Devotional: ‘Ask for the Old Ways’

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Are you a person who likes old-fashion things, or are you someone who likes what is new? I suppose I am a little of both. I like things that are new and modern, but I also like things that are well-tested.

When it comes to spiritual things – I am modern in my methodology, but traditional in my theology. By that I mean that I am open to new ways of doing things, but I am very conservative concerning what I believe.

We read from the Bible: “Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” (Psalm 119:89) The Bible contains God’s unchanging principles of truth. It was by His eternal wisdom that God made the universe and it is by His unchanging character that He continues to deal with man.

  • Jeremiah 10:12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.
  •  Psalm 119:90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. 91 They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants.

As we return to our study of the book of Jeremiah, we see that for centuries the nation of Israel had been drifting away from God’s timeless truths. In an effort to withhold His judgment, God sent prophets to point out the peoples’ sins and to plead with them to repent. One such prophet was a man named Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 6:16 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.

“…ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.” In other words, return back to God’s timeless truths and He will bless you. “But they said, We will not walk therein.” Rather than acknowledging their sins and turning back to God, they continued to rebel. Much of their rebellion was religious hypocrisy. We read from the book of Isaiah – “Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me…” (Isaiah 29:13) Today we would call it –“trying to play games with God.”

We cannot play games with God and get by with it. The Bible says: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reapFor he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Gal 6:7-8) We reap exactly what we have sown.

It was because of this timeless truth that Jeremiah pleaded with the nation of Israel to return to the old paths.

Jeremiah 7:23 But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. 24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward.

The Israelites would not listen to Jeremiah’s warning. They hardened their hearts and continued to walk in paths of self-will and disobedience. Though at the time they thought that they were getting by with their sinfulness, the Bible says that they were going backwards instead of forwards. Only in the ways of God’s timeless truths will we find His favor and blessings.

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