Tag Archives: Stewardship

Doing the Work of God

In Genesis, after God creates Adam (literally “the man”), he gives him work to do:

The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:15)

Note that this is before Adam and Eve’s sin of eating from the wrong tree. The Fall made work harder, but it didn’t create the work. In fact, God gives Adam two jobs: not only is he to be caretaker of the Garden of Eden, but he’s also the namer of the animals.

Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. (Genesis 2:19–20a)

This work, however, doesn’t seem to have a practical purpose. God had already provided for him through the Garden, as he makes clear from the instructions to eat from the trees that God had already planted. As for the names of the animals, in Genesis 1, God has shown himself to be pretty adept at language, speaking the very universe into existence. Surely he could have thought up names for pigs and horses on his own. Considering God’s omnipotence and omnipresence, he’s probably not delegating tasks to Adam that he’s too busy to address.

So what was this all about, then?

Adam was doing the work of God.

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