Animals in Scripture – “Ox” – Part 2

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Animals – The Ox, Part 2


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

Last week we saw the Hebrew word for ox is also translated as bullock, bull, cow or oxen. We also established that the spiritual significance of the ox in scripture is as the symbol of that part of us which God uses to increase our spiritual welfare and wealth. It is that part of our spirit which works tirelessly to get the job done. It was by the strength of the ox that the rich man was able to tear down his old barns and build new ones to house his riches:

Luk 12:15  And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
Luk 12:16  And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
Luk 12:17  And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
Luk 12:18  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
Luk 12:19  And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
Luk 12:20  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
Luk 12:21  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

Yes, even the ox has a negative application in the word of God. When all of our efforts are spent to preserve and provide for the flesh at the exclusion of the things of the spirit, we will soon learn that we have wasted our lives trying to save the very symbol of corruption, the flesh, which cannot be saved.

1Co 15:50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

The ox, in its symbolism, very closely parallels the Hebrew word ‘charuts,’ one of the six Hebrew words translated ‘gold.’ Charuts appears six times translated as gold, but it is also translated ‘diligent’ five times. What connection has gold to the ox? Only that the word charuts also has the meaning of diligence.

The symbolism of the ox is that of tireless diligence and service in the things of the spirit. It is “by the strength of the ox” that we fill up our spiritual “cribs” and “by the strength of the ox” that we “buy gold tried in the fire” and “lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven.”

Mat 6:19  Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal [negative application of the ox]:
Mat 6:20  But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
Mat 6:21  For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Rev 3:18  I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

You can have a clean crib, but you will have no ox. In other words, we can either starve to death or be well fed. We are either poor or we are rich. It all depends upon the presence of the ox within us.

In our last study we saw that we can and do offer the greatest sacrifice possible to give to God. We can and we do offer an ox to God, but if when we offer that offering anywhere other than “the door of the tabernacle,” meaning on the altar at the door of the tabernacle, on the selfless cross of Christ, we are not going to be accepted by God.

This week we will see 1) Why the priest was given certain parts of the sacrifice of an ox, 2) Why the ox is first, both in the order in which the sacrifices are mentioned in scripture and in order of value as that which we offer to our Lord. 3) Finally we will see another graphic Biblical example of how we all steal our own brother’s ox, we all prefer to make our offering to our Lord in the way and in the place we choose, instead of the way and place we have been instructed. It is all written to show us that same stubborn attitude is within the beast within us all.

1Co 10:11  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
1Co 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

The priest’s part of an ox which is sacrificed

Deu 18:3  When you sacrifice a bull or sheep, the priests will be given the shoulder, the jaws, and the stomach.

Yes, it was the same for any sacrifice. The priest was given that part which signifies the parts which give us direction and movement, that is our legs, which give us expression, our mouths, and that part which signifies our meditation or rumination, the stomach of a clean beast. These are all given, without hesitation, to Christ, our high priest.

Christ has no use for any service we might give Him which has not been offered in accord with His directives. What this means is that our service to our Lord must be in accord with His Word or it is an offering which was killed somewhere other than the altar (the cross) of our Lord. Any such offerings are offered in rebellion and will not be accepted by our High Priest. We could give the priest the required parts, but if they were not offered on the altar at the door of the tabernacle, then we are guilty of failing to see what is the significance of the shoulder, the jaws and the stomach.

The ox is the first beast mentioned as being good for food

Deu 14:4  These are the beasts which ye shall eat: the ox, the sheep, and the goat,
Deu 14:5  The hart, and the roebuck, and the fallow deer, and the wild goat, and the pygarg [antelope], and the wild ox, and the chamois [gazelle].
Deu 14:6  And every beast that parteth the hoof, and cleaveth the cleft into two claws, and cheweth the cud among the beasts, that ye shall eat.

Any “strong meat” which is fit for food cannot be taken from words which are “above that which is written.” Any “strong meat” which is fit to be consumed for nourishment must have two witnesses as their foundation. Those witnesses will be “things new and old.”

Mat 13:52  Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man [that is] an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

Mat 18:15  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Mat 18:16  But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Mat 18:17  And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
Mat 18:18  Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

The Greek here is “shall have been bound… and shall have been loosed.” It was all written in God’s book before we were ever born:

Psa 139:16  Thine eyes did see mine unformed substance; And in thy book they were all written, Even the days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was none of them. (ASV)

Another example of  both ‘stealing our brother’s ox’ and failing to bring our offering to “the door of the tabernacle.’

1Sa 15:1  Samuel also said unto Saul, The LORD sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of the LORD.
1Sa 15:2  Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt.
1Sa 15:3  Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.
1Sa 15:4  And Saul gathered the people together, and numbered them in Telaim, two hundred thousand footmen, and ten thousand men of Judah.
1Sa 15:5  And Saul came to a city of Amalek, and laid wait in the valley.
1Sa 15:6  And Saul said unto the Kenites, Go, depart, get you down from among the Amalekites, lest I destroy you with them: for ye shewed kindness to all the children of Israel, when they came up out of Egypt. So the Kenites departed from among the Amalekites.
1Sa 15:7  And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.
1Sa 15:8  And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
1Sa 15:9  But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.
1Sa 15:10  Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying,

King Saul in type is not someone else. We are King Saul long before we become King David, “a man after God’s own heart.” We simply cannot bring ourselves to utterly destroy our own flesh. We tell ourselves and we believe that flesh and this physical realm are not sin in and of themselves. After all, it has so many good features. It simply cannot be looked on as sin in and of itself. When we take this attitude, and we reserve parts of our flesh to serve God as we see fit, what is God’s reaction?

1Sa 15:11  It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.
1Sa 15:12  And when Samuel rose early to meet Saul in the morning, it was told Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and, behold, he set him up a place, and is gone about, and passed on, and gone down to Gilgal.

Here are a couple other versions of this verse:

(MKJV)  And when Samuel rose up early in the morning to meet Saul, it was told to Samuel, saying, Saul came to Carmel, and behold, he set up a place for himself, and has gone around and passed on and gone down to Gilgal.
(MSG)  He got up early in the morning to confront Saul but was told, “Saul’s gone. He went to Carmel to set up a victory monument in his own honor, and then was headed for Gilgal.” By the time Samuel caught up with him, Saul had just finished an act of worship, having used Amalekite plunder for the burnt offerings sacrificed to GOD.

This is what John refers to as “losing your first love.”

Rev 2:1  Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
Rev 2:2  I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
Rev 2:3  And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
Rev 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Rev 2:5  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

King Saul had “lost his first love” and repented not. What happened next?

1Sa 15:13  And Samuel came to Saul: and Saul said unto him, Blessed be thou of the LORD: I have performed the commandment of the LORD.
1Sa 15:14  And Samuel said, What meaneth then this bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear? [What are all these false doctrines, I am hearing in my ear, which you equate to “performing the commandment of the Lord?”]
1Sa 15:15  And Saul said, They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.
1Sa 15:16  Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the LORD hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.
1Sa 15:17  And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the LORD anointed thee king over Israel?
1Sa 15:18  And the LORD sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed.
1Sa 15:19  Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the LORD, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the LORD?
1Sa 15:20  And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites.
1Sa 15:21  But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal.

King Saul thought like we all think. He thought that doing 50 to 90 percent of what God said was enough. King Saul had bought into “agreement in the essentials and tolerance in the nonessentials.” It was simply not practical to do what God said to do, down to the last detail, when that meant that the people would not like you if you were that much of a fanatic about “living by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” So instead of being a leader, King  Saul became a politician, and a people pleaser, and what was God’s  reaction to His anointed becoming a servant of men?

1Sa 15:22  And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
1Sa 15:23  For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
1Sa 15:24  And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.
1Sa 15:25  Now therefore, I pray thee, pardon my sin, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD.
1Sa 15:26  And Samuel said unto Saul, I will not return with thee: for thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD hath rejected thee from being king over Israel.
1Sa 15:27  And as Samuel turned about to go away, he laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent.
1Sa 15:28  And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.

This is all a story about the kingdom of God. What do we know about what is that kingdom?

Luk 17:20  And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Luk 17:21  Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

So both of these, the rejected anointed and the “new man,” the “man after God’s own heart,” are both within us all. However, the “old man,” God’s rejected anointed, cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

1Sa 15:29  And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent.
1Sa 15:30  Then he said, I have sinned: yet honour me now, I pray thee, before the elders of my people, and before Israel, and turn again with me, that I may worship the LORD thy God.
1Sa 15:31  So Samuel turned again after Saul; and Saul worshipped the LORD.
1Sa 15:32  Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.
1Sa 15:33  And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.
1Sa 15:34  Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul.
1Sa 15:35  And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.

We all honor ourselves for our self-righteous rebellion against what the natural man sees as the unloving laws and sayings and commandments of God. By following the people instead of leading them according to what the Lord had said, Saul was guilty of stealing the people’s oxen, while thinking he was doing God a service by keeping the oxen of the Amalekites. He was also guilty of failing to bring his offering to the altar of the door of the tabernacle. He preferred to offer his ox to God in the camp, but God would have no part of King Saul’s disobedience to His word.

This admonition in Matthew 18:15 -18 is but one more of “the commandments of the Lord” which have no place in Babylon, within or without. It is much easier to “listen to the people” instead of God, and the people will always convince us that it is simply more loving to ‘agree on the essentials and tolerate the nonessentials.’ It is simply easier to just go along to get along with the people, and it just seems more loving to the natural man to ignore God’s sayings rather than become separated from our brothers by obeying “every word which proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

What we have learned today is that the ox of scripture is within us, as a tireless servant to increase our spiritual wealth. It never tires in giving to it neighbors or its enemies, of the “love of God.” On the other hand we have seen that we can and do steal our brother’s ox when we fail to undertand what is the love of God, when we fail to “love God and keep His commandments.”

1Jn 5:2  By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.
1Jn 5:3  For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

We have seen that when we do anything we do, to keep from losing our friends in this life, instead of doing it to glorify God, we are really killing and offering our sacrifice within or without the camp, both being in rebellion to the commandment of our Lord, and somewhere other than at the altar of God which is “before the door of the tabernacle.”

We have learned that the ox and all clean meats, with the cloven hooves, teach us that we must never speak above that which is written:

1Co 4:6  And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think [of men] above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

We have seen that the horse is God’s symbol for the spiritual battle being waged in our heavens, but the ox is the symbol of Christ in us serving our fellow man and our Lord. Both reveal a great, and powerful zeal to serve in our Father’s house:

Joh 2:13  And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
Joh 2:14  And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
Joh 2:15  And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
Joh 2:16  And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
Joh 2:17  And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

Christ in us is a bull in a Babylonian china shop, and we are guaranteed to be “hated of all men.”

Mat 10:22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

Next week, Lord willing, we will see that the ‘ox,’ along with three other beasts, is “in the midst of and around the throne of God.” And we will see once again who are these four beasts and why they are four.

Rev 4:6  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.
Rev 4:7  And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.

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