8/27/16 The Law Grants Us This Right, But Still, We Don’t Exercise It

“It is not on my own authority that I say this, but the law of Moses.  God commanded us through Moses, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the corn.’  What is this commandment telling us?  At face value, it says that when an animal is working for us, in this case stepping on harvested corn to separate the corn from the husk, we should not prevent the animal from stopping to eat some of that corn, because it deserves to partake of the fruit of its labors.  But this is also a reminder for us to be fair and kind to each other, and to pay human workers what is right in exchange for the work that they do.  And, though God created and loves both animals and humans, the greater commandment in this is to care for each other as humans created in God’s image.  If someone is plowing or harvesting a field, he should do so with the hope that he will be justly rewarded for his labor.  Now, our work with you is spiritual, but it is still labor.  So should we not hope to be justly rewarded with material things, like food and drink, clothing and shelter, in exchange for our labors on your behalf?  I know that other teachers have come to you and worked with you like we have, and you have freely given these things to them.  And Barnabas and I, as your spiritual fathers, have a greater right to this than anyone who comes after us, do we not?  And yet, because we do not want anything to stand in the way of Jesus’ message, or people coming to Him, we do not exercise this right.  Instead, we patiently labor wherever we go, working both physically as tentmakers in order to support ourselves, and spiritually with you, to help you grow in your faith.”

 

1 Corinthians 9:8-12, Deuteronomy 25:4

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