One of the reasons work is so important for us is that God is a worker and we are made in His image (Gen. 1:26)! We normally don’t associate the idea of “work” with God. After all, God is omnipotent. Job said, “I know that Thou canst do every thing and that no thought can be withholden from Thee” (Job 42:2). Luke informs us that with God, “nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). In Moses’ inspired creation account, God simply speaks the world into existence (Gen. 1:3, 6, 9, 14, etc.). He spoke, and it was done, as the Psalmist states (Ps. 33:9). The Lord asked the question of Abraham, “Is any thing too hard for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14).
And yet, the Bible speaks of God working in bringing about the creation. Notice, Genesis 2:1-3: “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.  And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” The Bible clearly says three times that God worked (cf. also Ps. 8:3,6). We normally associate “work” with the idea of effort or activity in which one exerts strength or faculties to do or perform something (Webster). Since God is omnipotent, and nothing is too hard for Him, how is God said to work?
For me or you to move or lift a hundred pounds takes a certain amount of effort and energy. It takes God just as much effort and energy to move that hundred pounds! The difference is that He is unlimited in His power and can exercise that power for as long as He has a mind to do it while you and I are limited in power and can only exercise such power for the limited time our bodies will allow it. But it was work for God to bring about the creation. If you don’t think it was, then you try it yourself!
Creating the world, then, was work even for an omnipotent God. It did not fatigue God in any way because He is of unlimited power. His ceasing work on the seventh day was to provide us who are limited in power and ability a chance to rest (Deut. 5:14). It would also be used as a type of Heaven, the eternal rest (Heb. 4:9). But we must work in order to enter into that rest (Heb. 4:11).
God also worked when He performed miracles in bringing out the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. Moses calls the defeat of the Egyptian armies in the Red Sea “that great work” (Ex. 14:31). The defeat of an enemy army is no easy task, but God did it with just a “blast of His nostrils” (Ex. 15:8). God is spoken of as working when He hewed out the tables of stone upon which the Ten Commandments were to be written. “The tables were the work of God” said Moses (Ex. 32:16). We should always remember to magnify His work because He exalts His power (Job 36:22-24).
Because God works and we are made in His image, it is necessary that we also work. We should work with our hands to have to be able to give them that are in need (Eph. 4:28). In fact, if we do not work, then neither should we eat (II Thess. 3:10). Jesus, leaving us an example that we should follow in His steps, said, “I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work” (John 9:4). Therefore, when we understand God’s word, we should be doers of the work and not hearers only (James. 1:25). We are to be ready to every good work (Tit. 3:1) because God knows our works (Rev. 2:) and every man’s work shall be made manifest (I Cor. 3:13-15). “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor. 15:58).
For the Christian, every day is Labor Day.
Eric L. Padgett