Monday, June 18, 2007

No Ox - No Crops

The lesson of the ox is meant to encourage the believer to recognize his importance in the Kingdom and challenge him to work in the Master's fields. This is basically a topical study that parallels natural oxen and the spiritual workers within the body of Christ.

The term ox can be used to describe any of the bovine family both wild and domesticated. Musk-ox, water buffalo, and yak are just a few beside the common ox or cow. Basic characteristics of the ox include: stocky legs, heavy muscular body, tough hide, steady gait, working well in pairs or teams, and demonstrates consistent responses to commands once domesticated. These traits enhance the usefulness of the ox.

Oxen are used for a variety of tasks related to farming. Plowing, pulling a cart/transportation, moving heavy loads, and treading of grain. The mature are often paired with the younger in order to teach them how to pull in the harness as a team. Of course the female oxen are valuable for bearing offspring. Sometimes the oxen are eaten as a meat source. In biblical times they were also used as sacrificial animals.

In the initial oxen post the picture was of some Kenyan farmers. The ox is a valuable possession there and used every day for any number of activities. The literal translation, "no cattle- no crops" applies to those farmers as well as most of the ones living in Third World countries. It could also be said, "no crop- no life". For them, there are no markets on every corner.

Without the oxen there is little chance of putting in a crop. If the oxen are lost between planting time and harvest, the farmer is put in a extremely difficult place. He will have no way to turn the wheel that pumps the water to irrigate, no means of transporting the crop from the field, and no alternative but to walk everywhere.

The info presented thus far is remedial but required to draw the parallel. In a classroom setting, this would have come in the form of answers from the students. When I am teaching a lesson parallel, I generally ask the questions and record the answers on a large dry erase board. I list them in a column so the spiritual parallels can be listed opposite them as we cover the material.

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