Deuteronomy 23:1‐25:19; Luke 10:13‐37; Psalm 75:1‐10; Proverbs 12:12‐14
You Shall Not Muzzle an Ox When…
Tucked in a bunch of miscellaneous laws is a curious command forbidding the muzzling of an ox. At first, it’s as if Moses is checking to see if his audience is still paying attention, “Refrain from running, dunking, or pushing. Children eight years old and younger must be accompanied by an adult at all times. No glass near the pool. Purple swimming trunks forbidden at all times.”
Interesting enough, this obscure law is revisited twice in the New Testament (1 Timothy 5:18; 1 Corinthians 9:9). In Timothy, it is linked with the command, “The laborer deserves his wages.” In Corinthians, Paul wonders if the command really does concern oxen or if it’s really written for us! He explains, “Yes, this was written for us, because when the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.”
We have a tendency of looking as those who work with us or for us as less than us. In reality, very few people work for fun. Unless we are volunteering our time, we all work in exchange for wages. Some of us are fortunate enough to work in jobs that fulfill us, but at the end of the day, we exchange our labor for life’s necessities: food, shelter, and security. Let us not forget that those who toil with us deserve the same joy, fulfillment, and hope that we receive. We must always be concerned with them being made whole in all things – both in security that comes with wages and in the hope of the resurrection!
Church of the Incarnation