God created us, the work we do, and the world in which we perform it.
On creation days one through five God created water, light, the heavens, the earth, animals, plants, and more. He spoke these things into existence. Then, on day six, God created mankind and gave us his commands on what he wants us to do.
These commands include mankind’s original job description as revealed in the following verses from Genesis, chapters 1 and 2.
Genesis 1:26: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Genesis 1:28: God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”
Genesis 2:15: The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.”
Genesis 2:19: He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name.
“Man” in Genesis 1:26, 2:15, and 2:19 refers to all humankind and is inclusive of male and female.
Consider the five work-related commands in the above verses:
Rule over. God designed us to engage in his creation–to take an active role in the use and development of his created order. In our ruling over the things of God, we manage what God created and we do this in ways that honor him.
Subdue. In the language of the Old Testament subdue means to take control of, to harness, and to make good use of. We are the crown of God’s creation and he gave us dominion over his created order; e.g., the animals, the plants, and the earth.
At this point in human history in the Garden of Eden there was no sin or disharmony with God. Mankind was obedient to God and only knew to do what was good.
Work. God calls us to work and to serve him with our labor. We are designed to be fulfilled when we are working, i.e., active, productive, and creative. The Garden of Eden was never a place of idleness. It was a place where mankind would work, grow, and develop the things of God.
Take care of. We are stewards of what he has given us to rule over, subdue, and work. We watch over and guard God’s creation. God still owns it all and we take care of it on his behalf.
Name them. By naming the animals, Adam was demonstrating mankind’s God-ordained dominion over the animal kingdom. The naming of the animals was intellectual work rather than physical labor. Adam was the world’s first knowledge worker.
God has called all of mankind to a life of productive work in the world he created. Your work is a high calling from God.