Now I will break their yoke from your neck and tear your shackles away. Nahum 1:13
God wants to break and destroy those things which afflicted his people and are a bondage to them. There’s a similar prophecy in Isaiah, “In that day their burden will be lifted from your shoulders, their yoke from your neck; the yoke will be broken because you have grown so fat” (Isaiah 10:27).
God longs to see his people free. Free from those things which are burdens and weigh them down. For the Israelites, it meant warfare, fighting against a physical enemy to achieve freedom from oppression so they could live in peace. For us, it might be painful memories, regrets from the past or fears for the future. Yet generally God’s methods aren’t what we anticipated.
Farmers would yoke the oxen before they were fully grown. The yoke would break because of the increased strength and size of the oxen. Growth had been unnoticed. There’s no magic wand or instant change but a process where the emotional and spiritual yokes in our lives are broken because we’ve grown spiritually fat.
Our battles are spiritual as we confront difficulties in our workplaces, complicated relationships and various temptations. Yet it’s this slow gradual growth which will break the bondages in our lives as we learn to rely on God and ask for his grace in the difficult moments of our lives. We’ll find issues that once seemed impossible to deal with are no longer overwhelming. Situations and people that we once avoided are no longer intimidating and temptations that were once all-consuming are easily avoided.
So let’s press on and grow spiritually fat so the bondages in our lives are broken.