“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 had been faithfully warning his people about the coming destruction of Jerusalem, but they demonstrated no interest in hearing the Word of the Lord. The Lord
instructed them to stand in the ways and see. It was a very practical and understandable command. There were numerous paths or roads to observe, and they represented different directions and destinations. They were to ask for “the good way.” The people needed to choose the way they would follow.
There are many paths available for people to select today. People need to take a serious look at the varied roads and where they will lead. Jeremiah charged them to “ask for the old paths.” God urged His people to ask for the proven paths of righteousness, holiness, and obedience. What a needed message in our day also. Multitudes of professing Christians have no interest in the old paths of godliness. They are choosing newer paths of compromise and spiritual complacency.
The old paths of separation from sin and old-fashioned values are ridiculed, even by those who claim to know the Lord. The old paths are not welcomed because they are not deemed to be as enjoyable or pleasurable. The old paths are not as popular and socially acceptable. But, we are not to choose a path of life because it is fun or crowded, but because it is right.
God tells us to seek the old paths, and walk in them. If indeed the people would walk in the old paths they would “find rest for your souls.” Spiritual rest would be found on the old paths. This is why God commands us to desire and follow the old paths: because it is for our benefit. It is best for us to follow the old and proven paths of holiness and obedience. Those who are determined to trod the modern paths of compromise do so in hopes of securing a more peaceful and prosperous path, but the true way to rest is the old paths. However, knowing that God ordered them to seek out and follow the old paths, the people said, “We will not walk therein.” They refused to obey the Lord and rebelled against His counsel. The sound advice to walk in the old paths is still being ignored by many, but it is the wisest journey to travel.