This is what the Lord says:
“Stop at the crossroads and look around.
Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.
But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’ (NLT)
Just as there are different fads and fashions in what we wear and what we watch and what we say, there are fads and fashions in spiritual life as well. In any given year, someone will write a book or construct a course which claims to be the next big thing when it comes to Christian maturity or church growth.
Some such ideas are worth considering. Many are just money makers for publishers and enticing quick fixes for desperate churches even though they might be sincerely intended. It is a mark of Christian wisdom to discern what new things need to be embraced and what are to be rejected. What old things need to be preserved and what may be laid to rest. Or in the words of G.K. Chesterton, never move a fence till you know why it was put there.
Jeremiah wrote in a time of much unrest. People were clamouring for some way out of their predicament. The way forward was actually to look back. Not as some sort of blind clinging to traditions, not as dogged conservatism. Rather it was to recover the principles of the covenant God made with his people. Heed the words of the true spokesmen of God, not the political spin making prophets of their own time.
The old ways and ancient paths referred to here are not mere traditions, but are the unchanging principles of godliness. True, they always have to be applied in changing circumstances. Christians will at times be on the conservative side and sometimes be on the radical side: not as dedicated followers of fashion but as faithful followers of Jesus.