One of the things we dread in life is the unsolicited advice offered by friends, acquaintances and family.  It’s not always unwelcome and there are even occasions when we seek advice from those we trust.  This was our topic for study last week and we drew from the text of Jeremiah 6:16.  There are several things the Lord gave advice on through this man of God to those who were chosen of God to be His people.  The text is – Thus says the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk {in it}.’”

In God’s call for reviving their relationship with Him they were advised to stand by the way and look for something.  It isn’t the easiest thing to look for something when actively involved in other areas, so the Lord says “stop” and look.  But what are we to look for?  In addition to looking the Lord adds asking.  We are to seek “the ancient paths, where the good way is.” 

I have been led to believe in the past that we should seek the paths of our heritage, sometimes from recent history, while other times directed to the early church activities found in the New Testament.  The passage of study however directs us to “ancient paths”.  A path is where one walks.  I can’t help but think about passages where men of God walked with Him.  Men like Enoch, Noah and Abraham.  These were also men of faith.  The ancient paths are too often looked at in regard to their actions rather than the faith that resulted in their actions.  Do we not refer to our new Christian life as a walk of faith?  Do we not “walk by faith, not by sight?”  I believe the “ancient paths, the good way, where rest for our souls is found” is the path of faith.  When we put our faith in God it will manifest itself, or make itself known by our actions as described in the book of James, chapter 2, when he says, “Faith without works is dead.”   

The latter part of the verse shows a rejection of God in that those addressed by Jeremiah stated, “I will not walk in it.”  What will you do?

Copyright © 2003, Nolan P. Rutter

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