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Don’t despise or abandon the ancient path

In our post-modern world there is a tendency to arrogantly and aggressively dichotomise. It’s ancient or modern; up-to-date or out-of-date; in or out; with it or dinosaur and therefore totally out of it. The underlying assumption is that if it is old, traditional or ancient, it is automatically wrong and not worthy of consideration. Sadly, experience shows us that society is on a head long rush to self-destruction as a result of this way of thinking and behaving.

This attitude or mind-set isn’t new. In ancient Israel we hear the voice of the prophet calling out: ‘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.’ This rather striking verse in Jeremiah 6:16 offers lessons and insights that are direct and to the point. It says that if we want to find peace, rest and contentment; if we want to find the place where God, we need to do the following.

Firstly, we need to stop at the crossroads and look around. In other words we need to press the pause button and at the junction of the road of life ask ourselves whether we should go the modern and invariably man-made route or pursue the ancient, God-ordained route.

Secondly, having looked around, we need to do something else. We need to ‘ask for the old godly way and walk in it’. The road may be old, with tradition as its surname. It may be worn and dusty, demanding and seemingly narrow. Yet it offers the perfect alternative.

There is a way out to the unquestioning celebration of all things new and novel and the consequent ditching of that which is considered old. Please note that there is nothing inherently wrong with tradition. The only thing wrong with tradition is where it seeks to promote human thinking above and violates the Divine ideal.

When we ask, we will discover. When we discover, we walk. When we travel along that well-trodden path, there is a benefit that comes. The payback is that we will find rest for our souls. The words of the prophet Jeremiah foreshadows and echoes the words of Jesus, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”(Matthew 11:28-30)

I don’t know where you are on your journey. The word of Jesus is very simple personal invitation. It is an invitation to turn to Him in repentance; away from a place of rebellion. Turn to him in humility and confess your need of Him. His promise is that you will find rest for your soul. Don’t be like the ancient Israelites who replied to God, ‘No, we don’t want that way.’ Don’t despise or abandon the ancient, godly way.


Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2014©

If you have read this article and you are not a Christian, I would like to invite you to receive Christ as Saviour and Lord in your life by praying this simple prayer:

‘God in heaven, I acknowledge that I am sinner and deserve to be punished for all the wrongs I have done. I am truly sorry. Thank you for sending your Son Jesus to this world. I believe He lived, died and rose again for my sins. I repent of all past sins and ask you to forgive me because Jesus. I confess and ask Jesus to come into my life and be my Saviour and Lord. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me to obey you and lead me to follow you all the days of my life. Thank you God for giving me eternal life through your Son Jesus. Amen!’

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