Yesterday, when I woke up I was thinking about people who had made bad decisions for what seemed like good reasons. Somehow, I suspect some help from God, I ended up in Isaiah 58. Most of the rest of the day I was thinking about “yokes”. No, not yolks, yokes.
A yoke is a harness that was used to control large powerful draft animals, often oxen weighing 500 pounds or more. The yoke was solid and once it was on, the animal could not get free and was compelled to go were directed, pulling a wagon or a plow for example.
As I was thinking and praying about the things I wrote, especially about Isaiah 58:9, I came to thinking about how we put yokes on other people and how we end up with yokes that others put on us and sometimes we put on ourselves.
Christians may be the worse. I am sure it is more wretched for Christians to do than for anyone else. We are following Jesus, right? Jesus came to break the yokes and loose the bonds that hold us down and set us free to become like him.
When we see someone with a lot of tattoos (whatever that means), what do we think? Even if we talk kindly to them how do we view them? We are such hypocrites! Well maybe not you, but I certainly am. It doesn’t stop with ink. What about homosexuals, prostitutes, people of another race or political persuasion? What about people who go to another church or don’t go to any church?
LABELS! They are the same as a yoke. We have learned these things from infancy. They are buried deeply in our minds and hearts.
Jesus came and redeemed us from all of our sin and to remove the yokes that bind us. This means the yokes that we wear because of bad decisions we have made. It also means the yokes we place on others because we are still trying to be judges. These latter keep us from being salt and light in this dark world.
These things are so subtle and so powerful that we must have God’s help to be rid of them. I must humble myself, pray and mourn and seek God’s grace here. And He will be our help and salvation.