From the Pastor’s Desk: The Old Paths

Dear Cornerstone brothers and sisters,

Oh what manner of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God (1 John 3:1).  This reality of our adoption into the family of God ought to affect every area of our life – our joys, trials, failures, and victories.  We are God’s children, and brothers and sisters with one another.

This Lord’s Day we will look at Psalm 72 and consider who is the true King and how this true King came to this earth?

There are two important announcements that we need to note:

First, this Saturday we will gather at the Autumn Grove Cottages for caroling with the residents.  We will meet at 3:30; and following our time there we will gather at La Madeleine on Hwy 6 & 290 for an early dinner.  For more details please see the attached note from Christine Barnes.  With any questions, please contact either Christine or me.

Second, the first Sunday in January we will enjoy a fellowship meal as is our custom.  We will also, however, have a brief congregational meeting to reflect on the previous year and to look ahead to the year to come. 

Finally, see the below devotion for a reflection from Jeremiah 6 on walking the old paths.

From the Pastor’s Desk

Mid-week Devotional

The Old Paths”

Jeremiah 6:16, “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths.”

The prophet Jeremiah was called to minister during the darkest time in Israel as Jerusalem was on the verge of destruction by the advancing Babylonian army. And Jeremiah was called by the Lord to preach a message of repentance and restoration to a people with hard hearts and stopped-up ears (Jer 1:1-10). One of Jeremiah’s most stirring exhortations comes in 6:16: “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.’” There are three things to note in this verse.

First, what are the ‘ancient paths’ to which Jeremiah calls God’s people? The old paths are God’s supernatural word revealed to his people. The old paths are the truths revealed to and proclaimed by Moses and the Prophets. The old paths are the truths revealed on Mt. Sinai and set forth by David, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and so forth. It is the truth of the living God who spoke the universe into existence, redeemed his people from slavery, sustained them in their wilderness wanderings, and led them into the Promised Land. It is the truth of Exodus 20:2-3, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me.” And it is the truth of the coming Redeemer prophesied in Gen 3:15 who will crush the head of the serpent.

Second, why is Jeremiah calling Israel to the ‘ancient paths?’ Because they had abandoned the ancient paths – they had rejected the old paths. Jer 2:13 summarizes, “My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” Simply put, they had rejected the Lord and turned to false idols. They had rejected the word of the Lord – it was to them “an object of scorn” (6:10). While they still gave lip-service to God in continuing the formalities of religion, their hearts were sunk deep in idolatry (7:1-15). And Jeremiah the faithful servant of the Lord calls them to repentance – he calls them “to return” to the old paths (3:12, 14).

Finally, what is the blessing of walking the ‘ancient paths?’ Jeremiah tell us … it is “the good way,” and there they will find “rest for their souls.” The old paths are good and they will give rest to the weary soul. For the soul weary of running from God, the old paths lead back to the God with whom there is forgiveness and life. In other words, to walk the old paths is to walk with God – the source of true goodness and joy.

What are we to do with this call of Jeremiah on our lives? Well, we are not to respond as did Israel, who said, “We will not walk in it.” Rather, we are to repent of our sin and cling to Christ. Indeed, Jeremiah is calling us back to the old paths. He is calling us to the old paths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Perhaps your soul is weary from running after the ways and things of the world. Find rest again in the old paths – the old paths of the God who took on flesh to live and die for sinners. The old paths of the inerrancy of God’s word. The old paths of faith and repentance. For dear brothers and sisters, these paths lead us to Christ – who himself is our righteousness and peace.

God bless and I look forward to seeing you this Lord’s Day,

Robert Arendale