The Old Paths
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. ~Jeremiah 6:16
Before societies focused heavily on street and freeway infrastructures, they had old roads and new roads. An old road was a known pathway that all merchants and travelers took to get to a destination. It was a well-known path that had markers, was considered safe, and would get you to your desired location. When a new road was made, travelers still used the older road because of its reliability and safety. God told Judah, “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein.” Let us be encouraged this morning by the importance of standing in the old paths.
We see the established attributes.
The old paths are the paths that have been established for us in God’s Word and have been traveled upon by our spiritual forefathers. These old paths include unchangeable doctrines, unwavering devotion, untiring duty, and unrelenting dependence. The successful Christian life is when we hold fast and true to what we believe (doctrine), our love for the Lord (devotion), our work and responsibilities for the Lord (duty), and our faith and trust in Him (dependence). These attributes of the old paths are what Abraham followed, what Moses followed, what Joshua followed, what David followed, what Elijah and Elisha followed, what John the Baptist followed, what Peter followed, what Paul followed, and what characterized the faith of our fathers. The old paths are tested, tried, and true. The old paths are the good way.
We see the earnest advice.
God’s advice for us is to stand in the way and ask for the old paths. The old paths are relevant, reviving, and reliable. Reading, studying, and meditating on the Bible is a key marker on the old path. Praying and making intercession to God is a key marker on the old path. Witnessing and winning souls to Christ is another key marker. Faithful church attendance is another major marker on the old path. Supporting the missions program of the church and participating in a missions trip is an essential part of the old path. Notice, God said that we should ask for the old paths. We should ask that we make the old paths something that we do not change. We should ask for courage to step out in faith and help advance the cause of missions. We should ask for the old paths to be real in the lives of the generation following us.
We see the encouraging advantage.
“...And ye shall find rest for your souls.” We live in a world where everything is subject to change. The old, sinful nature despises the old paths. The old nature is always looking to change or add to what God has said will work. When we deviate from the old path, there are always conflicts. These include marital, philosophical, parent-child, church, evangelistic, and generational conflicts. People are trying to find an easier way to do God’s work. However, Jesus said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” Rest for our soul is not found in devices, doubts, or detours. It is found in a secure relationship with the Lord. Jesus has overcome the world, and when we are in submission to Him, we have rest for our soul. When we take His yoke upon us and give Him our heavy burdens, we have rest for our soul. The old path of trusting and obeying never fails. Rest for our soul is when the peace of God that passes all understanding rules our hearts and minds. This gives us the reliable advantage in a world where things are unstable and constantly shifting.
Don’t abandon the old paths! Stand in the way and ask for them. You might have fewer friends, but you are in a proven path that will not fail. Don’t let trends and trickery move you. Stand in the old paths and find rest for your soul!
Have a steadfast God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Matthew 24-25