Wake Up & Go to Work
Wake Up & Go to Work
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest… A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
Proverbs 6:6-11 (ESV)
In a day when the value of human labor is debated, we need clarification about why and how we work. The emphasis for many in affluent societies is on less work and more play. It seems we only work when we absolutely must. The real objective is not to work. Of course, for some who have not found work, a job is desirable. Even then, however, many would not work if they could pay the bills without it.
Why does the sluggard avoid work if possible? It is the effect of the fall of Adam and Eve on the human race. Everything was marred with their choice. Rebellious children don’t see the privilege of being God’s partner in managing the earth. They have believed the lie that provision is their right. They scoff that God would ask them to exert themselves to do anything. They want to eat of the trees without tending to them. When they do work they actually work for the god of mammon. Money is the reason and reward for their labor. If they can get the benefits of working without actually doing it, they congratulate themselves on being shrewd.
The little ant didn’t make the choice that Adam and Eve made. Though she is affected by the fall of creation, she retains the divine imprint toward her nature and assignment. She works when it is time to work so that when the seasons change she has enough for her family. She does not need a boss to demand her work. She works because she was created to work, and nothing can fill the place of fulfillment that her work was designed to provide. In one sense the little ant worships the God who created just by doing what she was designed to do. She works to the glory of God.
Jesus, the final Adam, has restored the dignity of work to his people. He worked while on earth as one in partnership with the Father. As long as the Father is working, Jesus is working. We have been given his life. We, too, can now work to the glory of God by doing the assignment we are given, while trusting the Father for all provision for everything we need.
We shouldn’t let the little ant mock us. It is time to wake up and go to work.