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Discovery Magazine 2/1/2014

The Oldest Profession

The Bible teaches the first job any human ever had was farming. God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and tend it (Genesis 2:15). His son, Cain, also became a farmer. Farming has always been a noble profession. For most of American history, people have lived on farms, grown their own food, and used animals to help them farm. Many farmers believe that special blessings come from God through farming. One Christian farmer said: “There is something about being able to be outside, working in the dirt, watching things grow, feeding the animals, and harvesting the fruits of your labor that seems to fill an inward desire to steward the land.”

Many great Bible characters were farmers, including Noah (Genesis 9:20), Elisha (1 Kings 19:19), Amos (7:14), Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:10), and Boaz (Ruth 2:14). God continually blessed His faithful servants who pursued this wholesome, God-approved profession (Deuteronomy 28:4). God, Himself, is described in the Bible as a Farmer. He is the Vinedresser Who tends the vine branches—those who abide in Christ (John 15:1-8). We must bear fruit so that He will not cast us into the fire. God also farms the field of His church, where He is working to produce a perfect harvest (1 Corinthians 3:5-9).

One important way we are to be like farmers is given by James: “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains” (5:7). We must strive to be patient as we live the Christian life.

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