Bible Reading: Jeremiah 6:16-21

“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)

Our lives are always full of decisions. Some of them are trivial, yet, some of them will determine our future. Israel, at this time, had made a very bad decision to reject God and pursue their paganistic desires. However, once again, Jeremiah gives a call, a choice to repent. 

Jeremiah tells the Israelites to ask and walk in the good ancient path. Jeremiah tells the Israelites to follow the course of their forefathers, who had previously been faithful in a relationship with God. What is this good and ancient path that brings about rest in our souls? 

We can take a look at many examples. For us, there is written a list of them in Hebrews 11. The good and ancient path is a path of faith in God. Having faith means trusting God fully. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” When we have faith, even though we cannot see where God is leading, or we cannot see how things will ever rationally work out, we decide to obey God because we trust Him and what He has to say in His Word. 

Take Abraham, for an example. He was living nicely in the land of Ur, where he had wealth and prosperity. Then, out of nowhere, God tells him to leave for a promised land. Back in those days, outside of civilization was wilderness. There was literally nothing. There was no communication, no place to buy food, no place to find water. If you ran out of these things in the wilderness, you were dead meat. However, Abraham trusted God more than his own reasoning. 

Moreover, at one stage, God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son. When God asked Abraham to take Isaac and slay him as an offering to God, Abraham must have been out of his mind. Why would God do that? God had just given him a son. It was God’s promise. From this son, God would produce the offspring that God had previously promised. Even more, child sacrifice was illegal according to Jewish law. What was God thinking? 

It would have been easy for Abraham to reject God. Instead, however, Abraham resolved to trust in God. Because of that, Abraham’s faith presented itself in obedience and action. Early in the morning, Abraham took Isaac and placed him on an altar at the place where God had appointed. At that moment, God showed that He was faithful to His promises, and God provided a ram in place of Isaac. 

The ancient path is a path of faith and obedience. It is a path of trusting in God and following His ways. Only this way will give us rest in our souls. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” 

When we trust and decide to obey Christ in faith, even though His ways may seem out of our reason, we will have rest in our souls. Too often, we decide to trust in ourselves and our own reason. This is not God’s way. If you see what Israel chose, you might be shocked. They decided to reject the ancient path. Instead, they followed their own ratio and mind and did what they thought would please God. They were wrong, and destruction awaited them. 

We should realise that often, we are like the Israelites. We know what is right, but we still choose wrong. Let us learn to repent and turn to the ancient path of faith and obedience to God. 

Lord, please forgive us when we decide to trust in ourselves and our own minds. Help us trust in You and have faith in You even when Your ways don’t always make perfect sense. Thank You for Your Word and Your constant faithfulness to us. In Jesus’ name, amen.