4 Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.
What does this mean? Oxen were often used to tread out the grain on a threshing floor. As the animal walked around attached by poles to the millstone, the grain was trampled by the hooves. This separated the kernels from the chaff. Then, the millstone would grind the grain into a fine flour. If the oxen were muzzled, they could not eat while they worked. It was better for the oxen and more productive if the oxen were allowed to eat and maintain strength. This illustration was used in the New Testament by Paul for people doing Christian work. Paul was saying that people doing Christian work should not be denied benefits and receive financial support lest they wear out from all the pressure and work. What does this mean for us today? First, people who work for the church, such as pastors, should be fairly paid for their productive work they do in their service. Then, there is a broader application for business where as a business owner, the owner should not be stingy with those who work for the business. The employees should be fairly paid for their productive work.
Truth and Spirit