- Why does man work?
- Can anyone but God restrict citizens from working and earning a living?
- What is taken away when work is banned?
1. Why does man work?
Because God says he must.
The commandment to work is found throughout scripture in both the Old and New Testaments. In fact, the command to work is seen given as soon as God had created man:
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.Genesis 2.7-8 KJV
And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
The next six verses, 9-14, focus on what God put into the Garden and the river that left Eden.
In verse 15, the purpose of all of this is found: work.
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.Genesis 2.15
Genesis 2.15 happened before the fall of man, but immediately after the fall of man, God again commands man to work:
In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.Genesis 3.19 KJV
These two first commandments to work were given before the law, but the commandment to work is also part of God’s Law as revealed in Exodus:
“Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work…”Exodus 20.9 KJV
What seems like some of the harshest commandments to work is found after the redemptive work of Christ was completed. These New Testament verses will be addressed later in the article. Work is part of God’s design for man. Work is good!
If working is good, what is to be said of not working? Not working is bad. Not a little bad, but very bad.
America has seen a huge surge in suicides nationwide since various government mandates against work have gone into effect; the Federalist wrote a good piece on the increase of deaths under lockdowns. Opioid deaths have further increased past what we thought were already impossibly high peaks. And yet, under shutdowns, the loss of livelihood continues to escalate the costs of the shutdowns to our society.
The shutdowns stand in stark contrast to what God teaches us in the Bible.
2. Can anyone but God restrict citizens from working and earning a living? No.
A study of Scripture reveals two Biblical circumstances (not necessarily conclusive) in which man should not work:
- Sabbath and Feast Days (Holidays)
Exodus 20:9-10 KJV “Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.”
- Biblical Quarantine
Biblical quarantine, which is one of the earliest uses of a scientific methodology, should not be confused with the psuedo-scientific “quarantines” now plaguing our land. In fact, in the West, all quarantines were until very recently conducted under the Biblical standards set forth in Leviticus 13-15. These standards are, loosely:
- Verify sickness by symptoms.
- Isolate the sick.
- Treat their sickness.
- Verify wellness.
- End isolation.
This stands in stark contrast to the pseudo-scientific isolation of largely healthy people under the guise of quarantine.
God commanded work. God commanded Sabbath. In the New Testament, Jesus has become our Sabbath. Government has no right to ban work, because government did not ordain work. God alone ordained that man should work; God alone can command man to not work.
3. What is taken away when work is banned?
Health, wealth, and purpose for life.
Ephesians 4.28 KJV makes a powerful contrast between a life of thieving and a life of work: “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” Work is contrasted directly against stealing. This is a significant principle when taking a stand opposing mandates against work. If we do not labor, it is difficult to have; without work, we can only “have” via charity or theft.
The Bible teaches in Old and New Testaments that “He who does not work shall not eat.” The exact reference for this is 2 Thessalonians 3.10 KJV. However, this principle is timeless and can be found throughout scripture, starting in Genesis 3.19. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground…” In a broader, more encompassing sense, we can tie this to the New Testament’s recollection of the Old Testament principle of sowing and reaping: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Galatians 6.7 KJV
There is a loss that occurs far beyond simply not eating. Not eating could kill the body, yes. In Matthew 10.28 KJV reads “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Not working is destructive to both the soul and the body. Literally. We have read above about a heightened death toll accompanying lockdowns, and we see that suicide is a major reason for this. Our bodies and our spirits are closely linked and it is important that we keep both healthy. Not working robs us of bodily and spiritual health. This isn’t a metaphysical statement. This isn’t a “name it and claim it” statement. It is simply an observation and contrast of the effects of work and the effects of not working.
Christian men should be especially grieved and feel called to take action against lockdowns because of 1 Timothy 5.8 KJV: “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an infidel (emphasis mine).” The language in this verse is very strong, and it is hard to communicate the severity of its meaning to a nation that rejects the sacred nature of work.
Not working robs us of more than health. It robs us of more than wealth. It robs us of more than sustenance.
Look below at the definitions of livelihood. Ask yourself if anyone can in good conscience claim to restrict your right to livelihood for the benefit of “saving lives.” Look at how closely the oldest definition of livelihood (now somehow “obsolete”) ties livelihood to the course of our life, our lifetime, and our very “manner of living.”
Our “very manner of living” is a striking phrase. It hearkens back to a time when there was understanding that work was a form of worship unto God, and part of the Dominion Mandate in Genesis: that we were to conquer, steward, and multiply on the earth.
We see a strong parallel to this the New Testament:
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”Colossians 3:23-24 KJV
“Do.” Our doing is our working. This section of scripture ends telling us we “serve the Lord Christ.” By doing. Just as God has commanded since Genesis.
Do you understand? I hope the connection is leaping out to you. No man or government can rightly command you not to work, because they aren’t the reason we work in the first place- the Christian works as unto the Lord! Work is commanded! Work is tied to our faith! Work is tied to our very fidelity to Christ when scripture says “…he who does not provide for his own had denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.” in 1 Timothy 5.8 KJV.
The government cannot rightly quarantine the healthy, and the government cannot rightly command us to not work. God created work, and God created Biblical quarantine.
Citizen, it is time that you emulate the Apostles, who, in one of their early imprisonments brought forth a truth that is etched into the Christian ethos. Read what was said:
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.Acts 5:29 KJV
Christian, the Government will not save you from itself. Your sole recourse in the fight to work is to work. Obey God rather than men. Defy tyranny.