Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
July 28, 1960
NUMBER 12, PAGE 1,7b

"Seeking Old Paths"

Forrest Darrell Moyer, Sunnyvale, Calif.

"Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." (Jer. 6:16)

The Prophet's Plea

Every person on earth is a traveler. Life is the way in which he is travelling. Eternity is the termination of this journey; it is the destination to which all are daily hastening. One of the great tragedies of each person's life is that he is thinking only of the way and is not considering the end. Too many of us live thoughtlessly in regard to the future. True, some are considering the end, but they are not prepared to forego the present enjoyments to secure that eternal happiness. Comparatively speaking, there are only a few who are living according to the revealed will of heaven and are looking and reaching forward to the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. These "walk in the paths, where is the good way." Then they could "walk their souls.

The plea of the weeping prophet was that men might walk in the way of God. To do so, they were required to "stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way." Then they could "walk therein." Their pitiful answer was, "We will not walk therein." The sad plight of Israel was sealed by their attitude toward the old paths.

Today, the plea of God's prophet of old needs to be heard. We must "seek the old paths therein." The purpose of this series of articles will be to repeat the prophet's plea: "Stand in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein." May God grant unto us the strong determination to say, "We will walk therein."

I. The Way Specified

1) It is a revealed way: "Thus saith the Lord." The way in which we are to walk is not a way of our personal feeling; nor is it a way of what our parents believed and practiced. They may have been good people, but they are not our standards of authority. Only the book that God has given reveals the way of truth. Jesus said, "Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32) He further said, "Thy word is truth." Jesus Christ, with a voice of authority, points to the New Testament and says, "This is the way, walk ye in it." The old paths are revealed in the word of God. (See 2 Tim 3:16-17; 1 Pet. 4:11; 2 Pet 1:3)

2) It is a way of faith. "For we walk by faith, not by sight." (2 Cor. 5:7.) Too many are saying, "I don't see why . . ." Let us learn that the old path is a way that involves implicit faith and trust in the Lord and His wisdom. We do not need to see why He requires us to act as He does. Our faith obeys as did Abraham's (Heb. 11:8.) God speaks; we believe. Because we believe, we act and we walk in the paths of God.

3) It is a way of obedience. Faith demands obedience. We must "walk in the old paths." The word "walk" implies submission to the will of God; it demands activity and progress. We cannot please God by idleness. It is not enough to "hold our own." We must go forward.

II. The Way Described

1) It is the old way. It is older than my father and mother. It is older than any "current trends" in which people say they have engaged for forty years. It is older than the years of the restoration movement. It is older than the reformation period, and, yea, older than Catholicism. It is as old as the revelation of the way in Christ Jesus our Lord. We must go all the way back to Jerusalem.

2) It is the good way: " ...where is the good way." It is religiously good. Every element of the Lord's way is by divine authorization. Not one act or practice comes by the authority of men. We can simply say, "It is written" and such will be sufficient for true disciples. We might observe just here that there is nothing that is religiously good except that which is authorized. Any practice should be questioned: "Is it from heaven or from men?" Too many try to justify their practice by saying, "Why, it is a good work." Neighbor, it is not good unless it is authorized! Mark it down and remember it well.

The way of the Lord is also morally good. It is fit, just, and right. It produces good lives. It is good for the soul, and it is good for the body. It is good for the reputation; it is good for friends. It is good for time and most certainly for eternity. Any religion that does not produce good lives is faulty. Any that will allow lying, stealing, murder, adultery, etc., is not the good way of the old paths.

III. The Prophet's Plea

1) He urges solemn consideration: "Stand in the ways, and see." The devil would have you hurry on in the course you are pursuing. But the Lord demands your came and careful consideration. Take time out in your busy career to see what the Lord says. If Israel had only considered, their history would have been different. "The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider." (Isa. 1:3.) Again, "Thus saith the Lord, consider your ways." (Hag. 1:5.) One of the great exhortations in the song of Moses was: "0 that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!" (Dt. 32:29.) May I plead with all people to give careful consideration to the way in which you are traveling.

2) He pleads for serious inquiry: "Ask for the old paths." Do not ask this of man; he cannot direct his own steps. Ask it of the Lord in His inspired word. Only here can the "old paths" be found. Let us go back beyond men and all of their commandments and traditions. Back to Jerusalem where the Law of the Lord was given!

3) He begs us to "walk therein." When by our careful consideration and earnest seeking we have found the "old paths", let us then travel in them. Walking implies progress. To walk in the way that is specified means that we walk in the commandments of the Lord (Luke 1:6.) We walk in newness of life (Rom. 6:3-4.) This is to walk in the light (1 John 1:7.) It is to imitate Enoch who walked with God (Gen. 5:24.) Beloved friend, do not err from the strait and narrow way — walk in it.

IV. The Promise Given

Ye shall find rest unto your souls." There is sweet rest from all our guilty fears. God has forgiven our sins if we are in His way. Not only are those sins forgiven; they are forgotten (Heb. 8:12.) We have rest from the slavery of sin (Rom. 6:16-18.) And above all, there is the eternal rest in Heaven that will be granted in that day — "an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." (I Pet. 1:4.)

0 soul! Hear the prophet's plea "Stand in the ways and see. Ask for the Old Paths. Walk therein. Heaven will be yours." May God help us all to seek the old paths!