as a consequence of their idolatry and wickedness—including their economic practices, as we have seen in earlier sessions in this series. It might seem that any participation in the world economy—or even any local economy—must be so fraught with idolatry that the only solution is to withdraw completely and live alone in the wilderness. But Revelation offers an alternative vision of life together: the New Jerusalem.