The Bible and Current Events: The dignity of labor
by CLYNE W. BUXTON
Feb 28, 2014 | 416 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week the workers in the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga voted not to become unionized. For their own reasons, the laborers decided it was best for them not to be connected to organized labor.

We all know that work is the backbone of our economy. The Bible puts a lot of emphasis on our working. Here are a few quotes:

“The laborer is worthy of his hire.”

“If anyone would not work neither should he eat.”

“Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest.”

“Man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening.”

Henry Ward Beecher believed: “When God wanted sponges and oysters, he made them and put one on a rock, and the other in the mud. When He made man ... He made him with feet and hands, and head, and heart, and vital blood, and a place to use them, and said to him, ‘Go, work!’”

Any legitimate work is honorable. Digging a ditch or running a company are both respectable and important. The Book says: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

A pastor of a sizable church decided that since he liked to work, he would keep the church grounds, including mowing and trimming. Some of his members objected, whom he answered in the pulpit by saying all work is honorable. (Some still contended it was beneath his dignity.)

All of us are not as eager to work as was the pastor. In fact, the Bible infers that some of us are downright lazy. For example: “Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!

“It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest” (Proverbs 6:6-8). How ingenious is the ant!

Researcher Sarif Salem and Francis D. Hole of the University of Wisconsin made a three-year study and found that one colony of ants moved 15 tons of subsoil during the three years, building clusters of large mounds and burrowing 5 1/2 feet below the surface.

The “deep plowing” increased the nutrients, clay, and organic matter of the surface soil. Not only do the ants teach us how to work, they also teach us how to work together, which is a good example for a local church.

Our Lord spoke a great deal on the theme of work, albeit He usually spoke in a spiritual sense. For example: “As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming when no one can work” (John 9:4).

As His life was ending, Jesus said to His Father in prayer, “I have finished the work which you have given me to do” (John 17:4).

Finally, at Calvary He exclaimed, “It is finished!” meaning He had paid in full for our salvation. So the Lord Jesus lived, worked, and died for you and me.