Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
(Isaiah 58:9 ESV)
Take away the yoke! The yoke is a tool you put on the beast of burden to make it do what you want. The yoke that they had went right along with the pointing of the finger. It was a yoke of unjust judgment and accusation.
What would happen if we quit condemning people and quit telling them what they did was wrong?
When I worked at the Rescue Mission, I made it a point to never tell anybody that the thing they were doing was a sin. There was already so much legalism in the air that any correction I gave would have come across in the same way as all of the yokes of “no Christian should” and “you’d better hope God doesn’t catch you” etc.
But at the same time, a friend of mine noticed something happening. He said “Joy is offensive to rebellion,” and my joy in the Lord would offend people in their sin as they sat and talked with me. The joy of the Lord came across so powerfully that people were condemned not by me but BY THE HOLY SPIRIT who is going to do a much better job of transformation anyway!
What if that’s what we gave ourselves to? Putting away the pointing finger and the yoke of burden and call out to the Lord? If you have a friend or co-worker lost in sin, you most likely don’t have to tell them.
Most people walk around with the heavy burden of guilt and shame knowing full well the evil in the their hearts but not knowing how to break free.
News is something that has happened, as a result of which things are now different. Telling someone to pray a prayer is good advice, but it’s not good news. It’s not the gospel.
– NT Wright.
Telling someone to quit doing the evil thing they are doing is again, good advice, but not good news. Let’s proclaim the good news, and cry out to the Lord and watch Him answer.
Yokes are for cows, not people.