Under the Yoke
The Bible has a great deal to say about various kinds of "yokes".
Every human being is destined to wear a yoke. In that we resist calling things by their right name, we don't refer to religious bondage as being a yoke.
Lev.26: 13 Regarding the "yoke of Egypt", the Lord reminds Israel I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright. It is certain they related their back bending yoke to brick kilns, constructing tombs, edifices, and building legacies for celebrated Pharaohs.
When we think of yokes we think of oxen. For many centuries oxen were beasts of burden and essential to livelihood. Oxen, yokes and goads are emphasized in Scripture to teach us spiritual lessons. To utilize ox-power a yoke was absolutely essential.
A yoke means a coupling. One may have a powerful engine and the finest rail cars; without a coupling they will never be a train. The balance beam connecting the scales is called a yoke. Being yoked results in a very delicate weighing process.
When I was in grade school, in 1922, I had an experience in the Principal's office with a devise called a paddle. I always behaved after that because I associated misbehavior with pain.
A goad is a directing rod, an obedience tool. It is about eight feet long, spiked on one end for pricking and gouging; it is iron shod on the other end for cleaning plows, (giving birth to the axiom, when one was severely beaten, they had their plow cleaned).
The Goad teaches the ox that he is an ox and to recognize it. The goad teaches the ox that he has to control his desire to throw off the yoke. The goad teaches the ox to stop behaving like an ox.
The lesson: If you are under the Goad, you are wearing the wrong Yoke.
On the road to Damascus, Jesus reminded Saul of Tarsus, "It is hard for you to kick against the goads." That experience not only caused Paul to change Yokes, it caused him to receive new sight, change burdens and see things in a new Light.
Paul in his epistles does not belittle his former Yoke. He sees it as a necessity to bring him to the, "Yoke of Yokes." In his New Creation Sight, neither does he belittle his Hebrew heritage; he counts it as dung (fertilizer), that he might gain Christ. Phil.3: 8
Matthew 11:29-30 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I Will Give You Rest. Take My Yoke upon You and Learn of Me, For My Yoke is Easy and My Burden is Light." Not hard Yoke, heavy burden, versus no Yoke; but Easy Yoke, light burden, versus hard Yoke, heavy burden. "Learn of Me" John 14:26 "The Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, HE WILL TEACH YOU."
What a transition!! From a heavy yoke with a Goad to an Easy Yoke with a Master Teacher. Christ in You the Hope of Glory!!!!! Which Yoke are You Wearing ????
Don Murphy ©August 1998
Under the Yoke