Blog - Doing Earthwork
God as Government WorkerTuesday, March 11, 2014
Is it right to
describe God as a "government worker"? For some, even thinking of him as a
worker seems jarring. One local
government worker, a firefighter, said: "I never gave much thought that our God
is a working God.” Adding the adjective government
to worker may bring to mind images
of bureaucratic drudges doing menial or dull work.
God is a worker (Gen. 2:2-3; Jn. 5:17). Part of his work is that of governing. "The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.” (Ps. 103:19) Moses and the Israelites celebrated this work of God in song: "The Lord will reign [rule, govern] for ever and ever” (Ex. 15:18). Such work includes law-giving, administrating, judging, and so on.
When Jesus began his public teaching and preaching, he announced the coming-near of a government, the kingdom of heaven. At this point, we’re still waiting for that kingdom to arrive in its ultimate expression. But in the meantime we are to see it, seek it first, enter it—and to proclaim its present reality and future coming in fullness. We may even now live, work, and play under the rule of King Jesus.
Also in the meantime, God has established earthly governments to do provisionally what only his fully revealed eternal kingdom will do sinlessly. God calls those who work for earth’s temporary governments his "servants.” Their work is full-time service because they "give their full time to governing.” Their assignment: to restrain wrongdoing and reward right-doing (Rom. 13:1-6).
The Continental Congress, when it set up the federal government of the United States, described its roles in the Preamble to the Constitution. The government was "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 22 million people in the United States work for federal, state, and local government agencies.
Like all other legitimate work, government work traces its origin to the God who is King of kings. So if you work for some level of government, be encouraged. For your motivation, your model, and your ultimate reward, look to the God who heads the government that will last forever.
"Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them” (Ps. 111:2).