2016: “The Year to Unmuzzle the Ox”


Deuteronomy 22.10 states that, “You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.” Although this mandate for the Jewish people was written down thousands of years ago, it still bares significant weight for Believers living today.

So many times Christians write off the book of Deuteronomy, or even the entire Old Testament altogether. However, the Word says that Jesus came to fulfill the law, not to do away with it. These laws are key principles that when walked out, through the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, and not legalistically, can bring greater clarity to leading our life with integrity and Godly understanding.

Still, you may be asking, how can a two thousand-year-old, and then some, text about an ancient law concerning livestock apply to us today?

This is one of those key moments where we must look at the context of this ancient agrarian society. The donkey was designed by God to eat poisonous weeds. This made them very handy at clearing fields of nettles or other plants that might not be edible by other farm animals. However, because of this diet of pesky vegetation it made their breath smell very bad.

The ox on the other hand cannot stomach the weeds that the donkey enjoys and tends to eat sweet grasses and grains. This causes the ox’s breath to smell sweet.

The purpose of plowing a field is to till up the soil in the most efficient and productive manner. As plowing a field is back breaking work, the farmer desired to get the most out of every piece of his property—often working under inclement weather conditions that urged the process along at speeds the human body could barely handle.

That all being said, an ox yoked with a donkey, could not produce a bountiful harvest without much extra and unnecessary work from the farmer. You see, the toxic breath of the donkey would make the ox pull to the side to try and avoid the smell. When yoked together, this would force the plow to zig out of its intended straight line—forcing the farmer to constantly overcorrect the plow. Ultimately an entire day’s work, or a year’s worth of produce, could be spoiled due to this poor pairing choice.

Now here is where this message gets slightly tricky, as I am not speaking about yoking together with unbelievers today. Unfortunately, I am speaking about those within the Body of Christ who have been deceived by false doctrines that remove parts of the scriptures that they feel no longer applies to them. Yes, that’s right. I’m speaking about those who confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, but do not follow the instruction of God in their life. When the remnant begins to intermingle with those who refuse to lead their life according to the Word of God, and the fruit of their Spirit is revealing the darkness in their hearts, be aware that these types of relationships, although they look nice on paper, will actually bring mixture and much confusion into your organization. 

As I meditated on this scripture about the donkey I understood that when we yolk with those who are eating this false doctrine the symbolic bad breath that comes from that lifestyle will cause the true Believer to pull their head away, taking the plow off target. 

In this season, guard your heart and mind, pressing into the Holy Spirit, being very diligent to listen to Him. Prophesy into the areas where your ministry is at its weakest—waiting upon the Lord to bring the correct people into the positions that need to be filled.

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