Ask for the Old Paths

Ask for the Old Paths

Even though we are no longer under the Old Testament system, it is filled with many lessons for us (Rom. 15:4). One lesson is found in the time of Jeremiah, which was a time of religious and social turmoil. The nation of Israel was being pulled in many directions, and the Lord wanted to offer them rest for their souls (Jer. 6:16).

Using the picture of lost travelers, the Lord called them to “ask for the old paths” (Jer. 6:16). Yes, there are many directions that we may follow, but the old way is the best way because it leads to Jehovah. In this case, the old paths led back to the Law of Moses (Jer. 7:22-24). Today, the old way leads back to the words of Jesus because He is the One who offers rest for our souls (Matt. 11:28-29). He wants us to strive to enter the right path (Luke 13:24), because it is the only way to the Father (John 14:6; Acts 4:12). Yes, there is a broad way that we may follow if we choose, but that way leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13).

Additionally, God established a “highway” for them to follow, but Israel stumbled because they had forgotten Him and turned to many of the side “pathways” (Jer. 18:15). Today, God’s people face similar dangers. Our Lord Jesus established a “highway” for us to follow: His words, doctrine, and commandments (Matt. 11:29). Yet, there are many “pathways” that would lead us astray, like the doctrines of men (Matt. 15:9) or even the philosophies of men (Col. 2:8). These teachings are often packaged as “new” and “improved,” but these doctrines and philosophies fail to deliver what only the Lord truly offers, “rest for your souls” (Matt. 11:28-29).

Finally, to ensure that Israel was not led astray, they were to “set up signposts and make landmarks” (Jer. 31:21). For them, they were the Law of Moses (Deut. 4:1-2; 6). Today, these “signposts” and “landmarks” are found in the doctrine of Christ, without which we cannot have God (2 Jn. 9). His words were provided by the Holy Spirit (Jn. 16:12-13) and communicated through His apostles (Matt. 28:20). In fact, the early disciples of the church were careful to follow the apostles’ teaching (Ac. 2:42), and today, Christians are commanded to follow them (2 Thess. 2:15; 3:6).

-John Garza