As I read and prayed over what I was to share today, wherever I turned I read the same thing, God’s judgement on Israel forewarned if they did not turn back to God because they had left His ways and gone in the way of those nations around them…
‘I will judge you in the border of Israel.
And ye shall know that I am the LORD: for ye have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you..
Ah Friends it’s so easy to get caught up in the ways of the world around us but God requires and deserves our whole heart!
Jeremiah witnessed that departing from God’s way all around him and tells us that God said….
‘I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: I will pour it out… For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness.’
Coveteousness! Friends wherever we go we’re surrounded by advertising that huge sums of money have been poured into, all designed to make us want that thing.
Does that make having or wanting nice things wrong? Not necessarily but the moment it begins to dominate our thoughts rather than God or we’re striving to get that thing over striving to walk with the Lord then yes, it’s wrong.
Jeremiah goes on to share God’s exhortation to Judah…
‘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.’
What did God mean by the old paths?
Following hard after God like those who have gone before, looking to God’s grace to keep and the Holy Spirit to teach and guide.
‘Stand in the ways, and SEE,’ searching the scriptures for true wisdom is found there, look to see how God would have you to walk.
ASK for God to open your eyes to see the way He would have you to go and then, leaning on your Beloved, by God’s grace alone, WALK in them and ‘ye SHALL find rest for your souls.’
‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
Did Judah obey God’s command to…
‘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.’?
‘they said, We will not walk therein.’
Will you Friend, will you by God’s grace seek, ask for and walk in the old paths?
Will you, by God’s grace, walk with God rather than the world like Enoch?
Or like Noah choose to do God’s will even as others mock?
Or like Abraham, step out by faith into the unknown, following Jesus?
Or like Sarah, believe and trust God for the impossible thing that God has promised?
Or like Abraham, be willing to give up those things that God may ask you to lay down?
Or like the children of Israel walking round those walls of Jericho, praying over and over again until the walls around hearts of stone, fall down with the power of prayer?
Or like Gideon, taking your little and trusting God to use it in mighty ways?
Or like David, praising God even as you pour out your troubles to Him?
‘Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.’
Ez 11:11,12, Jer 6:11,13,16, Matt 11:28-30, Jer 6:16, Heb 12:1-3.