I love the ESV Study Bible’s comment on this verse:
“If the strength of the ox is the means for plowing the ground to produce abundant crops, then keeping oxen in a stable is a necessary part of the overall labor, even though it involves the unpleasant work of cleaning the stable. An empty stable may be clean (thus not requiring any unpleasant work), but it won’t produce any abundance.”
I know too many people, and I’ve been there myself, whose only goal in life is order and cleanliness. Do I hear an “amen!” from any other OCD types? But we are fooling ourselves if we think that there is great reward in achieving the “museum house” or “show car.” What an empty life—there is no harvest of “abundant crops.”
And how can this obsession with organization honor Christ? Yes, one day God will make all things new and put everything back into its proper place. In the mean time, we, His servants, have been called to see the greater need of dilapidated and dirty lives wrecked by the Fall. The command is for us to go into all the world, rolling up our sleeves and serving. This is messy business, but the return on our labor is tangible and eternal—so much more than an inflexible schedule and pristine house.