Unequal Yokes: Deuteronomy 22:9-10

Deuteronomy:6-9  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 10
Deuteronomy 22:9-10
A few more remarks as to not using “mixed seeds” in the Lord’s vineyard, seem to be necessary. We who seek to do our little service for the Lord, are prone to turn to others for wisdom in these matters, instead of to the Lord. Men have their philosophies and vain deceit, and all this sort of thing is very appealing to the flesh. The children in the Sunday school would like to see some of the religious entertainments of the day, and even older ones have a nature that responds to it, but it is all “after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ” (Colossians 2:8). Let us be much on our knees before the Lord, so that when we sow the good seed, it may be in the power of the Holy Spirit, and then the Lord will use it. He has promised that it will not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:10-11), and we have only to sow it faithfully and count upon the Lord for results. The Israelite could not make one seed grow, but he could sow as the Lord instructed him, and so with us, for only God can give the increase.
Unequal Yokes
The children of Israel were also instructed against another “mixture.” They were not to have an unequal yoke in their work, such as plowing with an ox and an ass together. An ox, according to Mosaic law, was a clean animal, and the ass was unclean. In addition to this, the ass was fast and the ox slow, so they had nothing in common. What a warning this is, as we learn from 2 Corinthians 6:14, where Christians are told, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” For a believer to be linked up in marriage, in business partnership, or in any membership with the unconverted, is an unequal yoke. It is disobedience to God to enter such a “yoke,” and such willfulness is sure to bring down the government of God.
If the one who reads these lines should be thinking of joining some business partnership with one who is unsaved, our prayer is that you may heed this word of warning from the Lord. It will undoubtedly spare you taking a solemn step in disobedience, as well as many a sorrow. Moreover, if you are already in such a “yoke,” the word to you is “Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord” (2 Corinthians 6:17). The Lord’s coming is near, and His call is to you to come out, and He promises to be a Father to you, for He knows the step may cost you something, perhaps a great deal.
If, on the other hand, it is the marriage “yoke” you are considering, this is more solemn still. To have your whole life bound up with one who has no love for your blessed Savior is most serious. Indeed it is terrible! And, moreover, what is worst of all, this is a yoke that you cannot leave (1 Corinthians 7:10) or break according to God (Matthew 19:6). How careful we have to be, as young people especially, that we do not allow our heart’s affections to go out to anyone who does not love our Lord Jesus Christ. God has warned us of these things for our own good, for He only knows the sorrows that many have brought upon themselves through disobedience in this very thing.
There are also many other things we are asked to “join.” Let us be much before the Lord about these matters.
Further Meditations
1. Why did the Lord instruct the children of Israel against unequal yokes?
2. What is an unequal yoke and why is it so dangerous for a Christian?
3. The Unequal Yoke by C. H. Mackintosh provides a warm and personal exhortation on the need for a believer to avoid joining together with the unbeliever.