To look at the original purpose of Work, I need to take you to the MANUAL (Bible) where the MANUFACTURER (God) has given the OBJECTIVE for creating each of the products.
If you have a bible turn to the first book of the bible, GENESIS chapter 2 and verse 15 (Genesis 2:15). The background of this scripture and the events leading to this scripture are:
1. God creates all the earth
2. He creates the first MAN. (with the woman inbuilt in him)
3. He creates their home and their office (Garden of Eden)
4. He creates all the resources they need to Live and Work (water, food, etc.,)
5. And then He tells the man to WORK and to KEEP everything well.
The old testament in The Bible was written in Hebrew language.
The root word in Hebrew which is translated as “WORK“ in english is the root word “Awbaad”. As we saw earlier, this is the very first time that the word WORK appears in the English Bible.
While reading the bible, one principle that we need to remember is that, if we want to learn the original purpose/design of any created thing, we need to go to the VERY FIRST time the Bible talks about it. That is where we will learn most of the principles of operation of that created thing. For example, if you want to learn about the design/purpose of “Marriage”, then you need to go to the first time the Bible talks about it, which is in Genesis 1:20 to 25. That is where all the original principles of marriage are revealed by God, the creator.
Now we are learning about WORK, so it is important that we go to the very first time the word WORK is mentioned, so that we may learn the original purpose/plan for WORK. That is why Genesis 2:15 is important.
Coming to the ROOT word “AWBAAD”… in the Hebrew language, each word has multiple meanings, but they are all related. So, if we look at various meanings of this root word, we can truly understand the original purpose of WORK as it was in the heart of God.
According to the Strong’s concordance (an authentic reference book) of the Hebrew language, the TOP 5 meanings of the root word AWBAAD are:
1. To Serve
2. To Worship
3. To Do
4. To Dress Up
5. To Labour
Isn’t that beautiful?! When the creator took the VERY FIRST MAN who was created and asked him to WORK, this is what he meant. He would have said, “Adam why don’t you go to your workplace and serve me, worship me, do what I want you to do, dress up the place the way I would have done it and labour to cultivate it, guard it and make it fruitful”
Today, this is exactly what He is telling you and me, when we go to work! Read that sentence again and think about it for a couple of minutes! Ask yourself if you are DRESSING UP your workplace by cleaning up all unwanted things (greed, lust, pride, envy, hatred, jealousy, corruption, etc.,). Ask yourself if you are SERVING and WORSHIPING God in and through your work, on a daily basis.
Now one more question… take a close look at the list of 5 things… in that list, where is “SALARY” or “Pay Check” or “Profit”??!! After all that is what most of us go to work for, right? But it does not appear in God’s ORIGINAL purpose of work??!! Why??!! Does that mean God wants me to work all my life for free? How will I live? Do I have to be poor? Do I have to not expect any returns for my work? What about the SALARY part??!
We will discuss that in the next blog!