Choosing to be Yoked

Journal Entry // April 24, 2022

So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.

Numbers 25:3 ESV

As I was reading this passage, I became interested in this notion that Israel had yoked himself. He was not forced into this, but freely chose to be yoked with Baal. There are some interesting definitions surround this word yoked:

  • Servitude and bondage
  • An oppressive agency
  • Wooden frame by which two animals are joined for working together
  • Device placed on the neck of a defeated person

All of these definitions draw out the image of a person that has lost their freedom. A person with a yoke is under the control of another. In this case, Israel had yoked himself to a different master and had chosen to give up their freedom in the Lord for servitude under a yoke.

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Covetous Lies

Journal Entry // March 23, 2022

And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Luke 12:15 ESV

It is an extremely simple thing to fall into this trap laid out for me in this world. The allure of covetousness is all around me. It is being shouted at me, it is being whispered to me, it is being encouraged in me, it is used as a weapon against me at every moment of every day both from the world and in my very own heart. My eye sees and wants what it sees. My heart desires those things it sees in others. My soul wants to relax, eat, drink, and be merry. This is the very thing the world is pushing onto me. Companies use advertising to swell my covetousness. Friends and acquaintances are subtly comparing each other through covetousness intentions. And I join in this with them. I drop my guard against all covetousness and base my life on the abundance of possessions.

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Little Children

Journal Entry // December 5, 2021

Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

1 John 5:21 ESV

The last word in 1 John is a plea for us to keep ourselves from idols. Five chapters all boiled down to one simple phrase. One simple phrase that is central to the battle of faith. My heart is an idol factory. I am constantly creating idols, trusting idols, and turning my heart away from Christ because of them. So this simple plea from John is excruciatingly difficult.

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