Here’s an interesting news report: archaeologists have unearthed an ancient application for employment by a very religious person during Bible times. Here it is:
“Most Excellent Tentmakers of Corinth, Greetings. Having recently arrived from Rome, I wish to be in your employ as a tentmaker. I do not have formal training in tentmaking, but I have much experience in this area. Upon many occasions I have made tents in an emergency. I was forced to flee Rome due to the recent controversy with Claudius, and made my own tent during the first night. On another occasion, I was nearly killed by a mob, but was lowered over the city wall and escaped into the desert, and again I made my own tent. Necessity has given me this skill, and I have used it often, as I have often been without a job.
“Please do not think that I am an unreliable person. Do not listen to the Jews who want to kill me. You know Aquila and Priscilla, tentmakers who reside in your city. They can testify to my trustworthiness and hard labor.
“I am signing this application with my own hand. Notice the very large handwriting— this is my mark, as my eyesight is failing. Nevertheless, I should see well enough to make large tents for you.
“Again, I pray that you will accept my application to work for you. However, I must request that I be granted rest from work every Sabbath and Lord’s Day, in order that I may proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ in the synagogues and churches of your great city.”
Would you hire a man with an application like that? If you rejected this application, you would be rejecting the apostle Paul (see Acts 18:1-4)! Yes, the news report is fictional, but the story of Paul’s work as a tentmaker was real, indeed.
Labor is honored in God’s word. Paul worked as a tentmaker to help pay his own way when he visited churches. Romans 16:6 says, “Greet Mary, who has worked very hard for you.” James 5:4 scolds employers who failed to pay fair wages to their workers.
This Labor Day, let’s be thankful for the working man and working woman. Let’s pay them well, appreciate them, and not expect them to be perfect. It says in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, “If anyone isn’t willing to work, he should not eat.” But if they are willing to work, the working man and woman deserve a chance to take the day off and barbecue this Monday.