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It would be a drastic measure indeed to slay the oxen in order to have a clean stable.

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Saturday, August 16th

Today's Daily Verse is found in Proverbs 14.4

"Where no oxen are, the crib is clean : But much increase is by the strength of the ox."

It would be a drastic measure indeed to slay the oxen in order to have a clean stable...

A clean stable would be the result - but at what cost?

The strength of the ox adds to, and increases the wealth and effectiveness of any farm, and it is truly worth keeping the oxen, even if the stall has to be cleansed every day!

Oxen are used to till, or break-up or prepare the ground for the seed. Oxen do the bull work and their strength is critical to the success of the farm.

Oxen are also valued as they tread out the grain...

Deuteronomy 25.4

"You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain."

  • the instruction is clear. Let the oxen eat while they work.

When Elisha was called, what was he doing?

1 Kings 19.19

So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away.

  • Oxen have value...even if they poop!

Here's the problem. Where there is no oxen, the crib is clean...

  • Everyone is happy they no longer have to clean up someone else's mess!

When there is no oxen :

  1. There is no labor
  2. There can be no food
  3. There is no increase
  4. There is no harvest

GOD works by means, not by miracles. GOD works by principles - Proverbs 16.2

There must be good husbandry in order to have an abundant harvest. What is husbandry? It means : management and conservation of resources.

"Increase" and "clean cribs" do not go together...

Let the oxen do their work - for much increase will be by his strength.

Psalms 144.14

" and may our oxen be loaded down with produce. May there be no enemy breaking through our walls, no going into captivity, no cries of alarm in our town squares.

  • Oh, yes, the oxen carry the food to storage as well...

In other words : If you are planning for increase, and planning for food and harvest, the oxen are a part of the well as the need to clean up the poop resulting from the sheer work of the oxen.

It's a choice that many groups and churches mess up. They get tired of the trouble maker - while at the same time recognize that increase comes from their work...

  • having a dirty crib that constantly needs cleaning, dis-infecting, keeping the flies away, scooping up the poop and getting rid of it. And the smell!
  • Yes, those who are most gifted do increase the flock, they do great work for the harvest - preparing the ground, and breaking up the soil, so that the seed can be effective and produce a harvest
  • Oh, the problems we have when we "exalt the seed sowers" above those who break up the soil and do the grunt work. 
  • The oxen do not pick the harvest, although they tread the grain, which allows the breads to be made. But, the smell is so obnoxious...and the mess is so bad...why do we have them around?

So, they get rid of that talent. The one whose strength was so undervalued. They get rid of him or her...

Then, they wonder why the increase stops!

The crib is clean though. Smells so good now that "so-and-so" is no longer around...

That person, - "I know he was anointed of GOD" - but he had to go. "He just had too many problems..."

How come it get to this point?

The study we did on Proverbs 16.2 explains it well...

Proverbs 16.2 - see the study here

"All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits (the thoughts and intents of the heart)."

  • We see the sin in the oxen [person who still has sin in their life]
  • The reason we see the sin in them is because we see ourselves as "clean" in comparison. Our sin is different, and we cover it up really well!

It is cause for great sorrow to see people ditch friends, and friendships, members and clergy - attempting to get rid of troublesome "poopers".

Much increase, and much blessing may have happened had grace and patience ensued. But no, we have to have a "clean" crib...

Too often in church groups and friendships, it is taken for granted that getting rid of the "problem" person - the offender - is the only way to go...

It is not!

We need to revisit 1 Corinthians 6.9-11

"Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10 or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.

But look at this next sentence!!!

11 Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God

When will we allow the Holy Spirit of GOD do His work in those people - without our interference?

If we had prayed more, let the Holy Spirit do the work, quit complaining about cleaning the crib of poop - they too may have been truly cleansed - instead of being thrown out -

H'mm! Did I just say, "Ouch!"

See you tomorrow...

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