Was adding something new part of your New Year’s resolutions this year? Maybe you wanted to curb your spending habits with a new budget or improve your health by adopting a new exercise program. Did you think that starting a new hobby would add zest to your routine or that volunteering at a nonprofit would add a new dimension to your life?
I decided to return to some old things this year. I’m going to re-read some books I devoured many years ago, such as J.I. Packer’s Knowing God and Edith Schaeffer’s A Way of Seeing. I’m also determined to eat fewer carbs and less sugar—hoping I can fit into some old clothes.
Sometimes new isn’t better. I prefer old jeans and old movies. I like the nostalgia of old family recipes for Christmas dinner. And I haven’t yet found a treasure more valuable than an old friend.
Stand At The Crossroads
The prophet Jeremiah also valued old over new. He told the people of Judah that they needed to forsake the pagan practices they’d adopted and return to the “ancient ways” of their forefathers: “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” (Jeremiah 6:16 NIV). The Israelites didn’t need a new direction; they needed to return to the fork in the road of their faith journey and take the well-traveled path godly leaders such as Moses, Joshua, and Samuel had marked for God’s people.
The Hebrew word, derek, translated “crossroads” and “way” in Jeremiah 6:16, refers to a lifestyle that is approved by God, the well-worn life path that has blessed those who’ve followed it. Moses told the Israelites, “Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you” (Deuteronomy 6:18). Joshua said, “Fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness” (Joshua 24:14). Samuel quoted Joshua and added, “Consider what great things [God] has done for you” (1 Samuel 12:24).
Do we really need to embrace something new this year? Or, like the people of Jeremiah’s time, will we be much better off if we return to something old? More than 2,500 years ago God said, “Obey me . . .walk in obedience to all I command you, that it may go well with you” (Jeremiah 7:23). That’s an old path that will lead us to new blessings if we follow it.
Take the Next Step:
Read Psalm 77. What are the benefits of thinking about “former days” and remembering God’s “miracles of long ago”?
For more inspiration and encouragement visit Denise Loock at http://www.digdeeperdevotions.com