(Jeremiah 24:1-10; 27:1-22; 28:1-17; 29:1-32
Two Bulls Wearing a Yoke
By Henri de Toulouse-Latrec
Jeremiah, an Old Testament prophet of the Lord, declared God’s Word to His people. Taken into captivity by King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians, the children of God moaned and sought a message of hope.
False prophets arose, as they so often do, foretelling quick deliverance to satisfy the desires of the people.
But Jeremiah received a vision from the Lord. God revealed to Jeremiah that His people would remain exiled in Babylon for 70 years. The Lord instructed Jeremiah to make a yoke and wear it as a visual message.
What is a yoke?
Traditionally, yokes have been used to harness and control agricultural animals, serving as beasts of burden or laboring power. Pairs of oxen, for example, may be yoked together to pull plows or heavy wagons.
The yoke has also become known, throughout much of human history, as a symbol of enslavement.
The Lord warned Jeremiah that false prophets would claim power to break the Babylonian yoke of slavery of God’s people. But God Himself declared that only He could truly free them.
“'They will be taken to Babylon,
and there they will remain
until the day I come for them,'
declares the Lord.
'Then I will bring them back
and restore them to this place.'"
False prophets did indeed promise quick fixes for the people’s plight. In fact, the prophet Hananiah actually broke the wooden yoke from Jeremiah, claiming the Lord would free His people within two years. This message proved false, and Hananiah himself died within the year.
God is the yoke-breaker.
The Lord Jehovah is our Deliverer, our freedom fighter and the breaker of every bondage we may face. Will we call upon Him passionately, seeking His answer in His timing?
Will you pray with me?
We call upon your name.
Break the yokes
That hold us back
From the abundant life
You have planned for us.
Sever multi-generational chains,
And smash molds
That block us
All You created us to be.
We only live to honor You.