Leviticus 26:13 (New International Version)
13 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.
I'm still back in the dust of Deuteronomy on the Marathon of Biblical proportions, and this morning I read chapter 28, about the blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience, which really boil down to a decision to trust God or not trust him.
When I read the reference to a yoke in verse 48, I thought about the verse above, in Leviticus, which I had written out in my journal a few weeks ago. That verse was talking about the fact that God had literally freed the people of Israel from slavery, but, years later, it seems they were in danger of not living free.
Deuteronomy 28:48 (New International Version)
48 therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the LORD sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.
Deuteronomy 28:68 (New International Version)
68 The LORD will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.
I'm not so very different to the Israelites. Even freed, living free sometimes seems like an elusive dream. My own choices entrap me!
So I'm grateful for the figurative journey of the Israelites and the lessons I can glean from this nation who like me, needed to learn things many times before they "got it" and even then were prone to disastrous failure.
And I'm grateful for a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to die for sinners such as I, and to place on my shoulder a yoke of light and perfect fit. Lord, I receive your yoke, your rest and your freedom. All are precious gifts, without cost, yet purchased at infinite cost.
Matthew 11:29-30 (New International Version)
29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."