“For 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 say, We will not walk therein.” (Jeremiah 6:16)
I’m all for progress. New, innovative ways of doing things—new looks even. Christians like David Livingstone, who are willing to blaze new trails, often turn out to be true pioneers of the Faith. The Bible warns us against sentimentalizing the past to the point that anything new, simply by virtue of its “newness,” is never able to measure up in our estimation (Eccl.7:10). Still, it is important to remember that new is only profitable if it’s better, or at least, as good. If it’s inferior, it does not represent progress.
It is obvious this verse is not speaking of salvation, which is limited to only one path or way (Jno. 14:6). Here we are considering “paths” and “ways.” To my way of thinking, it is personal conduct and interpersonal dealings—our code of ethics, if you will—that is being considered here. You see, we must remember that some new paths are really dead-ends; and if true happiness and “rest for [our] souls” is the desired end, there should be a sign on some paths reading, “You can’t get there from here!”
Here, then, are some “good ‘ole paths” you and I would be wise to stick to:
INTEGRITY: truthfulness, honesty, fairness, making the hard decisions
FIDELITY: remaining true to God, family, and our Bible-based standards
PURITY: respecting the body God has given us, as the temple of the Holy Spirit
SANCTITY: making sure every part of our lives is set apart for God and His glory
This may only be a beginning, but it’s enough to keep me busy! Of course, you and I are free to make the same choice Israel did: “We will not walk therein.” But, if so, we’ll meet with similar consequences.
So, walk the old paths, friend of mine. Say…let’s walk them together.