Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

295/300

Ms 77, 1896

Diary/Laboring Together With God

NP

Circa 1896

Previously unpublished.

1 Corinthians 3:9. “For we are labourers together with God”—not apart from God and opposed to His law. After the Lord created Adam in His own image, that is, with mind and will and moral faculties which, though finite, were after the similitude of God's mind and God's will, He placed him in the Garden of Eden. The Lord had planted every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. Four rivers ran by this Garden and the whole land was enriched with precious stones and gold and silver. The Lord instructed Adam how to care for the Garden. He was put there to dress it and keep it. The Lord gave employment to Adam and Eve, the pleasant employment of dressing the Garden. Adam was the first man that labored together with God. There was nothing to interpose between Adam and Eve and their Maker. 11LtMs, Ms 77, 1896, par. 1

God was their Teacher, Master, and Father. There was no envy, jealousy or fear, because sin had not entered their souls, and precious were the instruction and seasons of conversation with God. But there was a time when the tempter made his way into Eden and tempted Adam and Eve to listen to his words. It was the serpent that spoke, for Satan disguised himself in the form of a serpent, and his temptation came in speech through the serpent. His very first temptation was to be jealous of God who had done everything for him to make him happy in the heavenly courts before his rebellion. He framed up falsehoods and charged God that in forbidding their eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge He was withholding wisdom that would make them wise. Strange to say, Eve was deceived; Adam was not but was persuaded by his wife and both ate of the forbidden tree. 11LtMs, Ms 77, 1896, par. 2

The Lord pronounced a curse on man for the transgression of His law and a curse upon the earth because of man's sin. Although Adam was still permitted to tend the garden and to be a laborer together with God, after his disobedience he was to earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. Then God, in Eden, gave the first gospel sermon. The Lord said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel.” [Genesis 3:15.] 11LtMs, Ms 77, 1896, par. 3

Although man had disobeyed God and fallen, yet the blessing of laboring together with God was not removed. Sin does not exclude man from working at daily toil, but never more would the labor question stand on high and holy ground as it had done. The more sinful man becomes, the less enjoyment he finds in tilling the soil and doing the things that will please God. The more there is separation of the soul from God, the more true it is that the bread is earned by the sweat of the brow, and the more unpleasant the reflection of man against his Maker because he is not permitted to give loose rein to his individual inclinations to make his own laws himself, according to his own ideas. Satan is working through the human agency to please himself. The agriculturist, the tiller of the soil, still has great encouragement. If he has given his entire heart, soul, and body to God, the labor will be to him much less; and his repentance will evidence itself by his obedience, accepting the Lord's plans and receiving the Lord's directions. 11LtMs, Ms 77, 1896, par. 4