Ask For The Ancient Paths


“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 ESV 

I remember walking the streets of ancient Ephesus some years ago and reflecting on the Acts narrative that must have taken place on those very streets. A large community had come to faith in Jesus from unbelieving and witchcraft controlled backgrounds. Today that is ancient stuff for us here in the 21st Century with all of our technological advances. And our changed contexts and demands for fresh communication and suitable contextualisation.

Our upward mobility and ever changing world surely require us to change the way we live and do ministry. So these words through prophet Jeremiah have no bearing on us – do they?

One of the great and unchanging beliefs of Scripture is that changing contexts can be still served by unchanging truth. The heart of man hasn’t developed a new disease that finds no cure in Scripture. The same ills come in new shapes and sizes but at root nothing has changed. Mankind is still seeking to fill the emptiness inside that has been caused by a breakdown in relationship with God.

That run down path of sin has only one remedy and that is the remedy of the Via Dolorosa (the path on which Jesus walked on the way to His crucifixion). That ancient path is still relevant, still needs to be walked on. In Galatians 2:20 the apostle Paul talks about how he walked that path and was crucified with Christ. And the life he declares which he now lives, ‘he lives by faith in the Son of God who loved’ him.

That ancient path is the only way you will ‘find rest for your soul’. Look for that ancient path. Seek it. And walk on it. Everyday.