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Devotional: Because God Works

Then man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening. How many are your works, O Lord! In wisdom you made them all.
Psalm 104:23

Psalm 104 is wonderful in its description of the whole of creation, rightly sweeping it under the domain of God… clouds, springs, mountains, moon and sun, lions.  

He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains.

 They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.

 The birds of the air nest by the waters; 

       they sing among the branches.

 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.

 He makes grass grow for the cattle, 

       and plants for man to cultivate— 

       bringing forth food from the earth:

 wine that gladdens the heart of man, 

       oil to make his face shine, 

       and bread that sustains his heart.

 The trees of the LORD are well watered, 

       the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.

Then the passage switches to man, not in his rocking chair, not in his leisure, not on vacation. 
Then man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening. 

I can only work because God has already worked. The daily work of man is far from excluded from God as the source, sustainer and satisfier.  “These all look to You to give them their food at the proper time. When You give it to them, they gather it up; when You open Your hand, they are satisfied with good things.  When You send Your Spirit, they are created.”

We have two wrong notions: the first is that I work in case God does not come through. The second is this: if God does something amazing I will not have to work. God works so that we can work. He sets the stage, lays the groundwork, does the heavy lifting, and then we pick it up from there. So what is it that makes our daily work a possibility?  How do lions, laborers, ships and the leviathan prosper?  “The sun rises… the man goes out to his work… You open Your hand… these look to You… You give it to them.”  It is the pre-work of God.

Reflections

    • When you wake up in the morning, don’t ask ‘What shall I do today?’ but ‘What has God already done that I can build on?’

    • Do you have any wrong concepts of work, perhaps that it is there to fill the gaps in what God has not done?
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