An Ox and a Donkey

An ox and a donkey were 2 modes of transportation in ancient civilizations. An ox could pull more weight and endure longer distances. A donkey carried you to your destination more quickly. They were both needed for different purposes. But they couldn’t work together.

Deuteronomy 22:10, “Don’t plow with an ox and a donkey together.” The Message

In 2 Corinthians 6:14, Paul instructed believers to marry believers. Marriage is like being yoked together.

2 Corinthians 6:14, “Don’t become partners with those who reject God. How can you make a partnership out of right and wrong? That’s not partnership; that’s war. Is light best friends with dark?” The Message

An ox and a donkey yoked together is a good picture of being unequally yoked in marriage. The donkey has to go wherever the ox wants because it is weaker. The ox has to carry more of the load than necessary and works himself to death.

Life is hard. Every marriage will go through the fire.

“Steel is the product of iron plus fire. …In the same way, the development of human character requires the plus attached to it, for great character is made not through luxurious living but with suffering. …the very things they now rebel against are the instruments He has used to perfect their character…” Courtland Myers, “Streams in the Desert,” December 2

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“Suffering is a wonderful fertilizer for the roots of character. The great objective of this life of character, for it is the only thing we can carry with us into eternity.” Austin Phelps, “Streams in the Desert,” December 2

Some of the strongest marriages come from the deepest trials: the loss of a child, catastrophic events, debilitating sickness, bankruptcy. Other marriages implode at the first one. “I didn’t sign up for this,” they say.

Yes, you did.

You vowed: “For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death parts us.”

“To cherish” is loving and nurturing someone who can’t love you back. We all have times where our spouse carries everything because we physically cannot. But those times are temporary. We can’t let our spouse do everything permanently.

I’m guilty. We all are.

But then we are like the ox and the donkey. The Bible had another name for donkeys. When we don’t share the load equally, that is what we become.

God designed marriages to be rich. An intimacy that we share with no other. The only one who “gets me.” The one who knows my deepest faults and failures and cherishes me in spite of them.

“When you think about it, you can be rich in one of two ways: either in how much you have, or in how little you want. …Many financial experts say credit is the motivating factor for perhaps 80 percent of all divorces….” The Word for You Today, 12-2-18

The most important thing is that we pull together. We must go in the same direction.

“…hopeless debt is like a deep pit into which one may descend quickly and where one may struggle vainly for many days. It is a pit of sorrow and regrets where the brightness of the sun is overcast and night is made unhappy by restless sleeping.” “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

Marriage is a 3-strand rope. The third partner is God. He guides us through difficult paths. Sometimes coaxing and sometimes prodding. When we follow God’s leading, we are unstoppable.

I have to ask David – am I an ox, sharing the load in our marriage? Or, am I donkey?

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He’s the Gardener

“Good luck waits to come to that man who accepts opportunity. …My first judgment is my best. …Make a prompt deposit. …Procrastination is the enemy. …” “The Richest Man in Babylon” by George S. Clason

God gave the Israelites a great opportunity. He gave them good land but they had to work it. They depended on Him for rain.

Deuteronomy 11:11-12, “But the land you are about to cross the river and take for your own is a land of mountains and valleys; it drinks water that rains from the sky. (12) It’s a land that God, your God, personally tends – He’s the gardener – He alone keeps His eye on it all year long.” The Message

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“…for thirty years, Tel Aviv, on the coast, has never recorded rain in June, July, or August. After such a dry summer, the coming of the rains is especially important for the farmer. They should begin in mid-September, but the start of the rainy season is sometimes delayed. This gives the farmer less time for ploughing, and there is also less time for the wells to fill up again after the summer’s use.

…The margin of the desert is not fixed. In some years the margin withdraws east and south. In other years it overruns the area and there is drought and famine. These exceptionally wet and exceptionally dry years…constantly remind God’s people that they depend on Him.”

“The Lion Encyclopedia of the Bible” Edited by Pat Alexander, 1978

Everything depends on God. There is none more dependable!

Deuteronomy 11:1, “So love God, your God; guard well His rules and regulations; obey His commandments for the rest of time.” The Message

Then in my study of Proverbs 19, I read this:

Proverbs 19:20, “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” New International Version

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“The truth is, you’ll never know how close you are to a breakthrough or a blessing until you learn to listen.” The Word for You Today, 11-28-18

What opportunities do you have today? Have you missed an opportunity because of procrastination?

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