Tonight I am going to write this article to you about and of the word yoke. I am going to speak to you of the literal and of the spiritual forms of this word. In Mr. Websters Dictionary you find the definition written as “A wooden bar put across the necks of two animals to hold them together to plow. A bond or tie, to put on a yoke, to couple, unite.” In my King James version (KJV) of the Bible, in its index the word yoke is used figuratively in a few places also. There are seven examples given that I would like to touch on. In the book of Deuteronomy 28:47-49 God spoke to the people of Israel through His servant Moses because they had refused to follow the commandments that God had already given them. Please consider God’s words to the people of Israel. “Because you have not served the Lord you God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all your things. Therefore you shall serve your enemies which I shall send against you. I shall send a nation against you. You shall be hungry and thirsty and naked and in want of all things: And he shall put a yoke of iron upon your neck until he has destroyed you. I shall bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, as swift as an eagle fly’s: A nation whose language you will not understand.” Now, readers if you do not believe that the Lord is capable of anger and fury upon the nation of Israel who are ‘His chosen people’ then please read on through verse 63. If you can picture these horrific conditions in your mind’s eye. For those of you whom do not believe that God would pour out His wrath upon His creatures that He has made simply do not know what the Scriptures say, or they simply do not choose to believe that the Bible is God’s word. Please read, learn and understand your Creator a little better. Ignorance is not beautiful and ignorance will cost you your own life twice.
In the book of First Kings 12: 4-14 you find another type of yoke, the type that a King or government can put upon their own people and some of the consequences there of. After the death of King Solomon who was the son of King David had died his son Rehoboam was made King of Israel. The people of Israel came to their new king and asked that the physical and financial burden lightened from that which his dad had placed upon them. The new king consulted with the older men whom had been consultants for his dad and they told him that it would be a good idea to listen to the people and lighten his yoke upon them. Unfortunately the new king also consulted his friends that he grew up with and they told him that he should instead greatly increase their burdens. When the people came back to hear what the king had to say they were told that un-wisdom of his young friends. The people then told the king that they would no longer have anything to do with the ‘House of David’ and left. Jerusalem is located in the tribal land of Judah which is in southern Israel so the ten northern tribes removed themselves from the alliance with the only other of the twelve tribes staying loyal to the new king was the tribe of Benjamin. Cause and effect folks, for each action there tends to be a reaction. In the book of Jeremiah 27:8 you see the term yoke used in regard to one Nation upon another Nation because of them not following the Lords will.
In the book of Lamentations 1: 12-19 you see where the Lord laid a horrible yoke upon Judah and Jerusalem because they had turned their back on the Lord and His commandments and chose instead to serve sin. In a very real sense the Bible is a history book for all people to learn from because if we do not learn from our ignorance and stupidity, we do tend to repeat those errors again and again. We humans refuse to learn then we sit and wonder why our Lord is allowing us to be treated so badly. This is a truth that isn’t exclusive to 3,000 years ago, if we choose to act evil and stupid God does place burdens upon us today that if we preformed our lives in a more Godly manner we would not be having to face. If a father or mother will not chasten and correct their own child then they do not love the child.
In Galatians 5: 1 the Apostle Paul wrote “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherein Christ has made us free and do not get entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” You see, the Old Testament is the ‘old law’ to the house of Israel. This Law is of the commandment’s that the people of Israel had to obey just like what a government or police agency does today. A person before the time of the resurrection of Christ could be saved from Hell’s fire and torment if they simply obeyed the commandments so in a sense, he could save himself as long as he did as told. In the first century A.D. the Christian religion was against the law of the Roman Empire and because they were being drug out of their homes and killed there were many of the Jewish converts that wanted to go back to the old law so that they would not be killed by the Jewish authorities and the Romans. Paul was telling them that they could not go back to the old ‘yoke’ of Judaism and still be saved from the second death which is Hell, the separation from God is the second death. We are all saved by the law of the Grace of God since Christ arose from the dead. Just obeying the commandment’s of God is not enough any longer because if we do not love God and have faith in Him, we are dead already.
During the ‘Old Law’ the Hebrew people were forbidden to marry outside the ‘House of Israel’. In the book of 2nd Corinthians 6: 14 the Apostle Paul spoke of the yoke of hardship that is placed upon a Christian who marries outside the Christian faith but he nor God disallowed it any longer. We are also told that if you are married to a non-Christian and that person chooses to leave you to just let them go. This is their sin and their sin is not going to be held against you but we are all commanded to act in a Christian manner in our marriage even when we are not married to a Christian.
I am going to close this post tonight with something that I have never done in any of my posts before. These words you will be able to find in the book of Matthew 11: 28-30. These are words from Jesus/Yahshua (the Hebrew translation) to everyone whom would ever be on Earth from that moment forward. “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me: for I am meek and lowly in heart and you shall find rest unto your Souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” With these words, the words of the Savior of the whole world, our Lord and your Lord Jesus Christ, I bid you goodnight.