A Biblical Take on Labor

imagesToday is Labor Day here in the U.S.  Its origins are somewhat dubious, but it arose out of the labor movement in the 1800’s.  We first celebrated this federal holiday in 1894.  In our modern society it has become more of a marker of the end of summer and a day of huge shopping.  But it is meant to mark the value of labor.  And there is inherent, created value in work.  I have chosen to simply list some different passages from the Bible to demonstrate the value of labor, the consequences of labor (or lack of), and a perspective on labor.  It is not exhaustive-but meant to cause us to consider.  Happy Labor Day!

Genesis 2:2  And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done.

Genesis 2:15  The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.

Proverbs 12:14  From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.

Proverbs 12:24 The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor.

Proverbs 16:3  Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

Proverbs 18:9  Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.

Proverbs 21:25  The desire of the sluggard kills him, for his hands refuse to labor.

Proverbs 22:29  Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men.

Ecclesiastes 3:22  So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?

Ecclesiastes 5:12  Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.

Ecclesiastes 11:5  As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.

Matthew 11:28  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

John 6:27  Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

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