I. Yoked Together
A. Deuteronomy 22:10 - "Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together"
a. Proverbs 14:14 - Oxen: Strength of yokable ministry
a. Job 39:5 - Asses: Stubbornness of undisciplined ministry
b. Exodus 13:13 - Unacceptable sacrifice
c. Genesis 16:12 (NIV) - Ishmael ... a wild donkey of a man.
B. Traditional Reasoning: Clean Verses Unclean Animals
* Truth! But not like you think
C. More Truth (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown, Commentary on the Whole Bible)
1. When yoked together, asses try to bite oxen ... it's their nature!
2. Asses like to feed on poisonous weeds that produce toxic breath.
3. Oxen yoked together with asses tend to turn their heads away from the ass.
4. When the ox turns, his shoulders twist thereby putting his load on only one shoulder.
5. When the ox twists in the harness, the ass is loosed from the weight of the load.
6. An ass that is not pulling a load begins to wander in the harness and balks.
7. An ox left yoked with an ass, smelling the toxic breath will:
a. get sickly and weakened.
b. result in eventual death.
D. Conclusion: When yoked together with an ass, the ox will walk with his head turned so as to avoid getting bit and also to avoid having to put up with what is coming out of the ass's mouth. When the ox turns, he can only pull with half of his strength and puts a great stress on his body. Not only does the ox cut his strength over one half, but also releases the ass from pulling his share of the load. Now the ox is pulling the whole load with less than half of his strength, leaving the ass free to wander, bite, stop and graze, and eventually balk. So the ox that is yoked together with the ass is in for a tough time of pulling the whole load, while avoiding injury, putting great stress on himself and pulling a balking ass along with the whole weight of the load. He is also severely in danger of getting sickly and weak and even dying.
II. The Terrible Truth About Asses
A. Dumb Asses
1. 1 Timothy 1:12-13 - did it ignorantly
2. Luke 12:48 - knew it not...few stripes
B. Smart Asses
1. Luke 12:47 - knew it...many stripes
2. Proverbs 26:12 - more hope for a fool than for him
3. James 4:17 - To know to do good and do it not
III. Conclusion: "Don't Be An Ass!"
A. I'd Rather Be a Dumb Ox Than a Smart Ass!
1 Corinthians 4:10 - Fools for Christ's sake
B. The Ox:
1. may be slow moving
2. may be thick skinned
3. may be a little pushy at times
4. may be strong enough to hold his own in a fight
5. may eat a lot more than an ass
6. may even mess a lot more, but ...
7. will make a tried and true yokefellow