Thus says the Lord: “Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls.” But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
The worst hurricane in U.S. History reached landfall in Galveston Texas on September 8, 1900. With winds exceeding 145 mph and a storm surge of over 15ft this category 4 storm had a devastating affect upon the growing city and its inhabitants. Records show that over 3600 homes were destroyed and more than 8,000 people lost their lives. While technology was not what it is today, the storm did not come without warning. As it passed over Cuba, reports were wired, but those in charge chose to ignore them believing the storm would turn and head north up the Atlantic. As a result the people did little to prepare for what would become the worst natural disaster the nation had ever faced.
In Jeremiah’s day, Judah is about to face a devastating storm. It will not be one of wind and rain but rather an invasion by Babylonian forces, so great the walls of the city will have no chance of defending them. This storm would also not come without waring, Jeremiah stood before the people calling them to prepare for the inevitable. Their preparation did not include stockpiling canned goods, or boarding up their windows. Instead they were called to “ask for the old paths and walk in them.” In other words they were to look into the word of God and live accordingly.
I have been meditating lately on the words of a modern hymn written by Michael W. Smith. He writes,
“In this world, where e’er we roam
Ancient words will guide us Home.
Ancient words ever true, Changing me, and changing you.
We have come with open hearts
Oh let the ancient words impart.”
Things today are not unlike they were in Jeremiah’s day. Our national leaders seem to have forgotten that righteousness exalts a nation and we are enacting laws that will put us under the direct judgment of God. The solution to this is to stop, turn to the Lord and let His word be our guide for life. The first step toward this is not to expect others to intact change but for each of us to devote ourselves to Christ and allow Him to bring about change in our private life, our homes and the way we behave within our community.
A storm is coming, let’s turn to the ancient words and be prepared.