A New View of Work: The Law of God

Law is always a reflection of its author.

I’m always struck with the foolishness of those who say, “You can’t legislate morality.” All law is moral.

All law represents somebody’s view of what is right or wrong, whether it is on an issue as arcane as how much a business should be regulated or as lofty as the issue of abortion. Law represents the rewarding of some type of conduct or the punishment of another or the valuing of one over the other.

With that premise in mind, a study of the Law of God is particularly interesting. While we might question the character or policy choices of our politicians, who will question God’s?

Perhaps the Lord’s most famous edict regarding work is this:

“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.”

 (Exodus 20:9-11). No doubt the emphasis here is on the sabbath, but what precedes it is by no means unimportant.

The Lord says, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work…” And He gives the basis for six days of work (and the sabbath): “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth…”

I’m no Hebrew scholar. My knowledge of the language pretty much begins and ends with “shalom.” But regardless of whether the word “shall” is proscriptive or descriptive, the concept is based on and rooted in the conduct of God, who worked six days and rested one. GS



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