4 Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.
Proverbs 14:4 (NLT)
This verse is about the preparation and groundwork for our prosperity from God. A large harvest implies abundant prosperity. Abundant prosperity means we will not only have everything we ever desire but also a lot left to bless others. However, having the promise of a large harvest in front of us is not enough, we need to take it and make it ours. In order to do so, we need strong ox. What does that mean?
Based on the standard of the time this verse was written, oxen fulfilled the functions of tractors in developed countries. They were needed to plow the field in order to loosen the soil before sowing. Seeds that are sown into plowed field will grow and produce great harvest. At that time, farmers need oxen to be rich.
In the spiritual context, strong ox refers to discipline. Oxen have to work in plowing the field and pull carts. The harder the oxen worked, the larger the harvest will be. Please note that when I use the term “discipline”, I am using the Bible’s definition on discipline.
8This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.
Joshua 1:8 (Amplified)
We need to study the Word and do what is written in it. This involves meditating, confessing and listening to the words of faith from God. This is God’s way of loosening the soils in our hearts. Only then our faith will grow. The seeds we sow will yield a large harvest.
The first part of Proverbs 14:4 says, without oxen a stable stays clean. Oxen are not smart enough to be toilet trained. If you keep them, you will have to clean the stable every day. What do you think will happen if some farmers want to avoid the work of cleaning the stable and resort to sell their oxen? Their harvest will be affected. Without the oxen, the soil will not be good. Bad soil will result in bad harvest.
Likewise, it may not be fun reading the Bible, meditating, confessing and listening to the Gospel every day. There are more fun things out there to do. If you happen to have such thoughts, you need to remind yourself that your harvest is at stake. Cleaning the stable may not look like fun but the large harvest certainly is. So, how should us motivate ourselves to “clean the stable”? I will fix my thoughts on the large harvest. The vision of having a large harvest will motivate me to take care of my oxen, which include cleaning the stable.
Therefore, if you are beginning to feel bored of reading the Bible, meditating, confessing and listening to the Gospel every day, fix your thoughts on the larger harvest that is coming your way if you don’t give up. God has guaranteed great prosperity for us, his people. We need to follow his way if we want to receive this prosperity. We need to plow the field in addition to sowing seeds. We need oxen. Oxen represent our discipline in reading the Bible, meditating, confessing and listening to the Gospel everyday. Are you ready to that? It depends on whether you are interested in the large harvest.