Vol. 5, No. 5
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In biblical times, most farmers had at least one ox or one donkey. He would use these animals to work his field and to carry loads. The animal was very valuable to the farmer. He took very good care of his animal. The animal grew to know his master very well. He would follow his master wherever he went.
At the end of the day, the farmers would come back into the town from the field. Many times, he did not have to lead his ox or donkey to the house. The animal knew the way to go and would just go there on his own. Even though the animal might have to make many turns down many small streets, he would know exactly where to go. He knew his crib (the place for him to sleep and to eat) was in his master's house.
In Isaiah 1:3-4, we read,
"The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward."
The nation of Israel had become less wise than an ox or a donkey. The animals would go to their master's home. The animals would follow their master. But the people of Israel refused to do such with their God. And God was condemning them for not following him.
I do not want to be like the people of the passage above. I do not think you do either. You must study your Bible and learn what God wants you to do. You must learn all about your Master. He thinks you are very valuable. And he loves you. He has given us a home with the church if we will do what he says. And there is a final home in heaven for those who obey him.
Many, many years ago there lived a very powerful king named Xerxes. Xerxes, though loaded with all the prizes and gifts of fortune, was content neither with his cavalry, nor his foot soldiers, nor with the multitude of his ships, nor with his incalculable amount of gold, but offered a reward to the man, who should invent a new pleasure. And yet, with this very pleasure he was not content; so true is it that unbridled desires will never find a limit. (Short Tales and Anecdotes From Ancient History by William Smith, 1866, p.12)
King Xerxes thought that happiness could come from owning things. He thought that having power would make him happy. So, he was always trying to get more of both. Yet, he could not find anything that completely fulfilled his desire for contentment.
In Hebrews 13:5, we are told to be content with the things we have. This does not mean that we do not continue to use our talents to obtain more things. It does mean, though, that we are not to be unhappy with what we have. We are to understand that what we have comes from God. And, we are to understand that what we have is to be used in service of God.
We also should learn that our hope for happiness is not in the things we possess or in the power we have. Our happiness is in God. Serving him and doing his will is what will bring true happiness. "Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God" (Psalm 146:5).
Learn to be content. Study the Bible and learn where true contentment comes from. And, if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.