The Ox and Donkey Know Their Master

Image courtesy of Juan Gnecco /

"An ox knows its owner,
And a donkey its master's manger,
But Israel does not know,
My people do not understand."

Isaiah 1:3 (NASB)

This verse must be one of the most depressing verses in the Bible.  Livestock know where their bread is buttered, but intelligent men and women are clueless.  Often they are even more than clueless; they aren't even looking.

What is even more terrible is that this verse is not about some heathen nation bent on destroying the nation of Israel, though there were plenty of those.  This verse is about Israel.  God's chosen people.  The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  The ones who made a covenant with God.

I realize that being part of ancient Israel is not the same thing as being a Christian today, but in the same way as Israel should have known better, we should know better as well.  But how much of our lives do we spend acting as if our lives are our own?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 is in the middle of a passage on sexual immorality, but Paul makes a statement there that we should all remember, in all situations:  

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?  For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body."  (NASB)

It is not popular to say that our lives are not our own, that our choices are not ours to make, and I don't believe that God does not want our input, but I do believe that God should be a significant part of the choices we make.  And sometimes choices come with a distinct right or wrong answer that we can only discover by seeking God.  

We should definitely be consulting Him on major decisions such as marriage, children, and careers, but we should also be open to direction in other things.  If we are willing to keep our spiritual ears open for His direction, He might tell us where to eat lunch.  A fast food burger or a burrito may not be a spiritual issue, but the friend you run into while waiting in line might be needing the kind words or wise advice you have to offer.  The restaurant employee you offer a compliment to may need that very thing to carry them through the rest of their workday.

As believers, we should be aware of God's leading, remembering who we belong to, expecting to be used by Him.

In what ways, big or small, have you followed God's leading and had surprising or unexpected results?

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