(Jer 6:16 [ESV2011])
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.’
This “way” or “path” in Jeremiah 6:16 is ‘derek’ in Hebrew. It means way, road or journey. Comes from the word darak means to tread, to walk, to march, or even way of your life. In Greek , it is hodos, and it means way, high way, road, way of life.
The word “ancient” in Hebrew is ‘Olam’. This word Olam means eternal, forever, everlasting.
In other words, seek for the eternal path that your forefathers have walked. The ancient path is the good way. The Lord says walk in it, and you will find rest and peace.
What is this good way or ancient path?
1. The way to the Tree of Life
There was the way to the Tree of Life, Adam was supposed to guard it (Gen 2:15). But because Adam sinned, God replaced that work by putting Cherubim and the flaming sword (Gen 3:24).
Because of thorn and thistles, the concerns and worries of our own life, we cannot find our way to the Tree of Life (Gen 3:18, Hos 2:6). We need to keep the path to the Tree of Life if we want to walk in that path.
To keep and follow that path, the Bible says we have to keep His commands and His ordinances (Deut 30:15-16).
This is the path of redemption. Adam had the way to the Tree of Life but he chose the other way, the way to Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The way to the Tree of Life is the way to eternal life but the way to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is desirable, good looking at that moment, but it does not lead to life. Even though we’ve lost that good way, God opens up another way so that we can come back to the Tree of Life.
2. Path of redemption / Life of worship
Jesus says I am the Way the Truth and the Life. Mankind has chosen the wrong path but even then, God opens up the new path to eternal life for us.
These are the ancient paths:
For Noah it was a path of building the ark, not an easy path. For Abraham, the good way was to leave Ur of the Chaldeans, to leave Haran and his father. Also the 3-day journey when God told him to go to Moriah to sacrifice his son. That was the good way. For Jacob it was to leave Padanaram, his uncle Laban’s house and to go back to his father’s house where his brother Esau is waiting to kill him. For Jacob it was the way to Bethel, the place where he met God and later the place where God told him to come back to, for the restoration of his faith. For Moses, the Wilderness was the way. For Elijah the good way was the way of escape from Ahab and Jezebel. That turned into the way of transfiguration.
These paths are not fun, they are suffering, and our lifetime will be gone after going through such a path. Why are we stuck in this dilemma? Because we know it’s the ancient path God is asking us to take, we know it’s the Good Way. But common thing about this path is the way to worship God. The purpose of this path is worship.
Noah’s ark was about worshipping. Abraham’s 3-day journey was to set up an altar to worship Him, the way to Bethel for Jacob, there he set up an altar and worshipped. For the Israelites, God told Moses to tell Pharaoh God told us to take 3-day journey into the Wilderness to worship Him. Genesis 35:3, Exodus 8:27, 13:18.
The way of worship, life of worship is the way of redemption, that’s the way to the Tree of Life. Because satan doesn’t want us to walk this path, he gives all kinds of difficulties to us, but once we get on this path, God will show us His justice, God will show us that this the right path.
3. The way of God’s work
We follow the good way by following his work, by understanding his teachings. So when you’re stuck in your life, spend some time doing Bible Study, God will open the one way for you when you understand His Word. God’s commandment is a lamp and the teaching of light. Josh 1:8. Prov 6:23.
Abraham taught the Word, he passed down the covenant (Gen 18:!8-19). So may we meditate upon the Word of God, read the Word of God, learn and receive His teachings and do, follow the Word of God, so that we may follow the good way.
4. The way of the Messiah
The way that Jesus is coming to us is in the map of the genealogy. God has been leading us to that path, the path of redemption. It’s a good way for us to come to meet Jesus.
(Isa 42:16 [ESV2011])
And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.
When we cannot see and feel like we are blinded by different things, by the thorns, it says He will lead us on the path that we do not know.
John the Baptist was the person to clear the road to Jesus, to the Messiah (John 1:21-23). How did he do it? He proclaimed the gospel, the good news. I sincerely pray that you and I may become that road for many people out there to come to Jesus. In order for that happen, you and I need to find that road first. We need to be the ones that guard and keep and introduce this path to others.
The good way is the way to peace and eternal rest.
The reason why Jesus came to the earth, He walked the path of coming in the flesh, walking in this world, on this earth in his flesh, the reason is to give us rest and peace. Jeremiah 6:16
Without going through Jesus, we will never be able to meet the Father nor receive eternal rest. So I sincerely pray you and I may find that Ancient Path, the Good way and walk in it, all the way.
Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus says it’s a narrow path. May we find the path. That path is Jesus Christ. Let us follow that Path and find the Father.