From all the hundreds of commandments given to the people of God, the Israelites, this one command gets my attention:
“Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together.” (Deuteronomy 22:10)
Okay, I clearly understand other commandments such as, “Don’t kill” and “Don’t do adultery.”
“Don’t yoke an ox and a donkey?” Huh?
This got me a bit confused.
So, one day I sat down with my Bible and laptop to think and search about this one verse and here is what I found.
The first question that popped in my mind was this:
Why didn’t God want His people to plow the ground with two kinds of animals?
Well, the other place we find the word “yoked together” is on 2 Corinthians 6:14a; it says, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.”
Hmm! There must be some kind of relationship between Deuteronomy 22:10 and 2 Corinthians 6:14a, don’t you think so? I think so, but what kind of relationship?
Well, when I searched through the Internet, I found that some theologians said that there might be some relationship between these two verses but others simply disagree without giving any concrete reason.
I can make my own opinion, can’t I? I think I can. I personally believe that these two verses have some relationship and I will tell you why I said that.
These two different animals, an ox and a donkey, other than both of them being herbivorous animals (animals which eat plants), they have distinctly different characters and two of those characters are: A donkey has a much smaller body than an ox; and because of its size, its strides are much shorter than the ox.
These differences are major when they both are considered to be yoked together to plow the ground because their movements won’t be equal and one or both of them suffer pain throughout the process of plowing.
Well, the interesting characteristic difference between these two animals is not there; but here:
An ox is a very clean animal when it comes to what kind of plant it lets enter its mouth. It is a very selective animal. Just because it is hungry, just because a plant looks good and tastes good, an ox doesn’t eat it. (Hmm! Amazing, isn’t it?)
When we come to a donkey, the story is very different.
A donkey eats any plant on its way, including those poisonous “weeds and plant species.” (Wow, do you already see where I’m going with this?)
Because the donkey eats anything including those “coarse and poisonous” plants, its mouth stinks very badly! That is not a big deal for an ox until it has to be yoked with a donkey for the whole day.
No two animals can be in that close proximity unless they are yoked, “joined,” together for the whole day for one common goal and purpose, to plow the ground. (Genesis 2:21-24)
One or both of them can’t say, “I can’t take this. This is painful!”
Oh, no, my dear, they can’t say that. They are yoked for the long haul!
Don’t miss this:
If a farmer continues to “yoke” together an ox and a donkey, the ox eventually die of the donkey’s bad breath. The donkey’s bad breath is a lethal chemical to the ox (hey, by the way, this fact is scientifically proven and the practice is discouraged however the practice is still seen in some third world countries, such as China.)
So, when the Bible says, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers,” in a nutshell, it is saying this to believers of Jesus Christ:
“Deciding to marry a person who doesn’t believe in Christ can be a “lethal decision.”
So, here is my message for today: Don’t get married with an unbeliever, don’t even date a person who doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ. If you are in the process of dating and thinking of marrying an unbeliever, remind yourself of the above two Bible verses so you may rethink your decision before it is too late.
Don’t say, “But he doesn’t drink alcohol and he believes in Jesus even if he doesn’t like to come to church,” or, “But she is a virgin; she just doesn’t believe in the Holy Spirit and I will pray so she believes in Him.”
You don’t need anyone to tell you that the person you’re dating doesn’t believe or care about Jesus and the Gospel, because the Spirit of God keeps on testifying to you of that fact in many different ways. This post might be another way the Spirit of God is trying to remind of this fact. Don’t ignore His voice!
Let me leave you with the whole passage of Scripture about this very topic. Read it for yourself and meditate on it:
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
“I will live with them
and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”
“Come out from them
and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you.”
“I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18) ///
P. S. “What do you say about those who are already married to unbelievers?” – I say nothing more than what the word of God says: “To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.” (1 Corinthians 7:12-14) – This passage of Scripture can’t be interpreted by its own; rather by the whole message of the Bible.