Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Muzzling The Ox”

Categories: GRAB BAG, NEW TESTAMENT, PREACHING/TEACHING, WORSHIP
      Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading?  Does this refer to preachers not getting paid?  Or people in the ministry serving?  Not being compensated?  Forgive me, but I don’t have the context of what Paul is saying here.

Sincerely,
Cattle Call

Dear Cattle Call,

In 1 Cor 9:9, Paul says, “Don’t muzzle an ox when he is treading out the grain.”  Oxen were often used to break up the grain and grind it using a giant wheel or other similar methods that employed animal power to break up the grain.  In the Old Testament, God commanded that an ox that was being used to work the grain should be allowed to eat while it worked (i.e. it shouldn’t be muzzled – Deut 25:4).  In 1st Corinthians 9, Paul is comparing that command given for the benefit of working animals to the attitude we should take toward those who are preaching the gospel (1 Cor 9:10-11).  Just like an ox that treads the grain deserves a bite of that grain from time to time, preachers who dedicate their lives to the gospel have every right to be paid for their work (1 Cor 9:14).