Don’t Muzzle The Ox

Q. Re: 1 Cor. 9:9-10. This morning, I came upon this verse while reading, and tried to locate from where “this is written” that the writer is quoting. I checked through the Strong’s Concordance, but didn’t find it there. Any help you can offer is certainly appreciated

A. In 1 Cor. 9:9 Paul said, “For it is written in the Law of Moses, Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” This is a quote from Deut. 25:4. A muzzle prevents an animal from opening its mouth. The Lord said the ox who is assisting in the threshing process should be allowed to eat some of the grain his efforts are helping to produce.

In 1 Cor. 9:10-11 Paul used this example to justify the view that a person who is teaching the gospel should be able to expect his needs to be met by those benefiting from it. Today we call this a love offering.

But just like the ox did not demand a share of the grain in advance for helping to harvest it, I don’t think teachers should demand payment in advance for providing sound teaching. We work for the Lord and if our work is pleasing to Him, He will see to it that we’re adequately compensated. After all, this is one of His rules.

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