February 18, 2016

God’s Coworkers: Cultivating Creation

Proverbs 31:10-31

She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

—  Proverbs 31:16

As a seminary student, I once preached about this text on Mother’s Day. I can only imagine the burden I must have laid on mothers that day as I described the lofty standard of the Proverbs 31 wife and mother.

Proverbs 31 is not dictating how godly mothers and wives are supposed to act. Instead, this passage is describing Wisdom by means of a metaphor. This passage portrays how God’s people can practice wisdom in their everyday lives.

One of the qualities of a life of wisdom is industry. Biblical wisdom, applied in everyday life, appears as someone who buys and sells land, designs clothing, and engages in financial transactions. Through hard work and innovation, a wise person turns the raw material of creation into something that bene­fits others.

God is the original creator, investor, and designer. He is the original entrepreneur who brings raw material into a form that is usable for us.

Today God continues that work through us. He uses real estate workers who develop land into housing; bakers who use ingredients to make tasty, healthful food; educators, builders, manufacturers, programmers, and more who help make our cities and nations run efficiently. God works through us in so many ways. How are you laboring with God to cultivate his ­creation?

Creator God, help us to use the gifts and re­sources you give us to benefit ­others today. In the name of Jesus, the true wisdom of God, we pray. Amen.

About the author — Rob Toornstra

Rob Toornstra has served as pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church in Salem, Oregon, since 2006. When not busy with pastoral duties, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and their three children.

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