II. God Produced Vegetation from the Earth
“And God said, ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, & fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.’ And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, & trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind.” Genesis 1:11-12a
“The land itself does not produce vegetation: rather God enables the land to do so by his creative word.” K.A. Mathews
III. God Invites Me to Be Productive on the Earth
“And God saw that it was good. And there was evening & there was morning, the third day.” Genesis 1:12b-13
• God is a Worker
• God Wants to Partner with Us in Our Work
• We Can Learn about Our Work by Studying God’s Work
How Do We Approach God’s Creation?
Park Ranger: Don’t change a thing
Bulldozer: Take it all down
Gardener: Rearrange the raw materials, cultivate the soil, and make room for certain things by pushing back on other things.
“That is the pattern for all work. It is creative & assertive. It is rearranging the raw materials of God’s creation in such a way that it helps the world in general, & people in particular, thrive & flourish.” Tim Keller
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone & especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Galatians 6:9-10
The Most Non-Productive, Pointless, Miserable & Disgusting Event in History (from an earthly perspective) was the CROSS. It seemed like a loving, kind, caring, generous, forgiving & gentle teacher was ruthlessly nailed to a cross to bleed & die like a common criminal. What a waste!
“In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, & entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:19b-21
A Senseless act of violence against an innocent man was a part of God’s perfect plan...it was PRODUCTIVE in redeeming the world!
Let There Be Productivity...
Sources and Further Reading Opportunities:
• Every Good Endeavor – Timothy Keller (2012)
• Wiersbe Bible Commentary – Warren Wiersbe (2007)
• Rethinking Life @ Work – Chip Roper (2016)
• New Bible Commentary – D.A. Carson (1994)
• Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the OT – Warren Wiersbe (1993)
• New American Commentary Series Genesis 1-11:26 – K.A. Matthews (1996)• Made to Flourish – Tom Nelson (2019)
• Doing Business & Pleasing God – Wayne Grudem (2008)