God speaks to us through His word even as He spoke to prophets of old. The old paths are not obvious or directly accessible. Indeed they do require careful enquiry and prayerful study. You may not find them detailed on the more popular articles – nor will they always align with contemporary thoughts on correctness. The term “old” is both odious and distasteful to the palate of every generation. Teaching the old paths to one who neither asks nor seeks for it is like offering pearls to swine. But God has ordained a restoration of the old paths so that many may come to His promised rest.
Jer_6:16 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.
Asking combined with a purposeful stance, a divine vision to return to God and obedience to walk right - will result in rest … a ceasing from waste and vain efforts. The path refers to a way of life, an approach to matters and a direction that leads to a goal. May our end be good. It does not mean being old fashioned but it does mean learning from saints of old and Bible heroes and understanding their motivations and how they coped with pressures to divide their heart. It means being always out of fashion which is not the same as being old or new … rather there is a timelessness in the kingdom style waiting to be discovered.
Those who departed from the old paths did not immediately find woe … Many like Solomon enjoyed great honor, wisdom and wealth for silver was like stones in the time of Solomon .. a King whose divided heart encouraged perhaps the worst paths of idolatry … until God mercifully had to raise discord to terminate his rule – even as God remembered and honors His promise to David to never take his mercy from Solomon. Following the erring ways of Solomon – expecting the same mercy is a wrong path. But what kind of man is David for whom God binds himself to such a far reaching oath of love – even that which delivers a wild son?
David walked the old path. This is the path of true worship in the presence of God symbolized by his quest to reinstall the Ark of God in its right place … correcting even his own well-intended errors in the process. It is the path of repentance not justification of evil (for David erred often) and the way of loving God … seeking to please Him. The old path means living in complete obedience and seeking to honor God. The old path is the path of a close walk with God … a relationship that has the hands of God closely holding on to ours …leading us daily. The old path is the good way that leads to God’s rest.
In the time of Jeremiah, they said they will not walk therein. Why ? Perhaps the same reason as today …how can we think and behave as in ancient times? But our God is the ancient of days. Must we not change many things to reflect the times? But our God changeth not. There is a way that seems right to every new generation but which leads nowhere … but there are timeless principles locked in the word of God which God Himself must reveal. Oftentimes our limited minds never fully comprehend their value.
It is not enough to ask for the old paths, but we must also walk that path for our peace. Many know, teach and even argue for the old paths, but are trapped in a postmodern error. They usually confuse an improving quality of life for God’s pleasure. A study of the Bible reveals that God always had to raise revolutionary leaders like Nehemiah to bring the children of Israel back to the right path as they consistently deviated. You can argue that today there are even far more drivers that push and pull in many different paths. Indeed, God is still sending men like King Josiah to restore us His children to the old paths.
2Ki 23:25 And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the LORD with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him.
Men like Nehemiah and King Josiah brought reform through the authority given by God. The prophet Jeremiah must endure rejection as they declare “we will not walk therein” … Different types of divine instruments are playing vital roles as old paths are being restored in the body of Christ. Old paths are the timeless paths …ask for them.