Which Yoke?

Read Jeremiah 28:1-11   God has often spoken to His man and required him to do strange things.   Ezekiel was to go into the city, and take a tile and make a little Jerusalem on it. He was to then have a play attack on the city. He was to then pile up some food and lay on his left side for 390 days then on his right side for 40 days.  Hosea was to marry a prostitute. Isaiah was to walk around unclothed for 3 years.
 
Many other times God chose to have prophets do unusual things to illustrate to the people the truth that God was trying to teach them.  And we have a similar example here in our story. Jeremiah had a yoke of wood upon his neck. The wooden yoke represented the relatively easy to that point captivity of Babylon.   But lying prophets had been preaching that God was about to strike down Babylon and remove the yoke of wood. If fact, Hananiah took the yoke off Jeremiah and broke it in front of all the people to illustrate this point. He claimed the captivity would end in 2 years.   But God had other plans. He spoke to Jeremiah and told him to go to Hananiah. In verse 12, God told Jeremiah that Hananiah had broken the yoke of wood, but had replaced it with a yoke of iron.
 
The lying prophets had deceived the people. They had preached what the people had wanted to hear. They had given them good news, but not God’s word.   And because they had chosen to believe this lie, God had given them harder bondage, a more thorough destruction. Babylon was going to make their lives hard, their captivity more difficult. Because the people had not turned back to God.  But there is more to this than just the Babylonians.   The people of Israel had long complained about their lives. They had been given the law, God had told them what He wanted them to do. But there were restrictions. Things they could not eat, places they could no go, ceremonies they had to perform.   THEY WERE GIVEN A YOKE OF WOOD.   There was inconvenience. They were not supposed to look like the Heathen. There were places the Heathen went that they could not go. There were things the Heathen did that they were not supposed to do. It was a yoke, but it was light.   God was using this yoke to protect them from a heavier yoke – bondage to sin.   That yoke is heavy, that yoke can crush. The things they could not do, things they could not say, places they could not go were there to protect them, not punish them. 
 
It is the same for us today. As Christians, we also have a yoke of wood. It’s called separation. There are places we should not go. There are things we should not do There is music we should not listen to. There are TV shows we should not watch. There are books and magazines we should not read. NOT AS A PUNISHMENT – but as a protection     God knows the weight of a yoke of iron. He knows the end result of a bondage to sin   How about you today?  Are you casting off that yoke of wood? You’ll take a yoke of iron. You either serve God or the world. You either follow Christ or man. You either live for the Lord or live for self. You can’t do both. What yoke will you take?