Jeremiah 6: 16-19& 21
Walking in the old paths
Introduction: We learn here that this is Jeremiah writing to Judah (the southern kingdom) and its capital city, Jerusalem. He was writing for the purpose to urge God’s people to turn from their sins and back to God. Judah was in a backslidden position. Jer. 6:13, 15; Jer. 2:11-13. The church today is in the same condition before God. Many who are truly saved are following the Lord afar off and they have departed from the Old Paths. God exhorted Judah to return to the Old Paths and He would give them rest for their souls. We need to return to some Old Paths.
· So we see here in chapter 6, that God gives us choices. God does not force His will and ways on us, but it please God when we choose to do what is right.
After many prophets instructed and warned the Israelites on God’s ways, God allowed them to choose their path as well. However, Israel rejected the Lord’s way. They choose to rebel. God sent another message to the Israelites through His prophet Jeremiah. God told them to stop right where they were and go back to the godly path and ways and walk in them (Jeremiah 6:16). These paths offered them rest for their weary souls. We receive God’s special blessing when we follow the right path.
However, Israel did not listen to God’s prophets in the past and they did not listen to Jeremiah either (vs.17). They purposed in their hearts to rebel. Therefore, God said He would pronounce judgment on the whole nation (vv. 18-19). God did not want the people offering of sacrifices, incense, or perfumes because the people’s hearts were far from God (vs.20). God warned them through the prophets Jeremiah that he would put obstacles in their path and they would stumble and fall (v.21). God said that they needed to put on mourning clothes and cry bitterly because of the consequences that were on the way (v.26). When their punishment came, their fields and streets wouldn’t even be safe-all because they refused to walk in God’s way.
Our compassionate and merciful God even asks Jeremiah to test the rebellious people to see if any are faithful. His test finds the people full of slander, insolent, hardheaded, cruel, and corrupt. Judgment and punishment were indeed in their future.
I want you to think back on your own lives and consider whether you have rebelled against parents, guardians or even God. If so, ask God for forgiveness and even those you have rebelled against, then pray for help in making the right choices.
1. Return to Prayer Luke 18:1
a. We have many examples in the word of the Lord where the saints of old prayed. Elijah: I Kings 18:36, 37; Moses: Exodus 32:31, 32; II Chron. 7:14.
b. Christ commands that we pray. Luke 18:1. God’s plan for His people. Matt 7:7-8.
c. The early church was a praying church.
i. Began in prayer. Acts 1:13, 14.
ii. Continued in prayer. Acts 2:42.
iii. Prayed in time of persecution. Acts 4:15-18, 23-31.
iv. Prayed for a member in need. Acts 12:3-5.
2. Return to Love John 13:34, 35
a. This is commanded by Christ. John 13:34, 35.