May 20, 2018 – Pain in Our Work
Sermon recording not available due to faulty recording.
Preacher: Rev. Scott Strickman
Sermon Series: Genesis 1-4
Genesis 3:14-24 (ESV)
14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
but he shall rule over you.”
17 And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
One clear and enduring result of the deception and betrayal in Genesis 3 is that work becomes painful (v17, 19) – we will consider three things you can now expect from work.
- v17 “because you have listened… I commanded you ‘you shall not…’”
- there is no longer alignment between God and others – how do we discern God’s ways, and if we do, do we actually want to listen?
- v18 “thorns and thistles… you shall eat plants of the field”
- so many forces work against productivity that work can often feel meaningless
- v19 “till you return to the ground”
- John 12:24 “a grain of wheat falls into the earth… if it dies, it bears much fruit”
Questions for Reflection
- What particular challenges do you face in regards to work (consider any aspect: doing work, a specific job/field, etc.)? How do you address, deal with or face these challenges?
- How often do you have a sense of what God would have you do, what the “right” thing to do is? How do you know or figure out what God would have you do? What do you do when you aren’t sure? What do you do if you have a conviction of what God wants but doing it is too hard or undesirable?
- What keeps your work from being productive? What affect does this have on you?
- Does mortality shape your outlook on work and career? If so, how?
- What attitudes are best to have about work given that we know both that work is good and important, but also that it will always be hard? What does a healthy outlook look like?
- What can it look like to do your particular work or job as a Christian? How can being Christian make a difference? Can it?