February 22, 2022 – Tuesday
2 Corinthians 6:14 NIV
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
In today’s verse we have three separate sentences or thoughts that are deeply related. The depth of meaning deepens with each sentence. Then we have the following verses which seeks to make the idea yet clearer and clearer.
Beginning with the first sentence, Do not be yoked together with unbelievers, links back to Deuteronomy 22:10, Do not plow with an ox and a donkey yoked together. If we were to imagine actually having an ox or a donkey pull a plow, that is one thing and tough enough. However, if we were to imagine having an ox and a donkey yoked side by side pulling a plow, I don’t think we could truly imagine anything like straight rows as there is no way the donkey can pull as much as the ox. We often see our first sentence applied to marriages and it is difficult to imagine this being an easy task of plowing through life, dealing with life, when such different values are at work for each member of the marriage.
This would be especially true in the context of the verse when written where a believer in Jesus would be yoked not with just an unbeliever, but a worshipper of another god, of idols. The danger here, a real danger, is that the unbeliever could weaken the faith of the unbeliever or even pull them away from their faith. This is not to say we cannot have dealings with unbelievers, that would be unrealistic for most. But it is great advice to avoid being yoked with them.
The second sentence drives this point home by asking, For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? The obvious answer is nothing, absolutely nothing. Avoid the risk of thinking you can comprise with wickedness by refusing to become yoked with the wicked or the unrighteousness. In today’s modern world we need to avoid becoming yoked with those whose idols/gods are those associated with success, more money, more titles, more power, more possessions. Our idea of success dates back 2,000 years: to do the will of God and follow Jesus.
Then we come to the third and final sentence in this verse, another question, Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? Once again, the answer is obvious, none. Absolutely none. Here I am sure Paul was referring to the light that is Jesus and the darkness that is the sin life of mankind. But we can also look at the reality of the physical differences. Darkness cannot exist with physical light. Darkness is not the opposite of light, it is the absence of light. Where there is light, there is no darkness. Darkness essentially abhors light, it cannot exist in the light. Again, they are not opposites, but where one exists the other cannot. Thus to attempt to yoke light and darkness would be true folly.
Our verse for today was an introduction to the rest of the chapter. Here is the next verse, 15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial]? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? Two more rhetorical questions to which we know the answers very well. Go here for the final three verses which quote much from the Old Testament.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Help me to always avoid being yoked with unbelievers. Help me to share the good news of Jesus while avoiding their idol worshipping ways. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton