By Ray Smith
Today’s proverb is one that helps us make decisions about investing in resources, and how they can be used for benefit and blessing.
“Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty,
but from the strength of an ox, comes an abundant harvest”. ( Prov 14 : 4 ).
A biblical farmer knew the value of investing in oxen.
An ox is used to plough ground, in which seed is sown, and grain grown which is subsequently harvested. The grain fills the manger for all the animals to eat and provides grain for bread.
For us today, an ox represents anything that can be used to produce something else. When I preached on this proverb a number of years back, it motivated two men in the congregation to act.
One decided to go and buy a truck. He naturally used it for his own needs, but in the few years after used it as a “church removalist ministry”. At least a dozen families moved house over those few years and were saved a lot of money by the use of that truck. (And many in our church were blessed by working as removalists on a service project together.)
Another member of the congregation decided to set himself up in business and buy a cafe in Melbourne, becoming financially self-sufficient.
That’s the power of one little proverb, which contains a motivating principle. Buy, find, or make something and use it to produce something else – a tool, a piece of equipment, a utensil…
It’s about making some decision, taking some action, that produces something for ourselves, our family and our church.
This, God inspired, principle challenges us to use the resources all around us. I believe this little proverb is a word for our time. It helps us live fruitful and productive lives in the Kingdom of God.
PRAYER: Thank you Father that you provide for us in abundance. Freshly open our eyes to see how you can use us, and the resources at our disposal. Please protect our children and their teachers as they all go back to school next week. Thank you for further rain refreshing our land, and for the showers of blessing that will renew and refresh our church , now and in the days to come. We pray for our Prime Minister and Premier ( and all state Premiers ) as they make decisions to resource us, keep people in work , and create new jobs.