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Jun 19 Devotion: Indolent Christians

Proverbs 14:4 – “Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.”

This verse speaks of a mindset and lifestyle that is prevalent in many Christian’s lives today. The person in this verse who owns the stable (crib) takes has a clean barnyard. The barn is clean because the owner doesn’t have any oxen in the barn. The lack of oxen means that you could not have a viable agricultural farm in Solomon’s day, meaning you could not reap a plentiful harvest.

Thus, we can deduce that the owner of the stable hated cleaning out the stable more than he enjoyed reaping a harvest that would lead to further gain. The owner had at his disposal all the means to not only provide for his family but, according to our verse, also receive much increase and expand his success in the future.

In all likelihood, this man’s family would run out of food at some point through the year between harvests. Not because of famine or drought, but because of indolence. Indolence is defined in Webster’s 1828 dictionary as: “indisposition to labor; laziness; inaction or want of exertion of body or mind, proceeding from love of ease or aversion to toil. Indolence like laziness, implies a constitutional or habitual love of ease.”

This man desired an easier life that did not require him to feed and water oxen. A life where he did not have to clean out the mire and filth from the stable. This “ease” actually makes his life, and the lives of those that depended on him, harder in the long run. Someone with such a love of ease is not going to pull the plow himself, nor is he going to break up the fallow ground by hand. His selfishness and inaction will force him to either live in starvation or sell himself into servitude so that he and his family can eat. In his indentured servitude his tasks will be far more laborious that the effort that would have been required to clean out a stable and if his pride kept him from entering bondage he would have died a slow and painful death from malnutrition (not to mention the guilt of watching his family starve around him).

So many Christians today have an unbiblical fixation on ease. We have already been blessed to live in a country where there are no cultural or societal barriers to living a life as a servant of Christ. There are no gulags or labor camps where Christ’s witnesses are thrown into bonds, no laws that would seek to restrict the speech which we would use to tell others of the blessed Savior who died upon an old rugged cross to pay for their sins. God has blessed us to live in such a time that it is easier than any other point in the Church’s history to publicly live for Christ. In essence, God has given to all of us the most pristine stable, filled with all the tools we could ever need, to bring in a plentiful harvest.

Yet, so many Christians today wants to boast about their immaculate stables and they care not that the cribs are empty of oxen. They despise the call from Christ to take up their cross and follow after Him. They revel in their freedom from janitorial duties, and all the while they starve spiritually and condemn the next generation to a life of filled with hunger pangs. Too often, they sell their lives to the world in a desperate attempt to find satisfaction and “much increase,” when all they had to do was take the yoke of the Lord upon them and carry his light burden.

Indolence is rampant, the harvest of lost souls is dwindling, and the Christians responsible look at their clean stables and think that nothing is wrong. There is no increase when the laborers are indolent. Keep your shoulders to the wheel, make up the hedge, stand in the gaps and carry the cross of Christ boldly into the fields that are white unto harvest.

Your fellowservant in Christ,

Bro. Jordan Foster


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