Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn't the Law say the same thing? For it is written in the Law of Moses: "Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain." Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn't he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.
Thoughts for Today:In our passage today, Paul references Deuteronomy 25:4 in which Moses prohibits an ox from being muzzled as it drags a threshing sledge over grain. The reasoning for the prohibition was to allow the ox to eat while it worked. Paul used this Old Testament illustration to point out the right of Christian ministers to reap material needs as they sow spiritual blessings.
The point Paul makes is God's concern for us is much greater than for animals. And there are many scriptures that speak of His care for the animals (Deuteronomy 5:14; Psalm 145:15-16, Psalm 147:8-9; Matthew 6:26; and Luke 12:24). Matthew 6:26 is perhaps the most well known of these verses, in which Jesus said: "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?" However, it is not only God's responsibility to care for those who serve our spiritual needs. It is also our duty to make sure those involved in ministry are adequately and appropriately compensated.
Questions to Ponder:We in the church have an obligation to care for the material requirements of our pastors, teachers, and other spiritual leaders. Have you looked into the needs of those serving in ministry at your church? In many cases, a pastor's salary only covers basic living expenses -- but what about a cracked windshield, tires that need to be replaced, or help with school tuition for children? Can you be a blessing? Will you?