If we are God’s image-bearers with regard to creation, then we will carry on his pattern of work, His world is not hostile, so that it needs to be beaten down like an enemy. Rather, its potential is undeveloped, so it needs to be cultivated like a garden.
… They dig up the ground and rearrange it with a goal in mind: to rearrange the raw material of the garden so that it produces food, flowers, and beauty. And that is the pattern for all work. It is creative and assertive. It is rearranging the raw material of God’s creation in such a way that it helps the world in general, and people in particular, thrive and flourish.
… The naming of the animals in chapter 2, verses 19-20 is an invitation to enter into his creativity. Why didn’t God just name the animals himself? After all, in Genesis 1, God names things, “calling” the light “Day” and the darkness “Night” – so he was clearly capable of naming the animals as well. Yet he invites us to continue his work of developing creation, to develop all the capacities of human and physical nature to build a civilization that glorifies him. Through our work we bring order out of chaos, create new entities, exploit the patterns of creation, and interweave the human community. So whether splicing a gene or doing brain surgery or collecting the rubbish or painting a picture, our work further develops, maintains, or repairs the fabric of the world. In this way, we connect our work to God’s work.
- Timothy Keller, Every Good Endeavour
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