The LORD proclaims:
Stop at the crossroads and look around;
ask for the ancient paths.
Where is the good way?
Then walk in it and find a resting place for yourselves.
But you said, “We won’t go!”
-Jeremiah 6:16 (CEB)
The beginning of a new year is a good time make a course correction. If you knew that hard times were coming, wouldn't you want to get closer to God now? If you knew that calamity was coming, wouldn't you want to get closer to God today? When the day of disaster comes, personal disaster or national disaster, people will cry out to God and some might curse God. Wouldn't it be better to be connected to God as deeply as possible before the hard times come?
There's no time like now to choose to walk closer to God. A crossroads is an opportunity and a challenge. You have to go one way or the other. You are forced to choose and each choice has consequences. You are blessed to have a choice, but you have to take responsibility for choosing. We can't be passive and float. We can't say that God didn't give us an opportunity. Passivity is not an option.
We have to ask to be guided to the right path, the ancient paths. Perhaps the ancient paths do not come natural to us and we need guidance. God wants to guide us. "Ask", he says.
The word comes that says, "stop and ask", because we need to stop and ask. We might not make the right choice without stopping and asking. We need to slow down, dial down, and stop. Be quiet, ask, and listen.
Some people assume that to get, "back to the Bible", that that is the ancient paths. They might say we need to obey the law of Moses and obey all the laws in the New testament as well and that is walking on the ancient paths. Did God tell them that, or did they assume that because they are Bible-ians (people who worship the Bible).
The word here says to stop and ask. Don't assume. Was the world in chaos and then the law appeared and mankind on and off followed the law until Jesus came teaching more laws? No. From the beginning, God has been relational with humankind. It started out pure and then Adam and Eve fell (they sinned) and things changed, but God still took care of humans and sought to walk with them.
We each need to ask to be guided to the path that God prefers for us. Some people will say, "the ancient paths are the highway of holiness spoken of in Isaiah". Holiness is the result of walking with God. Holiness or legalism is not the path to God. We are not good (behaving) so that we can be loved and accepted into fellowship with God. But we fellowship with God through God's mercy and he helps us to behave (be good).
There is a path that people walked on before the law of Moses and that non-Jews who never heard of that law could walk on.
On the ancient paths God calls us to, there is rest. Jesus calls burnt-out religious people to come to him and walk with him and find rest for their souls (Matthew 11:28).
Stop and notice, there is a fork in the road. Look around (stop the tunnel vision). Ask: -for the ancient paths. Ask: -where is the good way? Then walk on it and find rest.