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Discussion Forum : General Topics : unequally yoked

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rainydaygirl
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Joined: 2008/10/27
Posts: 742


 unequally yoked

Does this term unequally yoked only apply to marriage relationships or others like friendships and who you fellowship with? no sure I fully understand what being unequally yoked means?


rdg

 2012/9/1 13:10Profile
mama27
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Joined: 2010/11/20
Posts: 1359


 Re: unequally yoked

I've also heard of it applied to business partnerships....

 2012/9/1 15:21Profile
IssacharSon
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Joined: 2012/7/12
Posts: 185
Southeast USA

 Re:

Great question?

Attached is copy of one of Ray Stedman's sermons where he exposes what the Word of God has said about being "unequally yoked" as it applied to Israel (esp. during the Babylonian captivity) as well as His church as Paul reveals in II Corinthians 6: 14-16.

It is brief, but I hope it helps. Ray Stedman is a great Bible teacher.

http://www.raystedman.org/daily-devotions/nehemiah/the-unequal-yoke

Love-in-Christ,

KP

P. S. I like to look at it in the practical sense with two oxen that have been coupled together and are used for labor. The yoke is around the necks of the oxen. They are not joined by their tails, midsection, nor any other part of their anatomy. The weight of the yoke that surrounds their neck is supported by their shoulders.

How easy do you think it would be for one of the oxen to move independently while being yoked with the other ox? It wouldn't be easy at all. As a matter of fact, it would be very difficult to move independently if the ox is coupled with another ox, especially if you considered the weight of a yoke around the oxen - Or if the burden (weight) carried on the backs of each ox is "unequal" - then what a difficult road they will have to travel together. They may not even get very far from the exhaustion of having to constantly shift their individual weight, pace etc. to accommodate each other's unequal stance and labor.

You may want to stick with Stedman's interpretation, though.

 2012/9/1 16:04Profile
Areadymind
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Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re: unequally yoked

When two oxen were yoked together, they worked toward the common cause of their master. Imagine working with one ox on one side of the yoke, and a goat in the other. The ox would carry all the weight of the goat, and would also pull the cart or plow behind it. Although, that is ridiculous because nobody would do that. The better understanding would be from having one really strong ox and a weaker ox, this would probably cause a similar situation as described above, only to a lesser degree. The best way to understand this is to think of the metaphor itself. First interpret, then apply. You can see from this understanding that there are many ways in which this passage can apply, but we probably need to be somewhat cautious about over-application.

In the context where this passage is mentioned, it is important to understand that the implication is working "within the temple" as it were with "Belial." The connotation has more to do with the idea of believers working side by side toward the cause of the kingdom with unbelievers.

In chapter five it spoke of our knowing that because we have a heavenly dwelling, we are courageous in the work of reconciliation. Paul shows in the beginning of the chapter how his "widened" affections affected his life and ministry, and what it made him willing to go through. He tells the Corinthians that his "heart is wide open," and that they needed to widen theirs as well.

It is then that he tells them not to be unequally yoked. If Paul is a "Godly Ox" then a worker of Baal would be an "Ungodly Ox."

What is going to widen your affections for the kingdom of heaven and the ministry of reconciliation? And what relationships are going to encourage you to that affect? Does the relationship widen your affections for Christ, or does it diminish them?

Much simpler than reading different categories of relationships into the metaphor, read your relationships in light of these things and you cannot go wrong.


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2012/9/1 16:12Profile
Areadymind
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Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re:

Dueteronomy 22:10 and Leviticus 19:19 help here as well. Net.bible.org also offers the helpful explanation that no relationship should replace the relationship with Christ in our affections. Keep in mind that Paul also had told the Corinthians in their first letter that they ought to maintain their existing marriages with unbelievers as long as is possible.


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2012/9/1 16:38Profile
mguldner
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Joined: 2009/12/4
Posts: 1860
Kansas

 Re:

Here is another great question I thought of pertaining to Unequally Yoked, can it go beyond the spiritual and say, Physical, personality, or emotional. Like your pattern (marriage, friend, or business) are on different mindset of what you want in life. I know we are to all have the same focus of Christ but so many have different ideas of what that looks like. Any thoughts?


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Matthew Guldner

 2012/9/1 19:51Profile
Areadymind
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Joined: 2009/5/15
Posts: 1042
Pacific Ocean

 Re:

There is a lot of practical wisdom to be had in such suggestions Matthew. I am not sure the verse speaks as specifically as you are suggesting, but it certainly is not beyond wisdom, intelligence and nature to walk with others who share the same interests.

I really do not have many close friends whom I do not share personal compatibility with. My wife and I are of the same mind on so many things both spiritual and material, it makes for a much easier life than were I to be married or yoked with friends who constantly were pulling me away from the objectives I perceived the Lord to have laid out for me. (Not that my personal friendships mean a lick...just pointing it out.)

"How can two walk together unless they are agreed?" -Amos 3:3

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him-a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (ESV)


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Jeremiah Dusenberry

 2012/9/1 22:15Profile
ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7421
Mississippi

 Re:

Being unequally yoked is a principle that has far-ranging applications.

Being yoked together with another means you are physically yoked together for a common cause. Unequally yoked refers to two unlike creatures yoked together, one being stronger then the other.

I have heard of businesses where one partner was a Believer with one who was not. In situations like this, the unbeliever may resort to practices you find unacceptable and where does that leave you? Sometimes the Believer will end up losing his shirt in this process. Or, he may also find himself party to situations that would compromise or ruin his testimony because thinking patterns, methods of dealing with problems differ.

Recently, I had dealings with someone I thought was a Believer. I was also considering how in the future we may be yoked together in a business. In the process of things I discovered she has a low view of people who will allow the scriptures or the Holy Spirit to provide the guiding principles in decision-making. In fact she expressed scorn for it. To say I was shocked is an understatement!

My thoughts...


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Sandra Miller

 2012/9/4 15:43Profile
Ceri
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Joined: 2008/10/17
Posts: 113
Notts. England.

 Re: unequally yoked

I believe this applies to more than marriage.
Scripture also warns to be careful of what friends we chose 'Bad friendships corrupts good character'
When I was a teenager our youth leader had us to take it in turns to stand on a chair and pull someone up onto the chair with us - of course we all failed and ended up being pulled off instead!! Perfect example of being unequaly yoked. It is far easier to be pulled down than to pull someone up to our level.

When I gave a talk to teenage girls on the dangers of dating unsaved boys I tied two girls together, gave them a glass of water which symbolised things held precious to them, then said 'one of you is unsaved and has different goals and ideals that you view as precious, so you are wanting to go towards that side of the room - whereas the other is saved and also has different goals and ideals that you too view as precious - you are wanting to go in the opposite direction - now aim towards your goals while holding on to what is precious to you!
Well, you wouldn't believe the chaos that followed! The water that was spilt in the process! the pain caused to each other in the process spoke for itself. Of course the stronger ended up pulling the weaker one along with her! It was a very vivid lesson learnt.


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Ceri Elaine

 2012/9/4 16:40Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4476


 Re: unequally yoked

Hi rainydaygirl,

The term "unequally yoked" was a vivid description that make quite a bit of sense for a farming society. It isn't quite understandable since there are few farms left in this world...and since most rely on tractors.

I have always thought of "unequally yoked" in terms of a "three legged race." When we were kids, our school would have a "field day" and invite the parents to participate. In the three-legged race, two contestants would tie an adjoining leg together and race others who were similarly bound.

However, most festivals no longer include this sort of race. Why? Too many people were hurt.

It seems that if you have two individuals who aren't "in sync" with one another, one will end up dragging the other. One might be bigger, faster, taller or more motivated to win than the other. The "tie" that bound them together became a "shackle." As a result, those who aren't in sync find themselves falling to the ground -- often hurt -- and removing the tie.

I think that this is similar to the "unequally yoked" idea. If you tie a big, strong and fast ox with an ox that is smaller, weak or slower, it is more difficult to plow a field. In fact, one will end up dragging the other and, potentially, both might end up hurt.

It makes good sense for friendships, jobs and, of course, marriages.


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Christopher

 2012/9/4 16:57Profile





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