Yokes

Three Abyssinian slaves in chains. The Anti-Sl...

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yoke is a wooden beam which is used between a pair of oxen to allow them to pull a load (oxen almost always work in pairs). It can be used to help plow fields. There are several types, used in different cultures, and for different types of oxen. A pair of oxen is also called a yoke of oxen, and yoke is also used as a verb: “to yoke a pair of oxen”.

A yoke, a funny thing that it is and how it comes to dominate us.  I guess it helps that we are wearing blinders when we come under its control.  We have been beaten into submission of the world and other influences.  We rationalize the oppressors in our lives and we freely give in.  The evil one, has convinced us that it is all our choice and we are free to do as we please.  You could say that it is second nature as to how easy it is to submit to these yokes of slavery.  But something happens, I can’t say how long it takes but there is a point in time when the blinders are removed.  They are removed but its not by our own doing.  Our hands and feet are not free but bare the burden of the hoof wearing the blacksmith’s shoes.  We are mere oxen, head down grinding out life because our intellect says that there is no God.  Our minds are clouded with pride, our hearts are confused with mix emotions and the will is in bondage to Egypt.   The task master is so hands off, all he has to do is whisper and we run.  But in the midst of the bondage of the yoke we cry out.  We cry out because our eyes now see but the plantation has been infiltrated by a man looking like a common slave.  His love has removed the blinders and He puts on a mixture of spit and clay.   His assistant washes our eyes and we see the yoke.  There will be some who are to afraid of true liberty and they cry to stay with Pharaoh.   They will long for the yoke being afraid to follow the emancipator.  What scares the rest is that the liberator removes one yoke and presents another.  But it is easier and will not lead to death grinding away in a endless circle. eating when feed resting when allowed.  His yoke leads to true freedom in being used for your purpose.  There are so many being misused thinking that they are free.  The square peg is wearing down its corners trying to fit in the wrong place.  The freedom of the square peg has found a new yoke…

How can a slave love a cruel master?  We freely subject ourselves to the domination of sin thinking that its freedom.  The freedom in sin is the wrath of God or His removal of grace.  To give in to the yoke of sin is to commit suicide slowly.  It is to look God in the face and say I rather death, pain and the fires of Hell then to follow your Son Jesus Christ.  To reject Christ is to leave nothing to defend yourself against the justice of God.  As a Christian, think of this… The next time you meet someone who doesn’t know the Gospel or someone who refuses Christ claiming that they can find the Father on their own.  Know that they are baring a yoke that demands the justice of God.  There is nothing Satan can do to them that is worse than God’s justice.   To love your enemies is to share the Gospel with them.  To love your neighbor as yourself is to lift up Christ.  To do the great commission is to obey the two great commandments…..

Mark 12

28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f] 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g]There is no commandment greater than these.”

32“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

34When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

Exodus 6:5-7 (New International Version)

5 Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.

6 “Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.

Leviticus 26:12-18 (New International Version)

12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.

Punishment for Disobedience

14 ” ‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands, 15 and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant, 16 then I will do this to you: I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it. 17 I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no one is pursuing you.18 ” ‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over.

Psalm 106:27-29 (New International Version)

27 make their descendants fall among the nations
and scatter them throughout the lands.

28 They yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor
and ate sacrifices offered to lifeless gods;

29 they provoked the LORD to anger by their wicked deeds,
and a plague broke out among them.

Jeremiah 2:19-22 (New International Version)

19 Your wickedness will punish you;
your backsliding will rebuke you.
Consider then and realize
how evil and bitter it is for you
when you forsake the LORD your God
and have no awe of me,”
declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.

20 “Long ago you broke off your yoke
and tore off your bonds;
you said, ‘I will not serve you!’
Indeed, on every high hill
and under every spreading tree
you lay down as a prostitute.

21 I had planted you like a choice vine
of sound and reliable stock.
How then did you turn against me
into a corrupt, wild vine?

22 Although you wash yourself with soda
and use an abundance of soap,
the stain of your guilt is still before me,”
declares the Sovereign LORD.

Matthew 11:28-30 (New International Version)

28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (New International Version)

Do Not Be Yoked With Unbelievers

14Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial[a]? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”[b]
17“Therefore come out from them
and be separate, says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you.”[c]
18“I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”[d]

Acts 15:9-11 (New International Version)

9He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?11No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

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7 Responses to “Yokes”
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