Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Have you ever considered the yoke? I have seen pictures of one and it seems like it would really be heavy. (It might even be as heavy as carrying the cross bar of a cross.) Later, I will tell you about a new, lighter version of a yoke. Yokes are intended to harness two animals together to double work production. Of course, that idea is based upon the assumption that both animals are of equal strength. If one of the animals is weaker, or less inclined to do its part, the production is reduced accordingly. That is why it is very important that the two are equal. Paul, in writing to the Church at Corinth about being joined together with unbelievers, told them not to "team up" with them (2 Cor. 6:14). I have heard horror stories about marriages and business partnerships that have been a disaster because the parties did not have an equal relationship with God. Unfortunately, if you are the partner that is a Christian, you are to make the best of it. Paul wrote in an earlier letter that a believing husband or wife is to remain in the relationship, but if the unbelieving partner desires to separate, then the believer is released from their obligation (1 Cor. 7:10-16).

The yoke is often used as a metaphor in Scripture for being in bondage as a slave (Gen. 27:40; Lev. 26:13; Deut. 28:48; etc.). The Old Testament prophets were always speaking of Israel being under the yoke of bondage, or threatening that bondage lies in Israel's future. Today, we speak of the Egyptian bondage, and understand the same could be said for Israel's Babylonian captivity. Israel suffered a series of the same under Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. While the six were vastly different in many ways, the one thing they had in common was Israel's bondage.

Like many of the miracles done by Jesus Christ which defied the natural laws of the Universe, His use of the concept of being yoked is no less a miracle. He walked on water, fed thousands with a single lunch, changed water into wine, healed the sick, raised the dead, and spoke to the wind and raging sea. He defied the grave with His resurrection and gravity with His Ascension. But, His wanting us to be yoked with Him is perhaps a greater contradiction of logic. How can we be EQUALLY YOKED with Him? He is the Creator of the Universe; we are His creation. He is all-powerful; we are powerless. He is Holy; we are sinners. He knows which direction to go; we haven't a clue. There is absolutely no way that we will ever be equally yoked with Jesus.

Another anomaly is that He has a yoke! Why would Almighty God become a Servant under the bondage of a yoke? And what about that yoke? He describes it as easy and light (Matt. 11:29-30). Yokes are not light! Unless..... He is carrying all the weight. So, let me get this straight. He took my load of sin on the cross: I am saved. Now, He wants to help me do the work He has assigned for me to do (Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Cor. 3:12-15; Eph. 2:10; Phil. 2:13; Tim. 2:15; Heb. 10:24; etc.). Wow! I thank God that He is willing to be UNEQUALLY YOKED with me! What an awesome God we serve!

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