Our work matters to God, because it reflects his DNA. God is a working God and creative God. We ought therefore to work as if we were to be saved by our works; and so rely on Jesus, as if we did no works.
Going Deep // Focus: Exodus 39:42-43
So the people of Israel followed all of the Lord’s instructions to Moses. Then Moses inspected all their work. When he found it had been done just as the Lord had commanded him, he blessed them.
Thank God for work! No—really!
When we first meet God in the Bible, he is a creating, working God. In fact, we first learn of God that he is the Creator. He takes nothing and makes it something, turning the mess into his masterpiece. Often in the creation account, we find that when God has finished a certain aspect of his work, he looked it over and upon examination, exclaimed, “that’s good.”
When God created the human couple, he declared that his work as Creator was done, and that it, too was good. In fact, he declared it to be his most impressive work: “Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!” But he didn’t stop either his work or his creativity; he simply assigned it to Adam and Eve. In Genesis 1:28, God says to the couple, “Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.” In other words, now you take what I’ve done to the next level. Creatively work it so that it brings honor to me.
All that to say, in our passage today, we find a parallel to the creation account in Genesis: “Moses saw that the people had done, that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded, and his summation was that it was good. How do we know that? We see that in response to their creative work, “Moses blessed them. On God’s behalf, Moses is looking it over, then saying, “it is so good.”
Among the many things that could be said in commentary on the construction of the tabernacle, one of the things we can draw from this is a theology of work. Work is what God does, and being made in his image, being assigned responsibilities of co-rulership with him, work is what he has called us to do. Work is not a necessary evil, it is at the heart of our God-infused DNA. Furthermore, we have his creativity in our DNA as well, so our work is to be done in a way that creates beauty and value, bringing honor and glory to the Creator. That is why, over in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul exhorts the Colossians believers,
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father. Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly. Children, always obey your parents, for this pleases the Lord. Fathers, do not aggravate your children, or they will become discouraged. Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything you do. Try to please them all the time, not just when they are watching you. Serve them sincerely because of your reverent fear of the Lord. Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ. (Colossians 3:17-24)
So whether it is managing creation on God’s behalf in Genesis, or doing God’s work in constructing a beautiful tabernacle in Exodus, or giving effort in whatever our daily life brings to us, in marriage, our family, or on the job either as an employee or an employer, God has ordained our work. So therefore,
- Our work is to do God’s work. In fact whatever we do is God’s work.
- In our work we are actually managing God’s creation for him, no matter what it is we have been assigned to do.
- When we do our work as God’s work, and we carry out our work in God’s way, we will never lack God’s favor and God’s provision. Like Moses did with the tabernacle workers, God will review it and reward it.
And as we approach our work in that way, whatever we do, big or small, glorious or common, we will find great joy and eternal significance in knowing we have done it as service unto the Lord Christ.