Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” But they said, “We will not walk in it.”

Jeremiah 6: 16

 

There is a path to take in this life that leads its travelers away from chaos and disturbance and into lasting peace. Yet it is not always so easy to find. Our culture and its teachings speak about other ways that are better, that are fairer, that bring prosperity, and that create unity. The voice of these times is very persuasive, and it is loud. Pressure is continually placed upon people to abandon these old pathways in favor of those that are efficient and progressive. We are told that true peace is discovered in ourselves and that those old ways are just suggested routes to knowing God that have lost their relevance as humanity has gained in its discernment and understanding.

 

Sadly, this is exactly the sort of thinking and living that Jeremiah is speaking about in the last sentence of this verse. When people reject God’s truth and the way of life that it leads us to, there will be consequences. There will be unrest, strife, conflict, and destruction. A great deal of this plays out in our personal lives as we live selfishly and in a manner wherein our self-determined truths prove to be shallow and incapable of sustaining us through the real challenges that come our way. I do believe that God also reaches out with His hand of anger and rebuke. There is far more truth to the phrase, “Act of God” than we usually understand or accept as fact. Some of the time God acts directly in order to shake our confidence in the new roads of false truth that we have designed and developed. On other occasions, He removes the hand of protection that normally restrains evil so that the destruction that is the natural consequence of sin befalls us. It is impossible to outguess God in these matters. The only thing that matters is that first expression of truth, “Walk in the ancient paths.”

 

When we seek to know God intimately, fully, and exclusively; He will show us His way. The Lord desires for each of us individually and for all of His people gathered together to meditate on His Word, to listen to His voice of truth, and to purposefully follow the pathways that He sets out for us. This means that we need to reject the foolish wisdom of our age with its compromise and its denial of the simple message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to determine to live our lives and to engage with Christ’s Body in seeking to travel along the path of humility, loss, gentleness, righteousness, mercy, purity, peace making, surrender, and worship so that Christ and His glory are held on high for the entire world to see and to follow. In order for us to travel along this true road, we may need to do some very aggressive pruning and clearing away of the entanglements that have obscured it from our view. Yet, the hard work and the pain that may be involved are more than worth the effort, for God’s ancient path leads to peace for the soul and to the restoration that can only come through Christ.