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Unequal Yokes and Christian Business Ethics

Published on:

5 May 2014

Unequally yoked

MEMORY VERSE: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14)

TEXT: 1 Kings 11:1-11; 2 Chronicles 20:35-37

A ‘yoke’ is defined as a crossbar with two U-shaped pieces that encircle the necks of a pair of oxen or other draft animals working together. Literally, it means to share with another, to enter into a deal with another, or to fellowship with another in a long lasting relationship. The yoke itself, according to the definition, is not a problem, because it is expected of children of God to fellowship and participates with each other.

The major problem is the unequal yoke in Christian business ethics. When we discuss unequal yoke we mean the inequalities of the parties involved in a deal—in terms of personal characters, spiritual understanding, spiritual goals, the core master that both parties are serving in the deal, the cardinal objectives of the association and the expected fruit therefrom.


In fact this is one of the writings of Paul that continue to prove that he was truly inspired of the Holy Spirit to be so detailed in bringing so many precepts of the word of God together with a simple phrase. To be unequal yoked, according to the understanding of this passage, means to enter into an important life dealings with a spiritual stranger. That is why the scripture warned the Israelites in Deuteronomy 22:10 “Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together.” Cattle and donkey although they are both animal but they are not the same species. They have different attributes. They are not equal in strength and abilities. Therefore the pair cannot be put together to handle the same strenuous task. They are not made to serve the same master on the same task. The engagement of the two will be counter-productive at the detriment of one of the animals.

God did not permit the unequal yoke relating to business ethics among animals. In the same way God forbade marital contract with the heathen. Deuteronomy 7: 3-4 “Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.”

Solomon profile…..

  • Solomon was one of the famous kings in Israel. When he was born, because God loved him, He sent a word through Prophet Nathan to name him Jedidiah (beloved of the Lord) 2 Samuel 12:24-24
  • God specially endowed Solomon with understanding heart, unparalleled wisdom and abundant wealth.
  • Solomon was endowed with the grace to build the famous temple of God, known as Temple of Solomon
  • Solomon was not an evangelist but he led the entire nation of Israel to the temple of God at the dedication ceremony of the Temple.
  • Solomon was not a priest but he prayed one of the most brilliant prayers in the Bible 2 Chronicles chapter 6 and God answer the prayer with fire. 2 Chronicles 7:1-2 The saints in our time still reference the prayer of Solomon in their prayer when they seek the face of God.

After considering the righteous profile of King Solomon at the beginning of his reign, let us compare it with the passage we read earlier in I Chronicles 11:1-2. The word ‘strange’ in verse one is not referring to the nationalities of these women but it is pointing to the spiritual incompatibility of Solomon with these women. Solomon was unequal yoked with these women. He used his wisdom to secure peace in his kingdom at the expenses of his relationship with God, and he lost his anointing, his relationship with God and was dragged into a deep abominable idolatry.

 Apostle Paul took a shot at some of the comparisons relating to unequal yoke in II Corinthians 6:14-16, He asked, “What fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness, and what communion has light with darkness? What concord has Christ with Satan? What part has believers with unbelievers? What agreement has temple of idol with temple of the Living God? The last time the Ark of Living God was co-existed with Dagon idol god, something unusual happened. I Samuel 5:2-4 I believe we will not have problems in answering these questions.


Shift in dependency—Solomon depended on his wisdom instead of God who gave him everything he unequally yoked with strange women who dragged him to idolatry.
Impatience—Abraham, the father of faith unequally yoked with Hagar, the maid of Serah, he went in her in order to have a child
Covetousness and Greed—Juda Iscariot yoked with enemy and sold his Master, Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver
Worldliness and Lust—Demas unequally yoked with worldliness and lust, he lost his eternity—2 Timothy 4:10
Willful disobedience—Balaam unequally yoked with Balaak. He disobeyed God to honored the invitation of Balak


The first word that readily comes to mind when I think about the consequence of unequal yoke is entrapment. The entire world is entrapped in the problem of chaos and terrorism because of the unequal yoke of Abraham that resulted in the conception of Ishmael by Hagar the hand maid of Serah.

All the people mentioned above in unequal yoke activities unfortunately involved themselves in spiritual failure of compromising their faiths. When this happens it is like they cast their spiritual pearls to the swine that trampled upon it. They unfortunately trade their anointing, their salvation and eternity for shame, sorrow, pain and sudden death and as well as sudden end of their ministry. Samson unequally yoked with Delilah. He lost his vision, his physical strengthen, and his ministry came to a sudden end.


To the youths, the scripture is asking you today, “What characters are your friends displaying in the school? Are they living a life of righteousness? Is holiness their watch word? Is the fear of God manifesting in their lives? Are both of you compatible spiritually?

To the adult brethren the Lord is asking you today, “What is the spiritual background of your important counselor? Is he guiding you under the fear of God? Do you really know your business associate very well? Are both of you compatible spiritually? Are both of you serving the same Master Jesus? Does the ultimate goal of your association enhance the goal of eternity?

If answers to these questions are negative, the counsel of God to you today is in the book of Hosea 4:17 “Ephraim is joined to idols: let him alone.” Be ye separate. “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:17)

Let us pray


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