Some people believe that when Adam and Eve sinned, they forfeited their role as God’s representative governors over all the Earth. Like ambassadors caught in an act of treason, Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden and removed from their positions as God’s delegated vice-regents over all the earth. “Earth-tending” was no longer the job description of human beings.
Was the First Commission canceled when Adam and Eve sinned?
If this is the case, then we are prisoners on a cursed planet, sent out to wander, spending our days toiling for food. Our work is no longer a way of fulfilling the role God had in mind for us when He created Adam and Eve: “Let Us make man...and let them rule…over all the earth.”
Beyond providing for our own subsistence, then, work on planet Earth could no longer have any significant purpose or meaning.
Some people believe the world (and all it contains) was given over to Satan at the point of Adam and Eve's act of disobedience.
If we embrace the idea that “the earth is the Devil’s and all it contains,” and we accept the notion that our original job description (the First Commission of Genesis 1:26-28) was rescinded at the Fall, we will have a very difficult time seeing how carpentry, software development or truck driving can be "the work of God"--unless perhaps we are building orphanages in Africa, developing software for Bible translation, or driving trucks for the Salvation Army.
I can't say exactly how or when it happened, but as a youth in my church, I picked up the idea that this planet is now Satan’s, and we are living on a sinking ship. Only the work that I would do "for eternity" had any real significance, and that didn't include things like selling shoes or processing insurance claims.
What possible significance could there be for Joe the carpenter in spending his life working for the XYZ construction company, pounding nails into 2 x 4s?
This is why, as I mentioned before, I told my mother when I was twelve years old that there were only two occupations in this life worth doing: being a pastor or a missionary.
Thank God that George Washington Carver didn't see it that way!
We'll visit him next.