What We Believe

September 26 Daily Devotional

Yokes for Youth

Charles and Norma Ellis

Bible Reading:

Lamentations 3:22-41

22It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
23They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
24The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
25The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.
26It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.
27It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.
28He sitteth alone and keepeth silence, because he hath borne it upon him.
29He putteth his mouth in the dust; if so be there may be hope.
30He giveth his cheek to him that smiteth him: he is filled full with reproach.
31For the LORD will not cast off for ever:
32But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.
33For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
34To crush under his feet all the prisoners of the earth.
35To turn aside the right of a man before the face of the most High,
36To subvert a man in his cause, the LORD approveth not.
37Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?
38Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?
39Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?
40Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD.
41Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.


'It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth' says Jeremiah in verse 27. This yoke, as we may judge from the context, probably referred directly to subjection to a foreign power. What a statement! Captivity good? That is what God says. As we study this portion we see that the yoke, the reproach, the grief, the suffering that we are caused to bear are means of driving us to our God who all along has been faithful and is not allowing us to endure this without purpose. His compassions do not fail. They are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness (3:22,23)!

What does this verse say to parents today? We need to recognize that our children do have yokes to bear in their youth. So far we have not had to endure subjection to foreign powers, but children do have physical problems, social stigma, homework, rules and regulations imposed upon them, and disappointments. These can be heavy burdens. They are limitations of freedom that parallel in the experience of the child the captivity of Israel!

Are these good for the child? How? They teach him the pattern of life with its vicissitudes. They teach him that the world does not revolve around him and that there will not always be smiles of approval to greet his cute speeches or pillows spread out to cushion his falls. They give the child a realistic view of himself and the sinful world about him.

Sometimes we as parents attempt to remove completely normal types of hardship from our children's ways. We are loath to see them have to wait or have to do without things they want. We feel sorry when things do not always go their way. We should capitalize on these experiences! We should say, 'Thank You, Lord, for enabling this child to grow. Thank You for providing him with this beautiful evidence of your faithfulness in adversity!'

It is difficult to see our children bear yokes, but let us not always be trying to protect them! Let us use the opportunity to point them to Jesus whose yoke is easy!

We are happy to have obtained permission to post as our current daily devotional Heirs Together of Life: Daily Bible Reading for Husbands and Wives, published by The Banner of Truth Trust. Don't be misled by the subtitle. As the book's "Preface" indicates (see below), although Heirs Together of Life is "especially prepared for couples,"the authors declare, "Since the basis for this guide is God's Word, we believe it would have value for any reader."

Charles and Norma Ellis are husband and wife and the authors not only of Heirs Together of Life (which was first published in 1980 and continues in print today), but also of Wells of Salvation (first published in 1985, and likewise still in print today). The latter contains a series of short studies covering the entire book of Isaiah, while the former contains a series of almost 200 short studies covering the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Both books by the Ellises can be ordered from the publisher, The Banner of Truth Trust. We trust that these daily Bible readings, posted daily on our site, will be helpful to you in your Christian walk before God. Whether married or not, all of us are members of families and members of the family of God.

Charles Ellis was educated at Wheaton College and Westminster Theological Seminary. Upon graduation from Westminster (where he earned not only a Th.B. but also a Th.M.), he was ordained to the ministry in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and pastored a number of OPC churches, including Immanuel OPC in West Collingswood, New Jersey; First OPC in Cincinnati, Ohio; Covenant OPC in East Orange, New Jersey; Knox OPC in Silver Spring, Maryland; and Lakeview OPC in Rockport, Maine. Less biographical information is available about his wife, but it is known that they served as parents of seven children. After retiring from the ministry, Charles Ellis went to be with the Lord in 2003, but he and his wife left us with a beautiful legacy in the two books they have given to the world, and we are proud to share the daily Bible readings from Heirs Together of Life here with you.



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