“You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Deuteronomy 25:4
Fairness is essential for us to live peacefully and equitably with each other, and it carries through into all aspects of life. The concept of fairness has been around since the dawn of humanity and is rooted in religious teachings such as Deuteronomy 25:16. This verse speaks to the need for impartiality that should exist between people when making decisions or engaging in business transactions. At its core, fairness requires an even-handedness that recognizes the potential consequences of one’s actions on another person. It means treating everyone with respect regardless of their background or circumstances.
On a larger scale, fairness takes on many forms, including laws and regulations that ensure social justice for everyone. The image of a seesaw helps to illustrate this concept – when both sides are weighted evenly, the seesaw stays perfectly balanced. If one side has more weight than the other, even if only slightly, the balance tips towards one side until it returns to equilibrium. In order for conditions on either side of the seesaw to stay equal or even close, fairness must be applied evenly so that both sides can benefit from stability.
Deuteronomy 24:14 says, “Do not oppress a hired hand who is poor and needy, whether he is a brother or a foreigner residing in one of your towns.”
Balance of Fairness means recognizing power imbalances between individuals or groups and striving for equality wherever possible. And it also means creating systems that promote justice rather than perpetuate inequality or injustice. As Christians, we are called to follow God’s laws in the Bible. One of these laws is found in Deuteronomy 25:4, which says, “Don’t muzzle the ox while it’s treading out the grain.” This law is often called the “balance of fairness” because it is designed to ensure everyone is treated fairly. In ancient times, oxen were used to help farmers grind grain into flour.
The oxen were given food and water, but they were also often muzzled to keep them from eating the grain. This law ensured that the oxen would be treated fairly by preventing the farmer from preventing them from eating. This law is just as relevant today as it was in ancient times. It reminds us that we should always treat others fairly, even if it is inconvenient for us. We should never muzzle the oxen, but we should also ensure that everyone is allowed to eat. 1 Timothy 5:18 says, “For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and, “The worker is worthy of his wages.”
1. Oh Lord, grant me a heart of fairness and be willing to listen without bias or prejudice; Help me to make decisions based on evidence rather than hearsay or assumptions.
2. May the Lord show you compassion and mercy when making decisions that impact you and others around you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.