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Reading:                                         Psalm 90

Verses 13-17

Relent, LORD! How long will it be?
Have compassion on your servants.
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
for as many years as we have seen trouble.
May your deeds be shown to your servants,
your splendor to their children.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
establish the work of our hands for us—
yes, establish the work of our hands
(NIV).

Reflection

Does your work have value and meaning? I certainly hope it does. There is nothing quite as frustrating as spending long hours working on something and then realizing it’s useless or unappreciated.

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Balloons at sunset over the Ottawa River — photo by David Kitz

In many ways our work defines us. Frequently, we identify people by their work. Bob the plumber, Susan the teacher, and Troy the accountant are examples of this tendency. It shouldn’t surprise us then to hear this request at the conclusion of Psalm 90: May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.

Some people are of the opinion that work is a result of the curse, but that is not true. Before our first parents fell into sin they had a work assignment from their Creator. The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it (Genesis 2:15). The requirement, or should I say blessing of work, preceded mankind’s fall into sin. The consequence of sin simply meant that work would become more arduous and prone to frustration. Weeds would grow; harvests would fail.

We all need the favor of the Lord our God to rest on us. Usually God’s favor is synonymous with God’s grace. It’s not earned; it’s freely given. In this case the Hebrew word that is translated here as favor could also be translated as beauty. God’s gracious favor is perhaps the most beautiful attribute of our LORD. Without His favor our work will not be established. It will have no lasting worth or value.

Today as you set your day or your work week into motion, make this your prayer: May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.

When the day is done and my head hits the pillow I want to know that the work I accomplished that day has value and meaning. Better yet, I would like that work to have eternal worth. Only God can establish that lasting worth. Commit your work into His hands.

Response: LORD God, I often become impatient or frustrated with my work. Open my eyes to see how you are working in me and through me as I go about my daily tasks. Help me to have an eternal perspective. Lord, establish the work of my hands. Amen.

Your Turn: Do you feel that your work is worthwhile? What brings you joy in work?