In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Genesis 1:1-3)
In the Church today, we talk a lot about how God is loving, holy, omnipresent, all-powerful, faithful, just, and true. But we rarely, if ever, talk about the fact that we worship a God who works.
And yet, that is the very first thing God reveals about himself in Scripture. In the beginning, God created. In the beginning, God was productive. In the beginning, God worked.
In the first pages of Genesis, we see God working with his words (see Genesis 1) and his hands (see Genesis 2:7-9). We see him joyfully engaged in “the work of creating” (Genesis 2:3). It’s significant to note that the Hebrew word mlkh, which we translate “work” in this verse, is the exact same word used to describe human work throughout the Old Testament.
This claim that the God of the Bible works is unique amongst the world’s religions. Every other religion says that the gods created human beings to work and serve the gods. Only the Bible says that God himself worked to serve us.
This radical truth is foundational to how we—God’s image-bearers—should think about our work today. The fact that the God of the universe worked means that work is not a “necessary evil” or a meaningless “means to an end.” Work is dignified, meaningful, and good in and of itself. More than that, work is God-like and a way that we reflect his character to those around us.