Wearing a Yoke from our Youth: Part I
"It is good for a man, when he hath borne the yoke from his youth." Lamentations 3:27
"For my yoke is sweet (Latin word meaning pleasant, agreeable, easy) and my burden light.." Matthew 11:30
"I can do all these things in him (Christ) who strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13
The writer of Lamentations said, "It is good for a man, when he hath borne the yoke from his youth."
A yoke is not a burden. A yoke is something that helps you bear the burden. A burden must be borne. The yoke is something that helps you bear it.
We all have burdens and many people have Yokes, but a Christian has a yoke that comes from Christ himself. That is why Jesus said, "My yoke is sweet and pleasant and easy and my burden is light." Did you ever wonder about that scripture "My yoke is sweet and my burden is light"? We are told that we are going to have tribulations and persecutions and trials if you become a Christian. In other words your burdens are the tribulations and persecutions and trials we go through every day. Jesus said, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." Here is what He means. It means the Lord gives you a yoke for your burden for your tribulation and for your trial. But not only is the Yoke His, but the Burden is also His.
Look at the verse again...."My yoke is sweet and pleasant and easy and my burden is light."
If you were able to ask a mule, He would explain to you that it is easier to carry the burden with the yoke. The yoke makes it easier to pull the burden. And that's why the Lord said, "My yoke is sweet, and if you get yoked up with me, my burden is lighter." Don't you see—all of us have burdens to carry. "The rain falleth on the just and the unjust." We go to the same cemeteries to weep and mourn. We go to the same funeral home to mourn our loved ones. We go to the same hospitals to have surgery. We have the same burdens and heartaches. All of us have the same.
Now the difference between the Christian and the non-Christian is: each has a burden, but the Christian has a burden that is Christ's burden and every Christian has a Yoke that is Christ's Yoke!
And the Yoke he wants you to share in is easy, its agreeable, its a pleasant yoke, it is a sweet yoke. And His burden that he wants to pull along side you with, is a light burden!
Mercy is not to be taken lightly. We must never become presumptuous with mercy. When we treat mercy like a "get out of jail free" card we are in danger of presuming on mercy and could face the chastening hand of God. Mercy is a pardon for sin not a pardon to sin. Mercy is for our penchant to fail not permission to fail. When we think of mercy we must never forget the price God paid to extend to us his mercy.
Presuming on mercy would be like spitting in the police officer's face when he decided to let you off without a ticket you deserved. It is cursing the judge who dismissed the charges against you knowing full well you are guilty and deserve judgement. Do not take God for granted by forgetting that our reaction to mercy ought to be deeper repentance not more sin.
Mercy does not make my sins one iota more acceptable to God. It makes me acceptable to God and responsible to submit to his plan of purifying my life from my sin.