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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

Much Increase

Today's Verse:

Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox. ~Proverbs 14:4

 

Unless you are a farmer, an animal stall is not a place that you want to frequent or spend a lot of time in. Animal stalls are where farming animals, like cows, donkeys, horses, and oxen, are kept at night or during very bad weather. The animals eat and drink there, and it becomes the place where they do their animal business. The stall or crib can become very dirty and smelly. If you are a farmer, this is a given. Our devotion this morning gives us a Bible principle concerning service.


There is the emblem of the oxen.

The ox is a symbol of service. The Lord Jesus in the Gospel of Mark is referred to as the “suffering servant.” The ox is important for plowing. Farmers would have more than one ox for plowing and threshing wheat. The ox is a servant animal. The ox is a symbol of sacrifice. Oxen were used for sacrifices. Typically, an ox was killed and offered as a burnt offering and a sin offering at other times. A sacrifice speaks of something being given up. In the case of a sacrifice, a life is given up. The ox is a symbol of strength. It would have been the equivalent of a tractor or heavy-moving equipment that we would use in our day.


There is the enablement of the oxen.

“Much increase is by the strength of an ox.” Oxen made work more productive and efficient. More oxen put to work results in greater crops and harvesting. It helps to assure a farmer of a great yield. There is much strength where there are numbers. Two are better than one! Much increase occurs when there are many people serving as opposed to just one person serving. Much increase occurs when an entire church is praying as opposed to just one or two members praying. Much increase occurs when many people are soulwinning as opposed to just one or two soulwinning. Much increase comes to your spiritual life when you are under more preaching instead of less preaching. Much increase is by the strength of an ox.


There is the eventual with the oxen.

Having oxen implies that we have a vision for things to come. We see an empty field that will be plowed over, wheat that will grow, and a successful harvest. Having oxen implies that we have faith. We have faith that God will use our effort for His glory. We have faith to believe that what we do today will yield great results in the future. We have faith to believe that we are doing the right thing. Having oxen implies that we are committed to work. "In all labour there is profit: but the talk of the lips tendeth only to penury." Having oxen means we aren’t just talking about a great harvest; we have a plan that we are putting to work for this harvest. Oxen imply a lot of hard work for something we need to see accomplished. Much increase is by the strength of an ox.


There is the emptiness without the oxen.

"Where no oxen are, the crib is clean." If we do not run buses and vans, the buses and vans will be clean, but there will be nobody we bring to church. If we do not plan special, large attendance days for reaching people with the gospel, the carpet and chairs will be clean and the crib is clean, but nobody is there to hear the gospel! Where there are no ministries, the crib is clean. Where there is no soulwinning, the crib is clean. Where there is no Bible reading, the crib is clean! The pages are unmarked; the Bible shows signs of being new and never used. Where there is no praying, there are knees that are calloused; no brows that are creased with strain; and no prayers being answered. In effect, the crib is clean!


“Much increase is by the strength of an ox.” You can do less or nothing, and the crib will be clean. Let’s have a plan, make some sacrifices, get to work, and remember: much increase is by the strength of an ox!


Have a fruitful God Morning!


Bible Reading Schedule: Exodus 1-3

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