Seek the Ancient Paths

from Lynda Lindsey

Thus says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” Jeremiah 6:16

“For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.” Jeremiah 7:5-7

I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O Lord, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing. Jeremiah 10:23-24

A traveler, standing at a crossroads, needs proper directions lest he take the wrong path and go astray. God, the Ancient of Days, directs us onto His ancient, age-old, eternal path, the only path of goodness and righteousness. God’s path is narrow, not broad and wide, and it leads us to a place of rest. It is our responsibility to actively, diligently seek God’s path, to ask and keep asking, for the Way, the Truth, the Light. God’s ancient words, “In the beginning, God created…, God said…, God blessed…,” affirm blessings for obedience and grave consequences for disobedience. 

If only Adam and Eve had obeyed the ancient words, if only the Israelites had obeyed. If only we will obey the ancient words our souls will be at peace and find rest, but if we stand at the crossroads and deliberately reject God’s ancient words and paths, our sin, disobedience and defiance will bring destruction, disruption, and unrest. God encourages us to seek His ancient words and paths, to amend our ways and deeds, to extend justice to the sojourner, the fatherless, the widows, the afflicted, and to protect the innocent from bloodshed, to reject idolatry and live obediently in His presence. 

We, in our own strength, are powerless to find our way on God’s ancient highway, but God’s Spirit leads us ever upward and onward to our eternal home. Lynn DeShazo’s and Michael W. Smith’s song, Ancient Words, affirm that God’s ancient words, long preserved, “Impart words of life, words of hope, give us strength, help us cope. In this world, where e’er we roam, ancient words will guide us home.” God’s unchanging word, changes and transforms us, making us more Christ-like in our actions and character. Repent, obey, seek God at the crossroads; He delights to be found!

Ancient Words, lyrics by Lynn DeShazo; popularized by Michael W. Smith