Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the Lord….Surely the islands look to me; in the lead are the ships of Tarshish, bringing your children from afar, with their silver and gold, to the honor of the Lord (Isaiah 60:6, 9a)
As we’ve seen over the last two days, our work matters because it reveals the kingship of Jesus and makes people crave his kingdom. If those ideas are too amorphous for your taste, consider the much more concrete promise of today’s passage: Our work has the potential to physically last for eternity on the New Earth.
This is what Isaiah is alluding to in today’s passage in his prophetic vision of the kingdom. All the nations are coming into the New Jerusalem, but they are not coming empty-handed. They are bringing their very best work from the previous life—what Isaiah calls the “wealth of the nations” (Isaiah 60:11).
Commenting on what this truth means for our work today, New Testament scholar N.T. Wright says, “You are not oiling the wheels of a machine that’s about to roll over a cliff. You are—strange though it may seem—accomplishing something that will become in due course part of God’s new world.”
What sort of work will carry on? Scripture doesn’t say definitively, but I think it’s safe to assume it will be work that is created in line with the principles of King Jesus to whom we owe our allegiance.
The physical, material things you produce at work today matter. Work in such a way that your work might be considered among the glory of the nations!