Posted by: Brian Musser | May 19, 2014

Work and Sin

Work-Ship – Week Six:  The Limits of Work – Day Forty:  Work and Sin

For the past 39 days we have been painting this picture of work as such a great thing.  God works.  We can display the image of God as we work.  Work can lead us directly into worship.  We were created, designed, commanded to work.  God has given us a context and a community to enable our work.  Work is an awesome gift from God to humanity.  Work is truly wonderful.  This is what we  believe to be true.  This is the truth that we see in Scripture.  This is what our theology tells us.

But then Monday morning comes and there is this incredible difference between what work is supposed to be and what we experience day in and day out at our jobs.  Some days we dread going to a jobs.  Sometimes this distance from the true joy of work is because of our own issues.  We are acting and behaving out of character of the workers that God created us to be.  At other times the jobs we have are so much less that the meaningful work that God intended to do.  In other instances the community we were supposed to be working in and among is corrupted.  And our work is less than intended.  Our work is broken.  Sin has affected every part of our work experience.

Let’s spend today examining some of the aspects of the curse from Genesis 3.

Our Context is Corrupted

Genesis 3:14 – 15 (NIV)

So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,
Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

The serpent as a creature was part of the creation the humanity was intended to rule.  The serpent would have part of God’s context for us to work in.  We were supposed to be over and in charge of the serpent along with all the other animals in creation.  As sin enters into the world it drives a wedged between humanity and creation.  We are no longer working within the context that God had intended.  There is now a separation between the ruler and that which is being ruled.  There is an enmity between us.  An although this specifically directed toward the serpent we can that it is true of creatures.  Romans 8: 18 – 25 also highlights this.  We see the picture of the way creation should relate to each in Isaiah 11: 6 – 9 and 65: 18 – 25.  The context in which we work is deeply corrupted by the effects of sin.

Our Community is Separated

Genesis 3:16 (NIV) To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;with painful labor you will give birth to children.  Your desire will be for your husband,and he will rule over you.

Eve was created as a helper within the context of Adam’s work.  Eve was created to be with Adam, by Adam’s side and supportive of Adam.  It was not good for Adam to be alone so Eve was given to him.  And this relationship before sin was so much more than just efficient.  It was beautiful and holy.  Then sin enters into the community of Adam and Eve and immediately we see a separation between the two who are supposed to be one.  Adam blames Eve for their failure and then denigrates God for giving him such a flawed gift.  In the curse we see competition emerge.  The language about Eve desiring her husband is not to be taken in a romantic context.  It signifies that Eve now wants to be in her husband’s place.  She wants to rule he husband.  But the curse is that this desire will go mostly unfulfilled.  There was never intended to be competition between the man and the woman.  They were designed to live and work in harmony.  But sin enters in and now we have questions about who is to blame and who is to receive credit and who is to be in charge.  This is not the way it should be.

Our workplaces are riddled with this effect of the Fall.  We spend so much time giving and receiving blame, squabbling for credit and fighting for control.  The human community that was supposed be a tool through which work could be accomplished is now separated and disjointed.  We were designed to work in a community that would display the image of our Creator the Trinity.  God works so we can work.  God works in community so we can demonstrate who God is by working in community.  Sin has greatly distorted the image of thew Trinity as we work in our communities.

Tomorrow we will look at the way the last part of the curse has effected work.  But for today think about some specific ways that sin has change what you do for a living.  What are some of the effects that sin has had on your job?



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