Psalm 8 and the Privilege of Work
I believe that work is a privilege. You know why? Because of Psalm 8.Creation is the indescribably glorious work of a sovereign God, and we are stewards of it. That’s right. It’s our job to manage and to exercise dominion over the work of God’s hands.
Who has the greater responsibility? The valet parking the Pinto or the one with the keys to the Lamborghini?
Well, God has entrusted to man the stewardship of His creation, and it’s not exactly a Pinto. It’s spectacular, wondrous and breathtaking. Creation reflects the glory of its Creator, and beholding it ought to blow us away. King David expressed all these sentiments in Psalm 8. David praises God, saying, “You have set your glory above the heavens” (Psalm 8:1). Look at verses 3-4:
“When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”
Looking at the stars or a mountain can make a person feel small. And we are small, yet we are not insignificant. In verses 5-8, David continues to marvel:
“Yet you have made [man] a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.”
This all means that work has intrinsic value. It has this built-in value because of Who has commissioned our work, and because He owns all that we’re managing. The things we manage and steward and improve and destroy don’t ultimately belong to us; they’re His. They don’t belong to the earth or Mother Nature; they’re God’s.
So, as long as we are doing lawful work (pimps, drug dealers and hired assassins need not apply), we ought to count our work a privilege as stewards of God’s creation.
The work we’re doing makes life better. Think about how our life is better because of internal combustion engines, indoor plumbing, composition shingles, fiberglass insulation and light bulbs. Sky scrapers and cranes and well-trained dogs are evidences of men being men…made in the image of God and bearing that image by – like Him – building stuff and taking dominion of the earth.
So don’t buy the lie that you work has no value. Don’t believe that your work is pointless. Work is not a product of the Fall; Adam had a job to do in the garden before sin entered the world (Genesis 1:28). God Himself worked in creation (Genesis 2:3) and is still working (John 5:17), so it must be a good thing. Our work is to exercise stewardship of a glorious creation.
So get to work! Work hard! Love it! Pull some weeds, write some computer programs, change some diapers. It’s all a valuable privilege.