Today’s reading: Jeremiah 4-6.
The Eastern Continental Divide is that elevated stretch of land so situated that a raindrop falling on one side eventually flows into the Atlantic Ocean, while a drop falling inches to the west flows into the Gulf of Mexico. A small difference in the beginning leads to a great difference in outcome. Our choices can have the same result. We stand at a fork in the road and sometimes wish we could take both paths, but eventually we must choose one or the other. Wisdom can guide our choices, but without it we make terrible and foolish decisions. That was the result in the final years of Judah and Jerusalem.
This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ I appointed watchmen over you and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But you said, ‘We will not listen.'” Jeremiah 6:16-17
God told the people to look for the ancient paths, but the word for ancient also means perpetual or eternal. People often make fun of the old ways. They like things that are new or different. Professionals make their living by promoting things that are new and criticizing the traditional. But God’s ways aren’t old or outdated; they are eternal. They remain relevant and correct.
God didn’t hide his word or make it difficult to find. He blared it out loudly like a trumpet. In the beginning there were the prophets. Jeremiah blew his trumpet for forty years, year after year of warning, and cried because his nation refused to listen. Now we have God’s word in written form, and it isn’t hard to find even in our nation that often ignores God. Yet it mostly goes unread and unheeded. People consider it outdated. Even unwise Christians fail to follow its commands, choosing instead to follow their selfish desires.
Choosing God’s path leads to present and eternal blessings, though there will be trials along the way. What about rejecting God’s way?
Hear, O earth: I am bringing disaster on this people, the fruit of their schemes, because they have not listened to my words and have rejected my law. Jeremiah 6:19
God says that disaster is the fruit, the result, of rejecting his path and going another way. We’ve already reaped a lot of trouble because of our abandonment of God’s word, and more is on the way. Like Jeremiah, we need to remain faithful to speak God’s word even though our neighbors may not listen.
Image by Thomas Guignard on Flickr, CC by-nc-sa 2.0