THE YOKE OF OBEDIENCE

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still
And with all who will trust and obey

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey…

God loves us.  He loves us and wants to give us the blessings of his growing character in each one of His created.  God’s ways are always for our benefit.  So, why do we turn our backs on him?  Why, even for a minute, day. or week, do we think our way is better?  Our way is based on limited knowledge.  God’s way is based on infinite knowledge.

Jeremiah 27, The Message

Harness Yourselves Up to the Yoke

1-Early in the reign of Zedekiah son of Josiah king of Judah, Jeremiah received this Message from God: “Make a harness and a yoke and then harness yourself up. Send a message to the kings of Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon. Send it through their ambassadors who have come to Jerusalem to see Zedekiah king of Judah. Give them this charge to take back to their masters: ‘This is a Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel. Tell your masters:

5-8 “‘I’m the one who made the earth, man and woman, and all the animals in the world. I did it on my own without asking anyone’s help and I hand it out to whomever I will. Here and now I give all these lands over to my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. I have made even the wild animals subject to him. All nations will be under him, then his son, and then his grandson. Then his country’s time will be up and the tables will be turned: Babylon will be the underdog servant. But until then, any nation or kingdom that won’t submit to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon must take the yoke of the king of Babylon and harness up. I’ll punish that nation with war and starvation and disease until I’ve got them where I want them.

9-11 “‘So don’t for a minute listen to all your prophets and spiritualists and fortunetellers, who claim to know the future and who tell you not to give in to the king of Babylon. They’re handing you a line of lies, barefaced lies, that will end up putting you in exile far from home. I myself will drive you out of your lands, and that’ll be the end of you. But the nation that accepts the yoke of the king of Babylon and does what he says, I’ll let that nation stay right where it is, minding its own business.’”

12-15 Then I gave this same message to Zedekiah king of Judah: “Harness yourself up to the yoke of the king of Babylon. Serve him and his people. Live a long life! Why choose to get killed or starve to death or get sick and die, which is what God has threatened to any nation that won’t throw its lot in with Babylon? Don’t listen to the prophets who are telling you not to submit to the king of Babylon. They’re telling you lies, preaching lies. God’s Word on this is, ‘I didn’t send those prophets, but they keep preaching lies, claiming I sent them. If you listen to them, I’ll end up driving you out of here and that will be the end of you, both you and the lying prophets.’”

16-22 And finally I spoke to the priests and the people at large: “This is God’s Message: Don’t listen to the preaching of the prophets who keep telling you, ‘Trust us: The furnishings, plundered from God’s Temple, are going to be returned from Babylon any day now.’ That’s a lie. Don’t listen to them. Submit to the king of Babylon and live a long life. Why do something that will destroy this city and leave it a heap of rubble? If they are real prophets and have a Message from God, let them come to God-of-the-Angel-Armies in prayer so that the furnishings that are still left in God’s Temple, the king’s palace, and Jerusalem aren’t also lost to Babylon. That’s because God-of-the-Angel-Armies has already spoken about the Temple furnishings that remain—the pillars, the great bronze basin, the stands, and all the other bowls and chalices that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon didn’t take when he took Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim off to Babylonian exile along with all the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem. He said that the furnishings left behind in the Temple of God and in the royal palace and in Jerusalem will be taken off to Babylon and stay there until, in God’s words, ‘I take the matter up again and bring them back where they belong.’”

WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?

A yoke speaks of submission, and that is the message Jeremiah was trying to get across for God to God’s people.  I have learned that submission to God is actually the best way to relieve stress by relinquishing the pressures of independence, thinking life is all up to us to solve!  Oh, dear friends, we are not that powerful!  We are not responsible for all that this world throws at us!  And we need help to get out of the messes we make of our lives!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” –Jesus (Matthew 11:28-30)

Our immediate response is to trust and obey, for there IS no other way…to be free from the yoke we place on ourselves to achieve on our own by our own devices.  Instead take on the yoke that Jesus gives that is a much better fit, then go His way.  You will see, like I have, that His yoke (way) is indeed lighter because of His power working in and through us.  Life isn’t easy, so why make it harder by going our own way with limited power, wisdom and direction?

Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies
But His smile quickly drives it away
Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear
Can abide while we trust and obey

Oh, Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey

What these politicians Jeremiah was talking to needed was not clever strategy but submission to Babylon. Submission goes a long way to learning, growing, and maturing in God’s ways.  A true leader is a learner.  One who learns to submit to God is one to be trusted.

Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet
Or we’ll walk by His side in the way
What He says we will do, where He sends we will go
Never fear, only trust and obey

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey

(Songwriter: Barry Collecutt)

God is love.  Love drives out fear.  Submit to God.  Believe in Jesus, repent and be saved now and for eternity.  Abide in Him as He abides in us.  Apart from God life we can do nothing of significance.  With God all things are possible.  God always keeps these promises. 

Trust and obey.

Lord, God of all,

I submit to you.  I trust you, dear Jesus.  Speak to my heart for I am listening.  I am yours.

In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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