“This is what you were made for!” Whether it is said of a player during a critical point in the game or of a teacher enjoying their vocation in the classroom, such a statement feeds the importance of purpose. However, without understanding who we are, we cannot know what our purpose is. That is why it is important we turn to God’s Word and base our lives on it. Already, we have observed God is our eternal and good Creator and He has created humanity in His image. In other words, the foundation of our faith begins with asking “Who is God?” and then “Who are we?” When we find the proper answers to those two questions, we can address the next, “What is my purpose?” Our purpose points back to our Creator. We have been created for the glory of God (Isaiah 43:7). But what does that mean? Certainly, the glory of God is multi-faceted and permeates the pages of Scripture. For our purposes in Genesis 2, let us look at it from the perspective of stewardship. We honor and glorify God by obeying God. As we know God is our Creator, we realize we are not our own and we do not serve as our own authority. Rather, we are stewards of what has been entrusted to us. It should come as no surprise, then, in Genesis 2 we see we are made for stewardship. Genesis 2:4-7 reiterates the reality God has created us. He also has created everything around us (2:8-14), including a garden in Eden which plays a role in this stewardship. God takes the man, Adam, and puts him in the garden of Eden. There, He entrusts him with responsibility and gives him accountability. Notice the twofold aspect of this stewardship. The LORD calls for Adam to “work it and keep it”, referring to the garden of Eden. Likewise, the LORD gives Adam a warning if he goes outside the bounds of God’s command. Responsibility and accountability both operate in the framework of stewardship. Work is not a result of the Fall, although the toil of work is (Genesis 3:17-19). Our work is a stewardship as it was for Adam. This work was coupled with a warning:
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.'” (Genesis 2:16-17)
God’s giving man responsibility came with accountability. If Adam disobeyed God and failed to listen to His command, severe consequences would be the result, culminating in death. So, what happened? As we will see, Adam took the bite and the result is we live in a fallen and sinful world. Not only that, but we all have followed in his footsteps. We all have sinned and we are told “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). We have failed to be good and faithful stewards. We have rebelled against our Owner and what we deserve, the only thing we are entitled to, is death. But God has entrusted to us the very thing we do not deserve, His grace. Because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can be forgiven of our rebellion. When we repent of our sin and trust in Jesus, we are saved. We no longer live for ourselves but we live for Him! As stewards, our response to this salvation is to realize we are responsible and accountable to Him, not clinging to our rights nor attempting to usurp His authority. We live as those who have been entrusted by Him with His gospel!
- How does the Word of God help us understand what our purpose is in life? How does this affect our daily lives?
- How does the concept of stewardship cause you to look at your relationship with God and your relationship with others?