The Old Paths are the Right Ways
“Stand ye in the ways, and ask for the old paths, where is the good
way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah
God in His mercy was to establish Israel as an instrument of divine
revelation in the world and constitute her a witness amongst the
contemporary pagan generation, one true and living God (Deut. 7:6-8).
God therefore told them: “Take care to follow the commands, decrees and
law I gave you today.” (Deut. 7:11-12). But Israel rebelled and sinned
against the Lord God.
About five years after King Josiah instituted his reform in
Jerusalem, the prophet Jeremiah received a divine call to prophesy to
the people of Judah and the surrounding nations. (Jer. 1:9, 20:9, 1:6).
Jeremiah concentrated upon warning the nation about the imminent
disaster from the north (Jer. 1:13) and denouncing the various
corruptions of contemporary life. Jeremiah like other prophets was sent
by God to lead Israel with knowledge and understanding (Jer. 3:15). But
despite the stubbornness of their hearts God in his kindness asked them
to return to him if only they acknowledged their guilty heart (Jer.
3:12-13). Therefore God wanted them to live. He clearly told them “to
stand at the crossroads and look, ask for the ancient paths, ask where
the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
God had recalled the nation to remember about his undying love
achieved in the Israeli’s history, prophecy and the Law which
represented the good ways. That means to take care to follow the
commands, decrees and laws which are the ancient paths of the Mosaic
tradition best to practice because they are true. Through these they
would be saved. But they refused to walk in them and were engaged in
the “work of flesh” (Deut. 9:12). The prophets were God’s sentinels
over the nations (Isa. 52:8, Ezek. 3:17, Hab. 2:1).
The trumpet blast was a signal to escape the disaster (Amos 6:1,
3:6). But they hardened their hearts despite all the warnings, the
people refused to flee from the wrath to come. God called the Gentiles
to witness the sentence of destruction that would come to them because
the nation had ignored God’s word and rejected the covenant with him
(Jer. 6:18-19). For that reason the nation suffered a severe
persecution because of their sins.
So for us today God’s love proves to us that he does not show
favouritism (Rom. 2:11). Jews and Gentiles alike are under sin. All
have turned away and become worthless (Rom. 3:9-18). It was because
that God had compassion towards all mankind that he sent His one and
only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal
life (John 3:16).
The Bible today is our trumpet blast which warns us of the coming
disaster in this world. Jesus Christ is the new covenant who made us
able to approach God on an individual basis rather than as members of a
historically-covenanted group. Walking in the ways of God is to learn,
understand and practice His promises in Christ Jesus and appreciate our
heavenly Father for the value of the precious hope of life eternal He
sets before us freely if only we repent. Jesus Christ is to come in
this world suddenly and will judge the world..
There is time for any person to repent and be healed while God’s
wrath is tempered with mercy. “For as the heaven is high above the
earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him (Ps. 103:11).
Dear brethren and sisters, let us not engage ourselves in the work of
the flesh nor in worldly things that are to pass away at the appearing
of Christ Jesus. Let us be firm in the Truth; patient, gentle and
compassionate to exhort and praying for those who are out of God’s ways
while the time remains. Why lose courage?
Bro. Isidore E. Mwibeleca (Lugufu 1, Tanzania)