“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves;… “I have broken the bands of your yoke and made you walk upright.” NKJV
“I broke the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.” NASU
“I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.” NIV
An oxen’s yoke pulls a plow for tilling hard soil in a muddy field. It is too heavy for a man of any size and strength. If he tries to carry the yoke, he will soon fall with his face in the dirt.
Harnessed to Pharaoh’s yoke, the Israelites suffered as slaves under the cruel control of Egyptian taskmasters. It was impossible for the children of God to “walk upright” with “heads held high.” The yoke was too hard and the burden was too heavy. The children of Israel in the time of Moses were without options. They were in bondage.
The opposite condition may also produce similar form of bondage. Too many options restrict, rather than expand, freedom. Like an only child of rich parents on Christmas day, he is overwhelmed by the number of gifts he can never fully appreciate. The popular notion that all ‘spiritual paths’ lead to God is an example of options overload. We have no idea which path to take. In desperation, we adopt the hope that each of them is equally as good as any of the others. We are so overwhelmed with religious choices we don’t know where to begin. We are crushed under the weight of options and miss the simple and easy truth altogether. Jesus alone can set us free.
God brought you out of the land of slavery. He set you free. He “broke the bars of your yoke” and “made you walk upright” with “heads held high.” Don’t impose upon yourself a new kind of servitude. Learn to “walk erect” with “heads held high” under the lordship of Jesus Christ. Jesus is not Pharaoh. He can be trusted with your future. You may confidently accept the claim of Christ upon your life and destiny. His yoke is easy and burden light.
“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, Matt 11:28-30 NIV
"A Long Journey with Heavy Burden" is a photo of a 2003 carving by Ye Fa-yuan at the Office of the President Republic of China Taiwan at their website (http://www.president.gov.tw).