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The references to yoke in the Bible have less than favorable meanings in most scripture. It was mostly used to describe slavery of some sort whether it was the Israelites in Egyptian bondage or those who were slaves to idols and sin. Other times it was used to describe one’s burdens. The idea is meant as a coupling to something or someone. In Matthew 11, yoke is used to describe how to lessen one’s burden by putting on the yoke of Jesus:

 

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

 

Wooden yokes are bulky and cumbersome, particularly a double yoke. My grandmother had bow yoke hanging above her fireplace. This one had been passed down through the family. These big things were carved/cut from wood usually used for oxen or other work animal such as mules. Hers was all wood but sometimes the bow part was made from metal as seen in this photo.

wikipedia

 

Math principle…one animal can do a certain amount of work but using two animals pulling together (that’s the key) can increase production. However, wearing a double yoke is not as easy as one would think. First there is the weight of the yoke itself and then the animals/humans must learn to walk in accordance with the other to pull and work together. It sounds easy but cooperation is needed—willingness to give and compromise.

 

A single yoke means responsibility, commitment. We all have burdens to bear to some extent depending on what we are working toward or our situation. A double yoke means that if we cooperate, we have someone to help us along. This lessens our load. As we muddle through life struggling under the weight of our single yoke, we bog down and can’t get up at times. Jesus offers us a lighter yoke, one that when accepted shows us how to walk and use our yokes to the best of our abilities even strengthening our capabilities. If we choose Jesus, if choose God, He will help us with our burdens.

 

Psalm 55:22 says:


Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken. (NIV)

 

Take a minute and see what you are yoked to. Is it a healthy situation? Can you improve? Can you help someone else to bear their burdens—their cares—their problems?

 

Isaiah 40 28b-31says:

 

He [God] will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. (NIV)

 

And, Proverbs 3 says:

 

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. (NIV)

 

A yoke. The yoke of Jesus is not meant to be a burden in the Christian sense. It is meant to help ease our burdens.

 

May you grow in strength as you trust in the Lord and may your day be so richly blessed!  🙂

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