Yoke- a device for joining together a pair of draft animals, especially oxen, usually consisting of a crosspiece with two bow-shapedpieces, each enclosing the head of an animal. A yoke joins the two animals so that the burden or load is shared by both.
My friend Rachel called me Monday and we took a few minutes discussing that very common verse in Matthew. "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew 11:30)
Later I was doing some study in the OT and I was reminded of this conversation. God has always been in the business of "yoking". He wants to tie us to Himself so that we can SHARE the burden. God has never promised us that He would take our whole burden. Let me explain that statement. There are certain things (that we would call burdens) that in reality aren't "burdens" they're curses. If you go study Deuteronomy there are many things that were "cursed", and when Jesus came He did away with the curse as Galatians 3:13 says Christ redeemed us from the curse! Any circumstance you have that falls under the curse in deuteronomy 28 has already been dealt with by Jesus on the cross and yes you are promised when you enter into covenant with Him to be completely redeemed from those curses. So, that's not what is being talked about by Jesus when He says "My yoke is easy and my burden is light".
Jesus said, "In the world you will have tribulation..." These tribulations fall into the category of "burden". Persecution, bad circumstances in life, people mistreating you, these things HAPPEN, and they fall into the category of "burden". Jesus is saying BE YOKED WITH ME, MY BURDEN IS LIGHT, and I WILL SHARE THE LOAD WITH YOU! Not, "I am going to snap my fingers and immediately every hard thing in your life will disappear, but rather, let's walk through this TOGETHER".
I was reading this passage in the OT. Neh. 9:19-21 Yet in Your manifold mercies You did not forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of the cloud did not depart from them by day, To lead them on the road; Nor the pillar of fire by night, To show them light, And the way they should go. You also gave Your good Spirit to instruct them, And did not withhold Your manna from their mouth, And gave them water for their thirst. Forty years You sustained them in the wilderness; They lacked nothing; Their clothes did not wear out And their feet did not swell.
God was yoked with them even though they had made MANY mistakes. Do not ever think that God doesn't want to be "yoked" with you. He simply says "Come unto me... take my yoke upon you". You have to step into that harness and allow Him to help with your burden. God sent His Spirit (as He already has to us) to instruct them, to help them, to guide them. And through all of this wilderness He continued to feed them, water them, sustain them, THEY LACKED NOTHING. They weren't immediately taken out of the wilderness (hard circumstances), but they were taken care of in the midst of them. When we become "yoked" with the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, He's going to carry more than His fair share of that burden.
Over Thanksgiving I was in Liberty and I wanted to put a big tv in my car to bring back to Ville Platte. As I was scooting the television out of the room, my dad came into the house. Now, I'm a pretty stubborn and independent gal, but I'm no idiot. I knew that I could probably get that tv into my car and it would take me a good 20 minutes at the pace I was going OR I could ask my Dad for help and it could take less than 3 minutes. Sometimes in my stubbornness I detest asking for help, but I bit the bullet and I asked if he'd help me. My dad and I bent down to pick up the tv and all the way carrying it out to the the car this massive chunk of electronic felt like I was barely carrying a book... Why? When I asked my Dad for help he took more than his fair share weight of that burden. I had my part to play, but in reality it was nothing compared to doing it alone... Jesus' "burden is light" when we are yoked with Him.
I encourage you today, no matter your circumstances, be yoked with Jesus. You will find strength there, you will find provision there, you will find peace there. He desires to be connected to you and to take on the weight of your burden. It says in 1 Peter 5:7 "cast your cares upon Him for He cares for you". Not only is He WILLING to share your burden, but He DESIRES to share it with you.
Be Blessed, J. Tate