Monday, June 18, 2007

A Strong Ox

No cattle, no crops; a good harvest requires a strong ox for the plow.
Proverbs 14:4 The Message

There is no mention of the farmer in this verse, neither of the seed or soil quality. The farmer is a given since he is required for the ox and plow to be of any use. The actual soil contents are not mentioned but it's condition is implied. The soil is unbroken, else there would be no need for the plow. The plow is not useful without a beast strong enough to pull it. The farmer and the ox can do little to work the ground without the plow. In order to have a good harvest there must be a farmer, a plow, and an ox.

Again, this is just basic info setting the stage for the spiritual parallel. The amount of time spent on these things would depend on the age group being taught. For this post we will pick out a couple of traits and draw the appropriate conclusions. In a classroom setting, you could use as many or as few as needed to fill the time slot or make the desired points.

It is essential for church workers to be saved. A wild ox is of little value to the farmer until it is domesticated. The first lesson in obedience for the ox is yielding to the farmer's restraint. When a worker in the church struggles against leadership then he jeopardizes the whole work of the church particularly as it relates to the harvest. Consistent commands and disciplines will bring about the desired responses.

Just as the younger ox will often be paired with an older/more experienced one, a new convert in the church should be paired up with a mature saint. Proper lifestyle changes will be brought about by teaching as well as example. Mentors are an indispensable resource for those new in the Kingdom and new to a particular duty within the church.

The tough hide of the ox affords protection from the elements. It can hold up to the wear and tear of the yoke and harness. It is difficult for insects to pierce. When the ox dies, it's hide can still be useful to the farmer. Let me hear your comments on a parallel for this one.

Without strong oxen in the church, there will be no harvest. The pastor can not do it alone. Get in the yoke today and help your pastor pull the plow.


SLW said...

This is a stretch but...
A tough hide is usually associated with the results of surviving difficulties, becoming oblivious to the pests and irritants of life. Someone who has a tough hide has been tempered by rough waters and is inflappable in the face of new dangers (maybe even insults).

That a tough hide is useful after the life that led it has gone is a tribute the power of testimony-- that those that come after us can still benefit from our experience of life's difficulties and what we've learned from it. In this regard, the Apostle Paul had one tough hide!

Some thoughts, I hope they get some wheels turning.

SLW said...

You asked about R.I.P. He just got married two weeks ago as well as moving and finishing the year at Bible college. Just a tad busy, perhaps he'll be back to blogging before too much longer.

HALFMOM said...

Thanks so much for your comments! I really appreciate your insight and am glad to know that the same scripture is helpful also; that is an encouragment!

I love your post! How often people expect a harvest without work, particularly in breaking up fallow ground - or removing the rocks that come up when the field is actually plowed.

I think of the hide as a legacy - what is "imperishable" in a way, left to the next generation for multiple uses.

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