“My sins have been bound into a yoke; by his hands they were woven together. They have been hung on my neck, and the Lord has sapped my strength. He has given me into the hands of those I cannot withstand.” Lamentations 1:14
During the time of the Babylonian takeover of Jerusalem, the people were under much suffering. The Babylonians did not treat them well, though they did allow them to live. The city had been destroyed and the people were in great misery. As Jeremiah sees this, he is weeping, lamenting, because he feels the weight of all the sin that brought on this destruction.
Sin is something that looks and sounds like fun, but it carries a heavy weight to it. People often think that they can handle their own sin, especially those ‘little’ sins.
It is commonly thought that what does it matter if one tells a little lie? Or if one cheats his neighbor a little bit? Or if one just breaks a little rule once in a while? It really does not affect anyone is what most think. And besides, God will understand.
The truth is that any sin, big or small, has a weight that no one can really bear up under. That weight is the weight of death. It will take away all strength from a person, pulling their head down to the grave as though a millstone was hung on his neck. It is bound tight to the person’s neck as a yoke is placed on an animal, that only the master can remove.
Jeremiah had faithfully followed God, but was feeling the weight of the sins of the people. All those sins took a toll on his body and zapped all of his strength.
Even today, if you live in sin, it will take your strength away from you. You will be constantly looking over your back to see if you will be caught in that sin. Fear will keep you awake through the night because death will be knocking on your door. The weight will be more than you can handle.
The good news is that you do not have to bear that weight any more. You can hand it over to Jesus. Turn from the sin and He will get rid of it. He paid the price of death for your sin.
As you turn from your own sin, weep for the sins of others. Lead others to Jesus to get rid of that enormous weight.
I pray today that God will help you turn from all sin; that you will know the freedom Jesus can give you from your sin; and that you will tell others about Jesus.
Differing weights and differing measures–the LORD detests them both. Proverbs 20:10
During the Old Testament times, weights and measures were used for determining the price of something. Instead of having a specific coin with a set value to purchase something, they would weigh out gold or silver, or some produce to determine the price. Some merchants were have two sets of weights that looked the same, but were actually very different weights.
The purpose of this was to make money in a bad way. When they were purchasing something, they would use a heavier weight so that they would pay less. When selling something, they would use a lighter weight so that the person would have to pay more. God did not like that method.
The same thing can occur today and not just in purchasing and selling items. Businesses are caught with illegal pricing of products or having differing measures, although the government, at least in the US, attempts to regulate it and keep it honest.
People are known to have different ways of dealing with people. In church, people are loving and kind. But outside of the church, some of those same people are backbiting and cheating. Take a look at how many marriages have a cheating spouse. People like to say one thing to one person and something different to another.
Believers should be living their life in a way that it is the same no matter where they go or what they are doing. There should never be a different weight in the life of any believer.
Take a look at your own life. Do you treat every person in the same way?
Or do you treat some better than others?
Although how you treat a person has nothing to do with buying and selling, it can be different measures. God has told all believers to love every person with His love. God’s love is perfect and the same no matter who it is for. You should have that same love for the person in the church, the family member, or your worst enemy.
Do not allow yourself to have differing weights and measures. God hates them.
I pray today that God will reveal to you how you treat others; that you will be filled with God’s love for everyone; that you will treat others as God treats you; and that your life will be like that of Jesus in all that you say and do.
Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Psalm 68:19
Every day people are loaded down with many different types of burdens and cares. The list is endless in what those burdens are: bills, jobs, repairs, break-downs, sickness, children, spouse, pregnancy, neighbors, pets, cleaning, events, and many more.
The level of the burden and what the burden is, is different for each person. For some people the care is very heavy on their minds, all day, every day. It can mean the difference of having food on the table or not having food to eat for some.
Others it is just a major concern about something in their life, such as what to where to an event.
As a person carries the weight of those burdens, it can crush him. Many people have committed suicide over the weight of burdens. They feel as though there is no way out from under the heavy burden. They fail to realize that there is one who is willing to carry those burdens and guide them through the situations of life.
Every believer needs to be praising God for carrying their burdens. Jesus said that believers are to go to Him to find rest. He is willing to carry your burden, if you will carry His burden, which is light compared to yours.
The heaviest burden that you will have is the burden of your sin. Sin is what brings about death, both now and for eternity. Jesus took that up on the cross and nailed it there. You cannot carry it.
If God can carry that heavy of a burden, He can also carry all the rest of your burdens.
Think about how great God is. Here He is, the King, the Creator of the universe, God Almighty, Ruler of all, and, yet, He is willing to help you out and carry your burden.
With that in mind, give Him praise. Tell the world what He is doing for you. Rest in the fact that God has it all in control, because He is carrying it all.
This is not a one time event that God is carrying your burdens. It is a daily thing that He does this. Trust Him and give Him all the praise. It is a relief knowing He is carrying your burdens.
I pray today that you will lay down all of your burdens at the feet of Jesus; that you will trust God to carry your burdens; that you will find rest in Jesus; and that you will praise God for carrying your burdens.
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Jesus had not given very many commands, but one of them was to love everyone. This included neighbors, friends, family, and even the enemy. For one to love God, he must love others. One of the best ways to prove that love was in carrying their burdens.
A burden is a heavy load. The level of that weight really does not matter, it is just that for that person it is heavy. Every person has some type of heavy load that they have to deal with.
In the workplace, workers are told to be careful in carrying a heavy load. If the weight of an item is over a certain amount of weight, the person must get a second person to help carry the load. The purpose of this is to keep from injuring the back when lifting the load.
When several people have a hand on a heavy load, they can easily carry something that not one of them could carry on their own. The weight is evenly distributed among all of them. It is now a light weight for each, rather than an extremely heavy weight for one.
Life brings about many different types of heavy burdens for every person. For one it could be a medical issue, for another it could be finances, or housing, or a vehicle, or marital problems, or issues at work, or one of an infinite number of other things.
You have probably gone through some of these burdens. In having carried those burdens, you have grown stronger. Now you have the opportunity to help someone else carry their burden that is similar. Give another person a helping hand, or extra money or food. Try to ease the burden that they must carry.
Jesus took your burden of sin, that was killing you, away. It was too heavy for you to carry. Now that He has lightened your load, go out and help others with their burdens. Ask God to guide you in to how to help someone else out. Be a servant and a helper to someone today. Fulfill the law of Christ–to love everyone.
I pray today that God will show you ways to help carry the burdens of others; that God will give you the strength to help; that God will send others alongside you to help carry your burdens; and that God’s kingdom will be built through your service.