Intro: The days of Jeremiah's ministry to the people of
Israel were days of deep spiritual wickedness. The
people had sinned against God to the point where He
was ready to give them up into captivity. And, in fact,
they did go into captivity in just a few short years. Yet,
even while they perched on the edge of judgment, the
Lord desires to see them turn back to Him.
In this verse, we are given the image of a traveler
who come to a fork in the road. He has the opportunity
to go anyway he desires, but God tells him to ask for
the "old paths, where is the good way". Instead of
just traveling blindly on, this traveler is to stop an ask
directions. (Ill. Many are too filled with pride to stop and
ask, and as a result, they waste much valuable time
seeking their way.)
Of course, this is all in a religious context. The Lord
wants His people to travel the right path. He wants
them on a path that will lead them in His direction.
While this word of correction was spoken to the Jews
many years ago, there is a lesson in this verse for the
modern church this evening.
It is my opinion that the Lord would still have His
people to ask for the old paths. Let's take a moment
this evening to consider three elements of this verse as
we think on the thought "Ask For The Old Paths." I
want you to know that there is a right path and there is
a wrong path. We must be sure we are walking the one
which God has ordained, the one that He can bless, the
one that honors Him.
I. A REQUIREMENT
A. Ill. The command that God is issuing to His
people is for them not to allow themselves to be
lead astray by the false prophets and leaders of
their day. They are to look back to men like
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and others who
walked the path of obedience and holiness
before the Lord and they are to seek that path
B. God's command is that they not just go anyway,
but that they take the time to find the right path,
that old, well-worn path that represents the best
(Ill. The problem Israel faced is a problem people
have faced down through the ages. During
World War II, during the Battle of the Bulge,
there was a group of German soldiers who
dressed themselves in the uniforms of the Allies.
These German soldiers used American military
vehicles and went through the German
countryside changing the road signs. When the
American troops came to the various crossroads,
they were often fooled and lead off in the wrong
direction. This deception by the Germans almost
gave them the victory in this very decisive battle
from the second world war.)
C. Just like those German soldiers caused
confusion and death by changing a few signs, so
many in our day are leading millions off into Hell
because they are changing some of the road
signs of the faith. Allow me to share a few of the
road signs that are being changed in our day.
1. Salvation Through The Blood - Heb. 9:22
2. Belief In The Scriptures - 2 Tim. 3:16; Psa.
119:89. (Ill. 66 books, 1,189 chapters,
41,173 verses; 774,746 words; 3,566,480
letters in the Bible. It is every ounce the
infallible, inerrant, inspired Word of God.)
3. Love For The Church - Heb. 10:25
4. The Reality Of Heaven And Hell - John
14:1-3; Psa. 9:17.
5. The Value Of The Human Soul - Mark 8:36-37.
6. The Soon Return Of Jesus - Rev. 20:12;
I Thes 4:13-18.
7. The Holiness Of God - Ill. We try to bring
God down to man's level. He is holy - Isa.
6:3; 1 Pet. 1:16.
(Ill. Regardless of which signs the world
changes, it does not change the road! The Word
of God is still settled in Heaven. We still know
the "old paths". There is no question about what
way is the right way. And, God's requirement
has not changed: ask for the olds and walk
II. A REWARD
A. God's promise to those who walk in His paths is
that they will find rest for our souls. That is, in
His paths, we can be assured of three great
1. One, we can be sure that we will arrive at the
proper destination! When we take the Lord's
highway, we can be sure that it will end in His
2. Two, we can travel in safety knowing that the
Lord is guarding our way. Not only will we
end up where we want to be, but we will get
there in the safest, most peaceful manner
3. We can know that while we are on the Lord's
path, the deepest needs of our soul will be
met! There will be fellowship with Him and
joy in His presence at the end of the way!
B. However, those who fail to ask for the old paths
will find themselves walking in the ways of
destruction and misery. When we turn our backs
on the way God has chosen as the right way we
will find that the way is difficult, there is no peace
or safety and the destination is ever in question.
There is a reward for those who will walk in the
III. A REFUSAL
A. This text tells us that some decided that they
would not walk in the Lord's will and in the Lord's
path. The results of their choice is chastisement
and destruction, v. 17-30. There is a high price
to pay for refusing to walk in the Lord's will!
B. We are living in a day when many are refusing to
walk in the old paths. Either the old way is too
narrow, or they feel that God just doesn't know
that what He is talking about. Yet, no matter
what the world does, let us, the people of the
Lord, stand tall in the old way. Let us be
unashamed of who we are. Let us hold our
heads high and walk in the way God has
ordained without apology and without backing
down. Let us be everything the Lord
commanded us to be in His Word, 1 Cor. 15:58.
Conc: The old way isn't the popular way! It is being
abandoned daily by people who have decided that new
is better. They are leaving the Bible, the old songs of
the faith, old fashioned worship, praising the Lord, and
preaching. Seeker services are replacing old time
worship of the Lord. Yet, God has not changed, Heb.
13:8. I can find no room to change myself. I think I'll
ask for the old paths and walk in them. How about
you? The enemies are changing the signs, but the Lord
will knows the way. Let's ask Him and He will lead!
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