Emily Belle Freeman
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THIS IS MY JOY

AND MY GREAT REJOICING

Sometimes Life Requires Us to Shoulder a Heavy Load

Isaiah 8:14 - Isaiah 13:17

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When you think of the word yoke, you probably think of the wooden yoke with two sides, used by a pair of oxen.

But have you ever seen a single yoke?

This type of yoke is made of leather, and used by a horse required to pull an oppressive or burdensome load.

It is the thickness that strikes me first.

The sturdiness of the leather, the structure of the design.  Immediately it becomes clear that the yoke cannot be removed by the one who is harnessed in it.  It has been crafted to withstand intense pressure, maximum loads, exhaustive work.

I look at it carefully and I think to myself, I do not ever want to be yoked to something that is oppressive or burdensome...

And I can't help but notice the strength of the metal rungs...the circular piece that connects the yoke to the heavy load.  Do you see the metal piece, laid within the leather, meant to never be broken?

I focus on the details, the imagery, and I think of my life.

Perhaps we are not yoked to heavy equipment meant to be drug through fields or furrows.  But do we know the oppression of being yoked in our world today?  I think of those who are burdened by debt, by addiction, by sorrow, by fear.

Sometimes life requires us to shoulder a heavy load.

One we might not have chosen.  One from which we cannot get free.

And sometimes the burden comes from the one who entangles, the one who speaks lies, the one who is intent on destroying all that is good.  His burden, his yoke, is one that holds us back, that oppresses, that leads to great sorrow.

If we are yoked to this type of burden, or if someone who is dear to us shoulders this kind of load, we must remember that all is not lost...

"And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing."  (Isaiah 10:27)

Because of the anointing.

The Bible Dictionary explains that "the English word Christ is from a Greek word meaning anointed, and is the equivalent of Messiah, which is from a Hebrew and Aramaic term meaning anointed."

There is One who can give us rest from bondage...who can remove the yoke.

The Anointed One.

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me... to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; ...to comfort all that mourn; to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." (Isaiah 61:1-3)

He is Jesus Christ, the Holy One of Israel, the Anointed One.  He offers rest.  Relief from oppression.  He will make our burdens light.  (Matthew 11:30)

"And it shall come to pass...that the Lord shall give thee rest from thy sorrow, and from thy fear, and from the hard bondage wherein thou wast made to serve."  (Isaiah 14:3)

Are you in bondage?

Do you know someone close to you who is yoked to something oppressive or burdensome?

Turn to the Lord.  The Anointed One.  Jesus Christ.  The Messiah.  The yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing.

Because of Him.

Through Him.

Emily Freeman