The Strength of the Ox
Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox. ~Proverbs 14:4
Solomon enjoyed using examples from agriculture, farming, and the animal world as metaphors in his writings. In our passage this morning, he speaks of the strength of the ox. Oxen were a symbol of service. Oxen were used for plowing or as a means of transportation. Oxen were used in sacrifices and food. Oxen were an important part of the local economy in Solomon’s day. In this one verse, Solomon is imparting a powerful thought that is the difference between success and failure.
There is the absence of an ox.
“Where no oxen are, the crib is clean.” The absence of an ox means that there are no oxen to feed and no cribs to fill with feed. Where there are no oxen, there are no duties to perform, no crops to be grown, and no livelihood that can be established. Where there are no oxen, there is no work, no industry, and nothing that is profitable. The absence of an ox means that there will be no plowing for crops, no sacrifices to God, and no food on the table. The absence of an ox points to a powerful principle: don’t expect much of anything from that person or organization!
There is the ability of an ox.
“The strength of the ox.” Oxen are always a picture of service. Oxen are seen as animals of service. Oxen make plowing more effective and productive. Oxen carry heavy items from one location to another. Oxen are used to transport people. Because of their size, oxen can perform much labor, plow a lot of ground, and be an ample food supply. Most families during Solomon’s day valued the ownership of an ox because of its usefulness. The application behind this thought is that there is incredible value and reward associated with hard work and diligent effort. You get out of something whatever it is that you put in. The application is that where you place your emphasis determines what kind of results you will have.
There is the abounding with an ox.
“...Much increase is by the strength of the ox.” Oxen are a difference maker between a good crop year and a bad one. Much increase by the strength of the ox has a multiplicity of applications. Where there is much Bible reading and study, you will find a life that is fruitful. Where there is much prayer, you will find a life that is filled with the Spirit and many prayers being answered. Where there is much soulwinning, you will find a church that is lively and many additions to its membership. Where there is much giving, you will find a church exercising faith for missions and church expansion. Churches busy winning souls see attendance breakthroughs and many baptisms. Where there are many people serving in a church, many needs are met. There is much increase by the strength of the ox!
Make a determination today to do more and not less for the Lord. Make a determination to have a fruitful and abounding life in Christ. Part ways with a lazy and slothful life that is overgrown with weeds. Have a servant’s heart, organize your life, put God first, and watch your life become more fruitful than ever before. There is much increase by the strength of the ox!
Have a diligent God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Chronicles 18-20