Labor Day is celebrated today will little knowledge or regard to the pain endured by workers of the era of its inception. It’s amazing to me that intelligent men of wealth and power, often thump the Bible, and yet have little or no common sense when it comes to the proper care and feeding of the workers upon whose backs they garner their wealth. The Bible is chock full of nuggets concerning the relation of labor to employer. You can be sure the instruction goes both ways.
Going back to the original plan, from a biblical perspective, note Moses’ record of God’s instruction to His soon to be created man:
Genesis 1:26, “Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
We understand that with dominion comes responsibility for the welfare of that which is dominated, so pristine man was to be considerate of the Creator’s handiwork. Man was a steward over creation and answerable to God for the quality of his work.
Then along came the fall. The creation would no longer cooperate with the steward, it would resist his cultivation efforts and the steward would earn his “keep” by the sweat of his brow.
God’s work force, man, has been divided between management and labor, and believe it not our Creator gave clear instruction as to how this is to work. The boss, leader, is to reach an agreement concerning what work is to be accomplished and to also agree as to the amount paid, hourly, daily, amount, or combination thereof. The level of expertise enters the bargaining as well. Some, due to the complexity of their labor, will be paid more than those laboring under less complex standards. It seems from the teaching of Jesus that the preferred way was as a daily wage paid at the end of each day. He further taught that it is OK to pay more than agreed upon but never permitted to pay less than the agreement. The boss was allowed to decide whom he would pay more, and those not chosen had no legitimate complaint as long as they received their agreed amount. Also it was expected for the hired hand to give the best work of which he/she was capable.
Do you have any idea how the above paragraph would change our country if the principles were strictly followed in today’s world? WOW!
“Men do not care how nobly they live, but only how long, although it is within the reach of every man to live nobly, but within no man's power to live long.” Seneca.
Copyright © 2016 Larry Lilly
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