Jeremiah 6:16 This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.”
The people of Israel knew the way they should go, the Lord had sent Jeremiah to warn them. The promise of blessing was offered if they would only stop breaking God’s laws and start living faithfully, but the people refused.
What is it that is so enticing that causes people to refuse God’s blessing and continue in their own ways?
Sin promises freedom, pleasure, power, and all forms of fleshly indulgence and yet it leads to death.
Jeremiah 5:25 “Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.”
The hope of God’s promises are turned into dismay the longer we forsake His path. The Lord offers goodness in this world of heartache and yet many still choose to follow their own path.
There are crossroads in life all the time, those moments we come to where we can either make the right decision and follow after righteousness or the wrong decision and follow the flesh.
There are so many who are gripped with fear over these moments in life. The notion is often exaggerated to the point where people believe their lives will either succeed or fail based off one particular decision.
This pervasive fear is a product of who they are trusting.
When we trust our own intellect or ability to reason through a predicament, we begin to see the multitude of variables we can’t control. Financial decisions can be a major stressor when all of the key indicators show we are not in control. A job opportunity or an election are moments that we think will change the entire spectrum of our future. Sometimes, a bad decision does lead to heartache, strife, and financial ruin. In the days of Jeremiah, the decisions Israel was making were leading them to complete destruction.
God knew the right path, He was showing Israel the path of blessing and freedom and yet they chose to ignore His messenger.
Exodus 23:22 "But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries." There are times when the fear of progressing in a particular way is a result of opposition. Instead of moving forward on the course we know we should be on, we go around trouble to avoid harm. J.K. Rowling once stated in her books, "I don't go looking for trouble, trouble finds me." I'm not a big fan of Rowling but I do think the phrase is applicable in life. We think we are choosing our path when all along we discover, the path is being laid out before us. The Lord directs our paths and what seems to be trouble are actually moments of testing. Exodus 20:20 "And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” These moments of testing are opportunities for growth. The Lord promises to never leave you or forsake you, and since He is always faithful we can know that the trouble will not lead to our destruction but for our betterment.
What are the ancient paths? Why does God encourage His people to seek them?
Psalm 119:35 “Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, For I delight in it.”
The ancient paths are the paths of the Righteous.
Adam knew this path before he fell. He lived in the garden and would walk with the Lord and he knew Him. Abraham knew the path of righteousness and the Lord made a nation from his lineage of faith. There is a litany of faithful believers who have understood the value of walking on God’s path. The way’s were not easy, their faith was often challenged, and the patriarchs of old knew the reward that came at the end.
What crossroad have you come to in life? The Lord stands in the path and beckons you to follow. He has given you His Word as a guide.
Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.”
You have the manual, and if you know the Lord, you have a guide. He shows you where to walk, He equips you for the journey, He supplies your needs as you go, He revives you in your weariness and He protects you from evildoers.
We have no reason not to Trust Him.
Fear is a major limiting factor in our progression of faith.
To fear something is to exalt it to a level that is beyond your circumstances. If I’m afraid to go to the market because I might catch a disease, my fear of becoming sick is exalted over my need for food and supplies. If I’m afraid to take a risk on moving forward in a direction that I know God is leading me in, I am exalting my fear of failure over God’s sovereign hand of power.
Saul allowed his fear of rejection by the people to dictate his decisions and cloud his judgement. 1 Samuel 15:24 “Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.”
Saul was more interested in pleasing the people than pleasing the Lord. His pride and position got in the way and he went down a path that led to his ruin.
God has always remained faithful to His people, His promises have always remained true, He only waits for us to respond.
Isaiah 52:12 “For you shall not go out with haste, Nor go by flight; For the LORD will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”
Can you see God’s faithfulness today? Has He been faithful before in your life?
The Journey may seem long and arduous, but there is joy in the journey.
He was faithful before, He will be faithful Again.
Romans 8:37-39 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We have no reason to doubt God’s love. He has displayed His power, He has shown His resolve, and He has demonstrated His faithfulness time and time again. When you come to these crossroads in life, enter in by trusting and you will not fail.
If Jesus is your King, you are kept by the power of God for salvation.