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A Wooden Yoke

Jeremiah 28: 13 "Go and tell Hananiah, 'This is what the LORD says: You have broken a wooden yoke, but in its place you will get a yoke of iron"

Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know"

Jeremiah is a book filled with conflict. GOD punishing his people for their disobedience. Nations waging bloody wars against each other. And so called prophets of GOD who share diametrically opposed messages. In the midst of this chaos stands Jeremiah.

GOD asks Jeremiah to wear a wooden yoke as a symbol of Israel's impending subjugation by the Babylonians. Hananiah was a prophet who claimed that GOD promised a more swift recovery and blessing. He went as far to remove the yoke that GOD had placed on Jeremiah's neck. He superseded the words of GOD to comfort those around him. In response Jeremiah responds and states that GOD is going to place a yoke of silver on Hananiah. He died shortly after.

In Israel's moment of need Hananiah sought to comfort his fellow countrymen with false promises of prosperity and convenience. It was easier to accept that than the truth that GOD was using this time to discipline HIS people. HE wanted them to turn back to HIM. Our GOD is loving and merciful, but he is also a GOD of justice. HE is a GOD that is jealous for our love and devotion and seeks to bring us back to HIM. Jeremiah 33:3 reminds us that our GOD is a GOD who wants to be found. HE answers the call of those who seek HIM.

It's easy fall into the belief that GOD is here to provide us with our hearts desires. The belief that we don't need to change or be challenged into becoming more like HIM. This is contrary to the notion that GOD places a wooden yoke on our shoulders. HE wants us to submit to HIM so that we can experience HIM deeper. In my own life this submission to GOD has been with my time. Limiting my time on social media and waking up earlier to do my devotions. These aren't monumental tasks, but exercising self-control in order to spend time with GOD isn't always easy. I often find myself slipping back into old habits when I'm tired and want to give into my tendencies for self-gratification. But when I commit to myself to GOD, HE pulls me in. HE extinguishes my anxieties. I don't find an answer to every single one of my questions, but I do come out with the reassurance that my future lies in GOD's hands. My hands may be itching to remove the yoke but GOD is asking me to not replace it with a silver yoke.

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