The way is a difficult thing to find when you have been left to your own devices to choose right, left or straight through.
Often those who have been abandoned have a profound lack of resources, no clue as to which source best suits them and a broken perception with which to make pivotal life choices. Jeremiah 6:16 provides practical help in making choices that moves our feet in the right direction.
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. But they said, We will not walk therein.
So what I’m doing here is reading the word definitions from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and BDB gathered from my phone app, MY SWORD, stringing my discoveries together and commenting between biblical text phrases. It’s enlightening. Please join me.
The LORD, The Existing One who is Eternal, has published what He wants His people to do. I LOVE that He “published” this very special directive for people like me who don’t know which path to take.
We should get ourselves to the crossroads of
- moral character,
- leadership and
So where do these things converge today? Surfing the internet? Connecting on social networks? Local libraries? Church? Public Education? The pub? A café? The mall? Parks and Recreation facilities? The airport is a great place to witness a variety of people going about their business, on their way to somewhere.
Stand there at these convergence zones. Don’t engage the passers by. Maintain your position, Don’t change who you are. Don’t cause others to be interested in you, or stimulate them one way or the other about anything.
and see, (7200)
Watch what people do with your mind engaged. Learn from them. Consider the end from the beginning. Sort out the differences and similarities. Learn what is important and what is not. Inspect their ways as closely as is possible. Pay attention to each face and allow them to see yours without fear.
Sometimes the best thing to do is to stand in a strategic position and be quiet, not engaging the environment, the culture, nor the people being observed. Sometimes it’s not.
I remember taking our four children out to a fast food place and they were watching a lady in the next booth. They would pop their heads over and stare then pop down and chatter. I could see she was becoming annoyed, so I intervened. “It’s your nails. They have never seen someone with nails as fancy or as long as yours before.” Once she understood, she was all smiles and willing to show off her hands, gladly accepting the oohs and ahhhs of her miniature audience. 🙂
Neither of my girls have made the choice to get their nails done the same way she did. One just doesn’t like other people working on her hands. Both my girls decided long fingernails were far too impractical for their own enjoyment of life… but we didn’t tell the nail lady any of that, which brings us to the LORD’s next directive.
And ask (H7592)
Converse with yourself about these matters. This kind of asking is the internal intelligence kind. Seek counsel from what you have observed not the people you are observing. Be impartial and scientific about it. Inquire carefully, trying not to leave out either the details or the big picture.
Ask for the old (H5769) paths (H5410)
While you are talking to yourself about the ways people do things, seek out specific pathways. Notice that there exist multiple, durable pathways that people use all the time for as far back as anyone can remember. You now must make a choice which path you will walk in. Which of these ways has been trodden by many feet? Where are the paths less traveled but roads to proper destinations non-the-less? Who walks these paths and why? For how long? Which of these ways has been used since the beginning of time and which are recently made? Which of these ways will stand in days to come? Is there any continuity? Any consistency? Look at situations over the space of time past, time present and be visionary about it.
where is the good (H2896) way (H1870)
Among the paths of the peoples, there is a good way and all of us have a need to know where that is. Of all that you gather and learn about different ways to walk and the people who travel those pathways. These are the questions you are to ask in order to find the good way THE LORD wants you to take.
- What of these things appeals to the higher nature?
- What is agreeable to the senses and profitable for the body?
- What is the most excellent?
- What is valued in other people’s estimation and in God’s?
- What is appropriate for the situation, the time, the person?
- Which becomes your unique self the most?
- What is ethical and of moral benefit?
- What is best for the collective good?
- What is beautiful?
- What will add to your economic situation?
and walk (H3212) therein,
Once you learn, you need to do something with what you learn. Start WALKING! Move your feet in the direction that met all of God’s criteria. Carry the good of what you learned with you on your way. Use it as you come and go, and live life. Never turn your back away from the good, old path God has laid at your feet. Why? Because He will reward you.
You will secure what is sought after because
- you will be able to devise a plan to survive combat that will leave you in a safe place.
- You will be able to detect those conditions, things, or persons that were lost.
- You will be found sufficient for any task at hand.
- You will learn to present God with an acceptable offering.
- You will be able to act confidently in any given instant as needs arise.
- You will know when to disturb a person or process for the best possible result.
- Your action will shine.
- You will not feel forced to fight for what is right.
- The turbulent waters around you will calm down. I like that idea a lot, because the actual definition says “cause the sea to rest”. 🙂
for your souls. (H5315)
All these parts of rest will be yours in your inner most person, your blood, your breath, your mind, your passions, your appetites, your emotions, and your desires.
They what?! “Oh the joy we often forfeit. Oh the needless pain we bear…” When I first read this, knowing the extent of the benefit, I was shocked. But they chose wrong! Get ’em back! That was not God’s solution. He let them go on their wrong path without their precious cargo and experience the trouble that brought to them.
To be brought to the crossroads and make such a choice is beyond tragic. Yet, there is something far worse. The kids and I have noticed that many in the church are too fearful to get to the crossroads. Such a pity, we hardly ever get to step one – the many peoples, the particularities of culture and successes in life – with a view to learn from the best. It is at these crossroads where we meet with Jesus and our lives realign. We choose directions based on His directives. We walk with baggage, carrying with us what we learn and frequently using it.
All doubt fades into the distance as Jesus speaks….