ASK FOR THE OLD PATHS
Study text: Jeremiah 6:16
- The Old Testament is filled with many lessons for the Christians:
a. It was written for our learning - Rom 15:4
b. It was written for our admonition - 1Cor 10:11
- One such lesson is that found in the days of Jeremiah. In a time of religious and social turmoil, the nation of Israel was being pulled in many directions
-The Lord wanted to offer them rest for their souls (Jer 6:16). Using the imagery of travelers who have lost their way, the Lord calls for them to:
I. ASK FOR THE OLD PATHS
A. THE LORD MAKES HIS PLEA.
1. "Stand in the ways and see" - Jer 6:16
- There is not just one path. There are many directions one might follow
2. "Ask for the old paths" - Jer 6:16
- The 'old way' is often the best way. Such is certainly the case here
3. "Where the good way is" - Jer 6:16
- Not all paths lead to the 'good way'. In this case, the old paths led back to the Law of Moses - Jer 7:22-24
B. JESUS MAKES A SIMILAR PLEA TODAY.
1. To strive to enter the right path - Luk 13:24
- With a gate that is narrow, and not easily entered. Where there is only one way to the Father - John 14:6; Acts 4:12
2. For there are other, broad, ways that one might follow - Mat 7:13
- A way that many follow. A way that leads to destruction
3. Yet the way Jesus offers is a 'good way'
- One that likewise offers rest for our souls - Mat 11:28. In this case, the way leads back to words of Jesus - Mat 11:29
-The words of Jesus are relatively "old" by today's standards. What happened to Israel appears to be the case with many today. As described in Jer 18:15, they had stumbled:
II. FROM THE ANCIENT PATHS, TO WALK IN PATHWAYS
A. ISRAEL HAD STUMBLED.
- Why? Because they had forgotten God - Jer 18:15. Though God had revealed Himself and His will long before
- He had established a "highway" for them to follow. Instead, they had turned to many of the side "pathways"
B. GOD'S PEOPLE FACE SIMILAR DANGERS TODAY.
- Jesus established a "highway" for us to follow. His words, doctrine, commandments - Mat 11:29 ('learn from Me')
- Communicated through His apostles - Mat 28:20. Aided by the Holy Spirit - John 16:12-13
- Which the early disciples were careful to follow - Acts 2:42
- Which the Christians were commanded to follow - 2Thes 2:15;3:6
- Yet there are man "pathways" that would lead us astray. Such as doctrines of men - Mat 15:9. Such as philosophies of men - Col 2:8
-Often packaged as "new!" and "improved!", such doctrines and philosophies fail to deliver what only the Lord truly offers ("rest for your souls"). To ensure that we are not led astray, we need to:
III. SET UP SIGNPOSTS, MAKE LANDMARKS
A. THIS WAS THE SOLUTION FOR ISRAEL.
- To set up road marks which would direct them back to the right way - Jer 31:21
- For them, these 'signposts' and 'landmarks' was the Law of Moses. To which they were not to add or take way - Deut 4:1-2. Which they were to teach every generation - Deut 4:9
B. THIS IS THE SOLUTION FOR US TODAY.
- To set up road marks which lead us to the right way
- For us, these 'signposts' and 'landmarks' are found in:
a. The apostles' doctrine, received as God’s Word - Acts 2:42; 1Cor 14:37; 1Thes 2:13
b. For they contain the doctrine of Christ, without which we cannot have God - 2John 9
- Do you desire to have rest for your soul...? Freedom from sin, freedom from guilt? With inner peace and tranquility in the midst of outward turmoil?
- The path to such rest is an old path:
a. Found only in Him who lived and died for our sins above 2000 years ago
b. Whose doctrine has been faithfully preserved by His apostles in the New Testament
-If you are stumbling around in life, then "Ask for the Old Paths" that
will lead you back to God...!