“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 said, We will not walk therein.” Jeremiah 6:16
Here is a commandment born out of a heart of pure love. The Father looks at the way the world is going and sees that it is inevitably coming to sudden destruction. He sees the new fashion trends and sees that they are all schemes by the devil to lure men into uncleanness and eventual destruction. He sees the movies and songs men watch and listen to and sees that they are filled with seeds of unrighteousness which the devil sows in the hearts of those who yield to it. He even looks at the sermons in the Church, the dressing of so-called brothers and sisters and the general mode of worship and service and sees that they are all born out of the fleshy feelings and thoughts of men and are inspired by demons. However, there is one striking thing that God also sees; His very own children who have once been saved by His precious blood have not only turned to walk in these slippery and dark paths, but are also calling others into it!
But God does not sit silently while His own fall into destruction. His first call is “Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way…” His first call is to draw our attention back to the examples that faithful saints of old left for us. The Way itself is a Person – the Lord Jesus Christ, and there are those who have faithfully and patiently walked therein and obtained the Prize. The Father says to us “see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way”. He does not see any other good way than that in which His faithful saints walked. He does not tell us of another good way except that which is the following after the Lord Jesus Christ. Of other ways, He says, “There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again — it leads straight to hell.” (Proverbs 14:12). Many preachers and teachers today tell us of other ways; they tell us of the ways of mammon; they tell us of the ways of lasciviousness and many other ways and these look harmless enough. But God says, “look again — it leads straight to hell.” So we see here that God does not call us to a blind path; He does not call us to an unclear and uncertain future; He says “see”. When we look, sure enough we see. When we look at the Lord Jesus Christ, we see a perfect walk and a perfect end (indeed there is no ‘end’; we only use the word to mean the way in which He left the earth). When we look at father Abraham, we see a faithful walk with God and a glorious end. When we look at king David, we see a loving walk with God and a glorious end. Do we need more to look at Isaiah, Elisha, Paul, Peter, John and the host of them? Look, if you may and you will see a blissful life and a glorious end.
But God goes further to say “ask for the old paths”. Here, He calls for a diligent searching for this Way in which the great saints walked and entered God’s eternal glory. He, by this, makes it clear that it is still perfectly possible to live like they lived even amidst the vanities and oppositions that surround us. Never think it is impossible to live a completely holy and blameless life. The question is not, “is it possible to live without blame?” the question is, “what is needed for me to live a totally blameless life?” This will spur us on into deeper research into the Word of God to find this old Way which the modern organised church has neglected.
But even at this point, God does not stop. He does not bring a hungry child into His banqueting hall and when the child’s appetite has been whetted by the things he sees, He takes them away. No, he brought us into His banqueting hall, first to see that which He has set for us and then to partake of them in its fullest! So the Lord does not only call us to see or to search, He calls us further to “walk therein”. Here is an opportunity which if we truly realize its potentials, we will gladly let go of all things and pursue. The Way is set before us; the Scriptures are filled with examples of those who walked well and those who did not. Now the batten has fallen into our hands; the call is “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God”. (Hebrews 12:1-2). But God has not called us unto a vain pursuit. He clearly says: “I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘Seek Me in vain’; (Isaiah 45:19). He promises rest for those who will walk in these old paths. He promises to give us peace with God and peace in God. There is no other good way.
But what is our response? “We will not walk therein.” Shocking, isn’t it? We are like a drowning man who refuses to give out his hands to the only person who can save him from drowning. One may wonder; why are we so hard-hearted against this loving call which is really for our own good. The reason is not far-fetched. “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15). We love the world so we cannot yield in loving obedience to the Father’s commandments. The Father commands decency in dressing but we love the world and do not want to appear in a way as to offend the standards of worldly appearance. That explains why the first style we see sinners put on, we hurriedly rush for. The Father commands purity of mind but we do not want to have a mind that will produce a life which the world hates. So we pollute our minds with their movies, songs pictures, conversations etc. The Father commands absolute abstinence from pre-marital and outside-marriage sex. But the world frowns at this command and because we love the world so much, we do not want to offend it. So we take our bodies and join it unto harlots and dirty dogs. We could continue on and on to mention how this shameful love of the world in us has made us harden our hearts against the loving commands of our Father. The Lord said: “If you love me, you will obey what I command.” (John 14:15). So we do not obey what He commands, because we do not love Him.
But what is the end of this our shameful love for the world? After we have shunned God’s holy commandments and gone on as an unfaithful wife with the world, what do we gain? “And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever.” (1 John 2:17). Does it not alarm you to find out that you are going to perish with the world? Does it not make you fear that because you have been unfaithful to your Husband and has hardened your heart against all His pleas, He will eventually reject you and cut you off and treat you as a traitor and an infidel? Will you not tremble before the Lord in fear and repent? Have you become so familiar with His love and mercy that you forget that He is also a fire that consumes?
At this point, we want to warn you as sternly as the love of God helps us to, that you return unto your first love in repentance. Right now, He calls earnestly and tenderly and compassionately. But how shocked you will be when on that great Day of Judgment, the One you once called “Father” will say to you with all perfect justice and finality: ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ (Matthew 7:23). Will you join me to say this prayer with all sincerity and brokenness and faith?
Precious Father, You are my very own Father,
But I have been a rebellious child.
You have instructed me in Your love
But I have turned away from Your commands in stubbornness.
Holy Father, I repent of this shameful love of the world in me
Please forgive me and cleanse my heart from it.
Create in me a clean, pure and holy heart
And renew a right, steadfast and faithful spirit in me.
Please do not cast me out of Your holy Presence
Please never take Your Spirit away from me.
But I command every other spirit of the world
To get out of my life right now in Jesus name!
Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit
Please rekindle Your love in my heart
And help me henceforth to walk in Your love
To the glory of Your worthy name.
Thank You precious Darling,
In Jesus name, amen.