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B'resheet/Genesis 4:1 ... [Hava, Eve] said, "With the help of the L-rd I have brought forth a son." (NASB)
Jewish mysticism teaches that when a husband and wife come together [physically] with the proper intention, G-d's presence dwells between them (Zohar, Aharei Mot 59a). There is a team at work here: man, woman and G-d, acting together to create new life. This points us to a larger truth - that we are called to be G-d's workmen, as Rav Sha'ul tells us: "For For we are G-d's co-workers" (1 Corinthians 3:9, CJB), co-labourers or fellow workers as other translations put it. Now this is a mystery if ever there was one: we are working alongside the Master of the Universe, working together with Him to bring about His desire for the world. G-d has, asRabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel explains, limited Himself to working through human agency and is - in a certain way - constrained by what we allow Him to do in and through us.
This should not come as a surprise to us, for the idea of "tikkun ha'olam" has long been a part of Jewish understanding. Fixing up or repairing the world, restoring the earth or the universe, is seen as the duty of every Jew, to do his part to hasten the coming of Moshiach. In recent years, the Lubavitch movement has majored on the observance of the mitzvot and encourage their followers to take on the observance of more and more mitzvot in order to tilt the balance and increase the world-wide level of obedience to G-d's commandments so that Messiah will be able to come soon.
As believers, we know that Yeshua is the Messiah, who has already come and is to return, when "every eye shall see Him" (Revelation 1:7). Rav Sha'ul points out that although we have been "saved by grace" (Ephesians 2:8), we are "His workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, which G-d prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them" (v.10, NASB). Our purpose for being here is to walk in His ways, do His works and be His witnesses in this world.
But do we do this on our own? Do we have to take the strain of this on our own shoulders? Yeshua told His disciples, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light" (Matthew 11:28-30, NASB). He will take the lead, He will take the strain, but we have to play our part and be prepared to labour in the Kingdom alongside our L-rd and Master.
Further Study: Matthew 9:37-38; 2 Corinthians 1:23-24
Application: Where and how are you supposed to be working with the L-rd? Ask the Master to show you what His purpose is for you today.
© Jonathan Allen, 2006
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