Serving God As Adam Did (hebrew Insight)

Serving God as Adam did Eli LizorkinWhile there are several different words in Hebrew that communicate the idea of worship (especially when it comes to the aspect of “service before God”), the same word that is used for working the ground (עֲבודָה – ‘Avodah) is used for the service/worship of God.

The commission to work, which we associate today with struggle and toil, was given to Adam before the fall took place, not after. In other words, when God tasked Adam with working the ground in the Garden of Eden, it was not yet something affected by sin, death and misery, but was still holy, pure and just (Gen.2:8, 15).

For this reason when we think of our workplace, we must think of it as a place for God’s service at the same time. This means that when we are at work, we are there to serve God in every possible way.

Yet there is another caveat that we can see in the Hebrew text that we cannot see in the translation.  Not only was Adam given the holy duty to worshipfully work the ground, but we are also told that Adam himself was created from the very ground he was now commissioned to work. We can see this clearly, because in Hebrew “ground” is (אֲדָמָה – ’Adamah). It has the same exact root as the name Adam (אָדָם).

Taking this opportunity I want to invite you to take a formal Biblical Hebrew class. To begin, click HERE.

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Dr. Eli Lizorkin-EyzenbergTo secure your spot in our new course “The Jewish Background of New Testament” - CLICK HERE NOW

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  1. priscillah smith-lopez

    Does the hebrew reading of gen 3:21, indicate it was the skins of a n animal? God clothed Adam and Eve with?

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Not directly in Hebrew, only by inference.

  2. Kat Hobaugh

    I have just been told that my religious beliefs dont belong on a professional social media network. May I post your your website as a reference on this professional network?

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      I am not sure what do you mean?

  3. Maria Aparecida Silveira Bertoluci e Homero Bertoluci Junior

    Caro Dr. El
    Na minha bíblia traduzida ao Portugues,está escrito: Gn 2,15 D´ustomou o Homem e colocou-o no Jardim do Edem de delícias para o Cultivar e guardar..
    Muito boa a sua colocação de o trabalho como serviço a Deus, pois as vezes ao nos sentirmos cansados parece que carregamos o fardo de Adão, depois do castigo.
    שאלום
    Toda
    Maria

    1. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

      BS”D

      Oi María!:
      Obrigado pelo tuo comentário. Gostaría que postear na página em português.
      http://iibsblogs.wpengine.com/pt-br/servindo-deus-como-fez-adao-uma-visao-em-hebraico-biblico-pelo-dr-eli-lizorkin-eyzenberg/

      Bençoes!
      Eric.

  4. gustavo vargas angel

    I read, in anytime, who Abel did the right sacrifice to the Lord when gave the first born of his sheeps, and Cain whatever thing he took from his vegetables and grains, being awared about the fisrt fruit from the harvest. So, God was diminished by this act of Cain( a very bad idea, because God is really jealous about this actions from us).

  5. Ildiko

    Shalom,
    One word about Cain… Read To the Hebrew 11:4 :”By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness in respect of his gifts: and through it he being dead yet speaketh” So, Abel had faith, Cain have not.

  6. Adailton Pereira de Souza

    Concordo com sua colocação sobre o trabalho, pois no Novo Testamento nos diz em (Colossenses 3 22-25 o seguinte. “Vós, servos, obedecei em tudo a vossos senhores segundo a carne, não servindo só na aparência, como para agradar aos homens, mas em simplicidade de coração, temendo a Deus. E tudo quanto fizerdes, fazei-o de todo o coração, como ao Senhor, e não aos homens, Sabendo que recebereis do Senhor o galardão da herança, porque a Cristo, o Senhor, servis. Mas quem fizer agravo receberá o agravo que fizer; pois não há acepção de pessoas.
    Portanto se trabalharmos com pesar isso não honrará ao Senhor Deus em nada, mas se fizermos nosso serviço como se tivéssemos fazendo ao nosso Deus é honroso e glorificaremos ao Criador Bendito

    1. Eric de Jesús Rodríguez Mendoza

      BS”D

      Hola Adailton!
      bençoes!

      Eu quero te-redirecionar a escrever tuas opiniões no site em português…
      http://iibsblogs.wpengine.com/pt-br/servindo-deus-como-fez-adao-uma-visao-em-hebraico-biblico-pelo-dr-eli-lizorkin-eyzenberg/
      Obrigado!!
      Eric.

  7. Kat Hobaugh

    I am always amazed at the “light” and usefulness of each word in Biblical Hebrew. I see things from a non-Christian outreach perspective. The workplace is an important source of non-Biblical light for many (meaning for those who don’t read the Bible, but haven’t rejected God). Many will seek the God represented by workship. Thank you for sharing each and every Biblical Hebrew word and blessing the world!

  8. Donna Max

    Our Father in Heaven had big plans for Adam and Eve – and being tested on a Telestial world was one of those – He had to prepare them to be able to endure it. They did work hard. Another point – in regard to the Lord cursing the ground – it was FOR his (Adam’s sake)). It was not
    punishment, but rather a great opportunity for growth.. As for the offering by Cain – he knew that the only acceptable offering was a blood sacrifice – it represented the sacrifice of the Savior for all of us. Satan came to Cain, and told him that it was wrong for the Lord not to accept HIS OFFERING of fruits and vegetables (even if he was a farmer). He was told that all he had to do was make the appropriate blood offering and all would be well with him, but he listened to Satan and “loved Satan more than God”, and he then murdered his brother. and became the Master Mahan. And he and Satan entered into a covenant between them, and because Cain had a body and Satan did not, in the eternities Cain will rule over Satan. New records are pouring out of the Middle East and Mesopotamia, that it is hard for Christians to keep up and in many cases have given up trying to understand because some of these records show that there are some inconsistencies in traditional Christianity – and they agree with one another. Its going to be
    most interesting to discover some wonderful history – Nay fascinating.

  9. Ildiko

    Shalom, Dr Eli
    Your article meant very much to me. My husband is gardener, he raise vegetables in ecological way. For me was every time a recreation to help him, though my job is different. Now I know, the source of recreation in this work comes from God, because not only I help my husband,( so I serve the Lord in this way too), but I serve Him in a special style, in the first-blessed-service-mod.
    When I read for my family this short article, my son say,” This is one good encouragement and a good timing.” Because of the changing weather,(the seasons are warmers, and dry) their work is harder, and the results are low.
    So, THANK YOU, DR ELI, God bless you!!!

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Thank you for this note. Please, send my special greeting to your husband.

  10. Joan Lesabe

    Hi Dr Eli
    The thought of God placing Adam to work in the garden is quite interesting to me. I see a closer relationship of love for where you come from i.e. the source of what you are made of. Adam was to appreciate the earth & to love God who had given him(Adam) His breath. It is amazing how we sometimes understand words in relation to our circumstances. on the other hand i find it is important to understand the original meaning of the word & for what it was intended for in hebrew.
    Shalom

    1. Louie Modling

      Joan, what a wonderful thought about loving the source of your birth, loving the source from which we were created. Scripture tells us (by implication) that the ground (the part of the ground that turns, is pliable, the part that is workable) is symbolic of our heart. I get this from Ezekiel 11:19 and Ezekiel 36:26 both of which say, “I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh”. In other words, we have hearts made of stony ground instead of soft, pliable ground that can be worked. We were made from the ground, the red earth that opens its mouth to receive blood. But because our hearts are hard, our main job is to “work the ground” … meaning “work our heart, till the soil of our heart”, for our heart is the best thing that we can give our God. Once we give our heart then He has our all, like the song, “All of me. Why not take all of me”.

      The Land of Israel is like the heart of the earth, and out of an abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. If God’s people, Israel, have stony hearts instead of hearts of soft flesh, then we speak hard, stony things instead of the things that God created us to speak and then we have a divided heart, made of stone … just like Israel is divided into two houses, Israel and Judah … just like the Land is divided into west of the Jordan and east of the Jordan. In Ezekiel God says, “I will give them an undivided heart and I will place a new spirit in them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh SO THAT they may walk in My decrees and observe My laws and fulfill them. THEN they will be a people unto Me, and I will be a God for them. But those whose heart follows the heart of their detestations and abominations, I will place the consequences of their way upon their head ….” Ezekiel 11:19 – 21

      Man’s heart consists of four chambers, just like the four quarters that make up old Jerusalem. Obviously I do not know what our body will be like during or after the Messianic era, but I am certain that our heart will change for, at a minimum, it will turn from a heart of stone to a heart of flesh that can house the Spirit of the LORD. SO love the work of working on your heart to turn allow God to turn it into a heart filled with His Spirit, knowledge and understanding of His Word from Torah to Revelation, one unified Word, one unified heart, one unified people. Come Lord Jesus!

  11. Andrew

    Thanx for da insightful topic, i think da reason Adam was instructed to work the ground
    Was to make of him a responsible being initially and it was pure pleasure then and he knew
    It would bring forth a good seed but when he fell , G-d cursed da ground and it was no longer
    As fruitful as prevoiusly so that Adam could come to understand the consequences of his fall

  12. PEDRO ANTONIO BERBERÍA CALVO

    ANOTHER IMPORTANT POINT , IS THAT THE WORD IN SPANISH FOR JOB, “TRABAJO” HAS ETYMOLOGICALLY RELATIONSHIP WITH TORTURE. AND GOD DOSNT WANT THIS FOR ALL OF US HIS SONS. THE FATHER AND THE MOTHER OF CREATION WANTS TO US ,BE FREE NOT SLAVES.
    UNTIL ARRIVES THE END OF EXPLOITATION OF THE MAN FOR THE MAN, DOSNT WILL COME THE HEAVENS KINGDOM.

    SO WE MUST TO WORK FOR THIS ARRIVAL FIGHTING IN ALL THE FRONTS AND WITH ALL THE MORAL WAYS FOR THE CAUSE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE,FREEDOM, LOVE AND ALL THE HUMAN VALUES THAT GOD WANTS THAT REALIZE IN THE EARTH.

    SHALOM

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Pedro, this point is irrelevant (I think) largely because we are seek to know what those concept meant in Hebrew not in English and not in Spanish. Where do you the TRABAJO as a concept of connected with torture comes from in Spanish.

  13. PEDRO ANTONIO BERBERÍA CALVO

    ONLY THE JOBS THAT SERVES TO HUMAN LIFE ( AND ALL THE LIVING BEING ),FREEDOM,JUSTICE ,MERCY,AND FAITH ARE THE CORRECT WAY TO SERVE GOD.
    BECAUSE ARE JOBS THAT “WORKS” AGAINST GOD OF LIFE AND FREEDOM LIKE NUCLEAR WEAPONS MAKERS,BUILTERS OF HYDROELECTRICS STATIONS THAT HARMS NATURE, HUMAN COMUNITIES,BIODIVERSITY,ANIMALS ,TREES,NATIVE PEOPLE,ETC , LIKE THEY ARE DOING ON RIVER XINGÚ,BRAZIL.

    ALSO SECURITY STATES FORCES MAKES A LOT OF TIME ACTIONS THAT BELONGS TO DEVIL INSTEAD GOD OF LIFE, FREEDOM, AND JUSTICE.

    SO THERE ARE MANY,MANY EXAMPLES OF JOBS THAT BENEFITS OR HARMS LIFE. AND THIS IS THE IMPORTANT THING THAT NOT ALL THE JOBS ARE AGREEBLE TO ADONAI, AND OF COURSE FOR A CHRISTIAN TO OUR GOD JESUS CHRIST.

    WITH JOY FROM MADRID, SHALOM.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      It is clear that in some job it is not possible to serve God. Although the story of Naaman the commander of Syrian army may be challenge to that. Click here to read my article about that – http://iibsblogs.wpengine.com/avalanche-of-reconciliation-in-2-kings-5-the-gospel-in-israels-war-story-dr-eli-lizorkin-eyzenberg/

      Let me know what you think!

  14. Joe

    1. A) God expected better of Cain. Cain did not give God the best of his crop.
    2. A) Able gave the best unblemished sheep he had, and it was good.

    Note: It may help to switch back and forth Example KJV and ESV

  15. Amber

    Then why was Cain’s sacrifice as a toiler of the land, the fruits of his labor, not enough? I think the first animal slain to literally “cover our sins” was at the fall of Adam and Eve. The clothes God presented were animal skin, which means the animal was dead; however, we were not commanded to make sacrifices for a long time to come in the Genesis. The first mention of actually eating flesh wasn’t until Noah’s time, as far as I understand. So 1) Knowing Cain was a farmer like his dad, why was Cain’s offering inadequate? 2) Why was Abel’s acceptable when the sacrificial offering wasn’t mentioned till much later? Any insight would be appreciated.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Dear Amber, thank you for writing. There are a number of good possible interpretation of the issue you raised (I doubt that mine would be original). I am sorry I can not get into it in this post because it does not deal directly with the issue I noted. Well… at least I don’t see how it is related directly. It seems like a very important question but the one that we could consider some other time.

      1. Amber

        Hi. My apologies for not staying on topic. That’s what I get for skimming through things; I don’t get the full, rich context. That plus it was the middle of the night here, and I’m battling the big C. It is difficult to comment on the working environment as I left the corporate world long ago. In the US, however, it has fallen out of favor to express one’s faith in the workplace. Innocuous things like religion-oriented tie tacks and small pins are not even allowed. Whereas something like a gay rights symbol would be allowed. It is a confusing era. Many things have changed for the worse. Even my own children are indoctrinated in school with foolishness. One big change is the military’s view of religion. When priests can’t perform their job as priests by offering communion or last rights, something has gone terribly astray in our society.

        1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

          Apology accepted! 🙂 There are of course many many changes in being faithful to the Lord at the work place. But the main challenge is to see the work in the secular retirement as holy and as service to the Lord in and of itself. Most Christians do not connection that exists in Hebrew between service of God and service to the employer.

        2. Don Vasquez

          Amber, maybe some food for thought:
          the substitutionary principle later embodied by the Messiah was established before Adam, as you know, the lamb of God was slain before the foundation of the earth, and therefore obviously before Adam and certainly before the fall. So the probability is very good God taught the substitutionary principle to Adam, and even if He didn’t, certainly Adam saw it in action with the animal skins, and was able to pass this on to his children. As to why Cain’s sacrifice was not acceptable, that’s for God to tell, but, I think insight may be found in the way prophets get treated all along history. The pattern is always the same, and invariably involved the religious leaders of Jerusalem: somewhere evil is being contemplated/committed, and the prophet of God shows up to say “Hey…this idea ought not be!” and the usual outcome results, i.e., the blood of the prophets is shed. Further insight is added when one understands the role of the first-born, as was Cain. He was supposed to be the priest. When the firstborn forfeited their role at the golden calf (“Take the Levites in place of all the firstborn of Israel”), the Levites were chosen as priests instead. So putting it all together thus far, Abel was a prophet, Cain was the religious leader of the family, they came to sacrifice, or perhaps Cain sacrificed errantly, and Abel went about setting it aright, in any case, an interaction occurred the details of which we can generally infer from the details surrounding what befell the other prophets. Not to extend the rabbit trail, but hopefully something to check out and see what you think.

      2. Paulo Mendes Glória

        Dr. Eli, I’m sorry if this post runs off the subject, but let’s think about Cain and Abel.
        Better understand the sacrifice of Abel when I see it as an atonement and not just a praise and worship as Cain.
        From the fall, the Lord cursed the ground. Put a curse on “adama” and not about “Adam”.
        “…cursed {is} the ground for thy sake. “
        To continue the Covenant with Adam the Lord makes the first atonement when using the skin of an animal to cover the nakedness of Adam and Eve.
        “… the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
        The fallen blood of the animal on the earth atoned for sin. The skin of the animal covered the body, but the blood covered the sin.
        Better understand the Jewish atonement when I compare the mercy seat of the Ark as “adama” of Eden’s garden, with two angels guarding the door.
        Let’s read the text in Genesis 3:17-21 (King James):
        “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed {is} the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat {of} it all the days of thy life;
        Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; {bring…: Heb. cause to bud}
        In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou {art}, and unto dust shalt thou return.
        And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living. {Eve: Heb. Chavah: that is Living}
        Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.”
        Sorry if I ran away from the topic, but bring any matter related to the Bible here, makes us learn a lot.

    2. Louie Modling

      To Amber and to Don Vasquez …
      Scripture says, “… Cain brought an offering to the LORD of the fruit of the ground; and as for Abel, he also brought of the FIRSTLINGS of his flock and from their choicest. The LORD turned to Abel and to his offering.” Genesis 4:3 – 4 .

      In other words, Abel brought a FIRSTFRUIT offering, and he made sure that it was the CHOICEST of the first. His offering was not just from the first animals that were birthed to his flock, but he also picked out the absolute best, the perfect one of his first ones. Cain did not do this. Cain just brought an offering, indicating it was not highly selected. It was not the choicest of his first crop.

      We cannot give to God whatever our selfish flesh chooses. We have to have a willing out that desires to give God our best, and then actually follow through. This is like the poor widow who gave two mites and Jesus said, “this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury”, Luke 12:43. Why? She gave her best out of all she had. All the others gave out of their riches so it was not their best. Likewise, Abel gave out of his best.