When at the Crossroads, Ask for the Ancient Paths
Text: Jer. 6.9-21
Thesis: To prove that the way to rest is the tried and true path of God.
(1) We live in an ever-changing world.
(2) Change, in and of itself, is not a bad thing.
(3) However, there are some things that do not change.
I. The CONDITION of the people (vv. 9-15):
A. Israel was heading toward destruction despite her belief that everything was o.k.
1. In verse 9, Israel is pictured as a vineyard that is about to be gleaned by the Babylonians.
2. In verse 10, God is seen as longing to warn His people, but they are seen as refusing to listen to Him.
3. In verses 11-15, Jeremiah declared that, regardless to the people’s stubbornness, he must warn everyone anyway that judgment is coming to all, especially to the false prophets who:
a. Are greedy for gain (v. 13a.)
b. Declare false hope (v. 14)
c. Feel no shame or remorse for their actions (v. 15)
d. Note: In Jeremiah 5:
(1) Jeremiah is encouraged to find a true prophet (v. 1)
(2) He could not because:
(a) The prophets were speaking lies in the name of the Lord (v. 2)
(b) “They are waxen fat and shine” (v. 28, KJV)
(c) The people love it this way (v. 28)
B. Today, many people believe that everything is o.k. when, in reality, they are heading toward a path of destruction.
1. Prov. 14:12 – There is a way that seems right, but the end is destruction
2. E.g., many are walking according to false doctrine taught by false teachers.
3. Others are so desensitized that they see no need for God.
II. The CURE for the people (v. 16):
A. Stand at the crossroads and look –
1. “Jeremiah pictures travelers who have lost their way; when they arrive at the crossroads, the moment calls for clear decision” (Feinberg 423).
2. They need to get on the right path.
B. Ask for the ancient paths –
1. ‘Ancient’ refers to a path well tried, which here would mean “the way of life and faith walked in by their ancestors, which was the way of the covenant” (Craigie, Kelly & Drinkard 106).
2. “Israel had reached a point in its spiritual history when it did not need a new revelation from God so much as the will to respond to the revelation already given” (Thompson 261).
3. Truth had not changed
a. God does not change (Mal. 3.6).
b. Christ does not change (Heb. 13.8).
c. He gospel has not changed (Matt. 24.35).
d. The 1st century gospel is still needed in the 21st century.
4. Note PATHS – A path leads somewhere.
a. Old path led to Heaven
(1) Enoch (Gen. 4)
(2) Elijah (2 Kings 2)
b. It still leads to Heaven.
C. Walk in it –
1. Knowledge of the way is vanity if no application is made.
2. We must continually walk in the light (1 John 1.7).
D. You will find rest for your souls –
1. “Only the old paths of fidelity to God would give them rest for their souls” (Smith 209).
2. Today, only Jesus will give us rest (cf. Matt. 11:28-30).
III. The CHOICE made by the people (v. 16 b., 17 b.):
A. “We will not walk in it”
B. “We will not listen”
C. God had done all that He could do; thus, they needed to make a choice.
1. Jos. 24.15 – Choose you this day
2. Some choose to do just a little of God’s way and/or put on a good face (cf. Matt. 7.21-23).
D. That does not have to be your choice.
IV. The CONSEQUENCE of their decision (vv. 18-21):
A. In verse 19, God states that judgment is coming.
B. In verse 20, God emphasizes that their sacrifices will not spare them from the coming judgment.
- “When sin is not forsaken, sacrifices are useless … Offerings are worthless when the heart is not right in making them” (Feinberg 424).
C. Consequence today= 1) Heaven or 2) Hell
(1) What will you choose?
(2) Ask for the ancient paths!
(3) Illustration of 3 votes.