Did you know that we were created to work? God designed work as a good thing, reminding the Israelites: “Six days you shall labor and do all your work” (Ex. 20:9). Through work, we can feed the hungry, create beautiful pieces of art, disseminate knowledge, construct homes, and create life-sustaining products. However, our God-ordained relationship with work has been tainted by sin.
Psalm 127 speaks into our often frantic and restless relationship with work. The psalm opens by reminding us that “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain” (v. 1). Notice that the Psalmist doesn’t say that work is altogether bad. He does not say, “God builds and watches over us, so you might as well go home and relax.” The message of the psalm is in the “unless.” Unless we recognize that our work is in the context of God’s greater work. Unless we remember that our success in everything is dependent upon God. Unless we keep God at the center, our work becomes useless.
It is possible to work hard and achieve nothing of eternal value. Psalm 127 reminds us that we should orient our work toward God. God is at work in the world and has given us the joy and responsibility of joining Him in that work. Children are an example of this. For many of us, our children represent the most significant and lasting impact we will have on the world (vv. 3–5). When our powers of work begin to wane with age, our children will be coming into their prime of life. While our work in their lives may be nearing an end, God created them, and He will continue to work through them.
>> Today, whether you work in an office or at home, let everything you do be infused with an awareness that the One you serve is God Himself! Praise God today for the joy of participating in His work in the world.
Lord, You have used faithful judges and shepherds, rulers and slaves to accomplish Your will. Whether we are missionaries, homemakers, or doctors, we consecrate our work to You. Use our professional lives for Your glory!