Jeremiah lived in a topsy-turvy world.
The divine assessment was: “An astonishing and horrible thing has been committed in the land: The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power; and My people love to have it so” (Jeremiah 5:30-31).
We too lived in a topsy-turvy world.
The “prophets” in the Internet churn out fake news. Popularity rules. People are becoming anti-establishment, suspicious of governments and distrusting authorities. Businesses and lifestyle have the “e” prefixed – e-services, e-transaction, e-chat, e-correspondence and e-everything. Meeting people and relating in person are obsolete. Protectionism is the new normal of putting your own interest, wellbeing and survival first. The last things you want to be concerned with are the migrants and foreigners. Yet it is a world that seeks to be “inclusive” – accept my choices, regardless of whether it’s right or wrong, good or bad, sound or otherwise. Even if it tears the family and social fabric, we call it “progressive.”
Don’t mistake all this to be out there in the modern world. It is also found in the modern church. People, prophets and priests live as they please.
And the Lord spoke to Jeremiah.
“Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16).
To the travellers in this modern world intersected with many choices, easy options and different new ways, the Lord gives this exhortation.
Stand – Stop and think. Take time to consider as you stand at those crossroads.
See – Observe and assess. Don’t follow the crowd. Don’t blindly enter the road multitudes have taken.
Seek – Ask and search for “the old paths, where the good way is.” Seek out those who will know the old paths taken by the saints of old.
Step In– And then “walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls.”
Sadly, the response of many in “modern” Judah was, “We will not walk in it” (Jeremiah 6:16e).
But let us be the people who walk the old paths in this modern world, obeying the voice of God.
“Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you” (Jeremiah 7:23).