Summary: Becoming a partner with someone means having to stay in step with the partner; it is important to be equally yoked. If not, your impact for our Lord could be minimized.
The Three Legged Race
1. Here is an old joke about a three-legged race of sorts. One day a traveller was driving down a back country road when he noticed that there was a three-legged chicken running alongside his car.
He stepped on the gas but at 50 miles per hour. The chicken was still keeping up. After about a mile of running the chicken ran up a farm lane and into a barn behind an old farm house.
The salesman turned around and drove up the farm lane. He knocked at the door and when the farmer answered he told him what he had just seen.
The farmer said that his son was a geneticist and he had developed this breed of chicken because the he, his wife and his son each like a drumstick when they have chicken and this way they only have to kill one chicken.
"That's the most fantastic thing I've ever heard," said the salesman. "How do they taste?"
"I don't know," said the farmer. "We've never caught one."
2. When I hear the term “three-legged race,” I think of family picnic games. Softball, and egg toss, and a 3-legger race used to be the norm.
3. How does this race work? Two people form a team, each putting their inside leg into a burlap sack. Teams then race against one another.
4. This sort of event requires partnership, and what your partner does greatly affects you and the outcome. This is an illustration of what the Bible means when t talks about being yoked together.
Main Idea: Becoming a partner with someone means having to stay in step with the partner; it is important to be equally yoked. If not, your impact for our Lord could be minimized.
I. Do Not Be Unequally Yoked in PARTNERSHIP (14a)
A. The picture’s SOURCE is in the Old Testament (show photo 1)
1. Esau’s yoke By your sword you shall live, and you shall serve your brother; but when you grow restless you shall break his yoke from your neck.” (Genesis 27:4); a yoke can refer to bondage
2. Numbers 25:3, “So Israel yoked himself to Baal of Peor. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.” Yoke refers to endorsing idolatry
3. “Your father made our yoke heavy. Now therefore lighten the hard service of your father and his heavy yoke on us, and we will serve you.” (I Kings 12;4); being joined to our government and its obligations (photo 2 shortly)
4. The unequal yoke: Deuteronomy 22:9-11, “You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, lest the whole yield be forfeited, the crop that you have sown and the yield of the vineyard. You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together. You shall not wear cloth of wool and linen mixed together. (show photo 3)
5. Jehoshaphat and Ahab (I Kings 22)
• Made peace with Israel, which was good
• Ahab wanted him to join in battle against a city under Syrian control
• The prophets of Baal, Jehoshaphat wants to hear from the LORD
• Micaiah warns of doom, but they still go ahead…
• Later Ahaziah, Ahab’s son, tried to get him into another venture, refused
B. The idea of a yoke is a PARTNERSHIP
1. Following Jesus means taking his yoke; a good choice!
2. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:29
3. Marriage is the most binding of the yokes
• The Bible teaches do not marry an unbeliever
• But if you are married to an unbeliever, stay married
I Corinthians 7;13, “If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him…”
I Corinthians 7:39b, “But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.”
4. Business can be rough, too; dishonest, irresponsible partners
5. Don’t make the opposite mistake: gullibility toward Christians (clearly believer, unless you aren’t so clear yourself)
6. Get your head together and stop being naïve; there are lost of Christian people you would be a fool to marry, and fool to partner with…
7. You want to marry someone who embraces the fundamental beliefs
8. Someone who will partner with you in serving the Lord
II. Be Careful About Your RELIGIOUS Associations (14b-18)
A. Integrity means turning from INFILTRATION mentalities [Paul’s 5 questions]
1. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness?
2. Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
3. What accord has Christ with Belial?
4. Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?
5. What agreement has the temple of God with idols?