“Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.” (Proverbs 14:4 NLT)
There’s an old Yorkshire saying: “Where there’s muck there’s brass.” Muck is a euphemism for poo. Brass is a Yorkshire expression meaning money. So, in other words: if you have only got poo, you can make money from it.
I think that’s what this verse from Proverbs is saying as well. A clean stable would not have any muck in it, right? So if your stable is full of poo, then there are some animals there. But without any animals, you can’t do any work.
Jesus has a lot to say about harvests. But I don’t think that analogy fits in this case. Jesus’ harvests are usually the human sort, who need to be told the Good News of the resurrection. This harvest is the literal one. And a harvest is a valuable thing.
So without any poo, you can’t do any work. No poo = no money!
How clean is your stable?