The Yoke In The Youthful Age
Most probably it was Jeremiah who wrote the book of Lamentations. So, while he was a righteous man and spoke the Word of the Lord in truth to God’s people, it is an eye-opener to see, from Lamentations 3, that he also suffered pain and intense grief on seeing the sufferings of God’s people, on account of their captivity and God’s discipline that came upon them, because of their rebellious deeds, vs 1-17,19,20, 51!
In his anguish and deep despair, he still dared to cry out to the Lord, although his endurance had expired and he had lost all hope of deliverance, vs 18.
What gave him hope to cry out to God, vs 21,24, was the remembrance of God’s loyal kindness that never ceased and His compassions that never ended, vs 22, which were, infact, fresh every morning, besides the Lord also being abundant in faithfulness, vs 23. Yes, he still knew deep down in his heart that the Lord was good to those who trusted in Him, sought him and waited patiently for His deliverance, while submitting themselves under the disciplining hand of the Lord in silence and penitence, vs 25-30.
For he was confident that the Lord would not reject forever, a person who sought Him in this manner vs 31. He knew that although God causes us grief on account of our sins, yet, as we respond in humility, He shows us compassion and loving kindness, for it is not God’s nature to grieve or afflict His people needlessly or unjustly, vs 32-36. Yes, he is also assured that nothing happens to God’s people without God knowing or permitting the same, vs 37,38. So he feels that the best response on our part under such circumstances would be to refrain from complaining about the punishment given to us on account of our sins, vs 39, but on the other hand, to carefully examine our ways and return to the Lord in surrender, while acknowledging that we have blatantly rebelled against Him, vs 40-42.
For until then, His disciplining hand would continue to be upon us, our prayers wouldn’t be heard by Him, we would be like filthy scum among the Nations, our enemies would gloat over us, our tears would not cease and panic, pitfall, destruction and devastation would continue to ravage us, vs 43-50! On account of all the gruesome things that the enemy did to God’s people, he pleads with God to pay them back what they deserved, vs 52-54, 59-66. As for him, he is encouraged that God has indeed heart his cry, and championed his cause, redeemed his life and told him not to fear, because he called on the Lord’s Name from the deepest pit in penitence and humility, vs 55-58.
The lesson learnt from this chapter is simple and straightforward, and that being that on being punished by God for our sins, we need to accept the same in humility and turn from our rebellion in complete surrender unto the Lord, being assured that as we do so, God will hear our cry on account of His compassion and loving kindness, and reverse our plight and crown us with deliverance in due season! Amen.
📖 Lamentations 3:27
The Yoke In The Youthful Age
✒ Today’s text says , “It is good for a man to bear the YOKE while he is young”. The word YOKE appears 61 times in the Bible , and Jeremiah had mentioned it 17 times in his two books. Jeremiah and his people are bearing a YOKE of suffering , and it has been expressed in his writings .
📝 Jeremiah had testified , ” I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of His wrath ” ( 3:1 RSV ) . Reflecting on this he writes , “It is good for a man to bear the YOKE while he is young “. Jeremiah had sensed that the youth period is important as they are energetic, vulnerable and useful.
✅ This yoke in the youth life speaks of the responsibilities that comes from God , parents and teachers which includes disciplinary training ( moral , social and spiritual )
📝 Jeremiah had received such training in his youth ( Jer 1:6-7 )
Once he himself was putting the yoke on his neck while delivering God’s message to the envoys of neighbouring countries who have come to meet king Zedekiah ( Jer 27) . He was not ashamed of it.
📌 In Christendom there are two Yoke :
1) YOKE of SLAVERY ( sin )
✒ It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm , then , and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a YOKE OF SLAVERY ( Gal 5:1)
2) YOKE of CHRIST ( Discipline )
✒ Jesus said , “take my YOKE upon you and learn from me… you will find rest for your souls. For my YOKE is easy..” ( Matthew 11:29-30)
Let us guide our youths to bear the YOKE of a Discipline Christian Life :
📌 Honor God : Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength ( Deut 6:5)
》 “.. while Josiah was still young , he began to SEEK THE GOD of his father David ” ( 2Chron 34:3)
》 Joseph said to Potiphar’s wife , “… How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God” ✒ Gen 39: 6-9
📌 Honor your Parents : Children, obey your parents in the Lord , for this is right. Honor your father and mother – which is the first commandment with a promise .. ( Eph 6:1-3 )
📌 Meditate God’s Word : Do not let his word depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night , so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be PROSPEROUS and SUCCESSFUL ( Jos 1:8)
》 Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord ( 7:10 )
📌 Prayer Life : Three times a day DANIEL got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God , just as he had done before. (6:10b )
✒ Jesus said , ” Pray that you will not fall into temptation ” ( Luke 22:40 )
📌 Grow in Faith : Paul while writing to young Timothy , writes , ” I have been reminded of your SINCERE FAITH… and I am persuaded, now it lives in you also “.( 2Tim 1:5)
📌 Do not compromise with the world : Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine.. ✒ 1:8
💞 Beloved Church, Jesus Christ loves you for He said, “those whom I love I rebuke and discipline ” Rev 3:19
Be prepared to bear His YOKE while you are still young . You are our Joseph, Josiah, Ezra , Daniel and Timothy .
📌 Today we need:
~ Joseph who fear and honor God .
~ Josiah who sought the Lord while he was still young .
~ Ezra who devote himself to study God’s Word.
~ Daniel a young man of prayer who did not compromise with the world.
~ Timothy who has inherited his faith from his mother.
🛐 Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young , but set an example for the believers in SPEECH, LIFE, LOVE, FAITH and in PURITY ( 1Tim 4:12)
Glory to God🙌
✍🏽 Mark Boje
Arunachal Pradesh, India 🇮🇳