The Old Paths and the Good Way

“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” (Jeremiah 6:16).

Ever since the rise of modern science, and especially since the resurgence of ancient paganism in the guise of modern evolutionary “science,” there has developed a sort of social compulsion to follow after whatever seems to be new. There are new philosophies and new religions and “modernized” versions of traditional doctrines—always some new idea. But the eternal God does not change with the times. With Him, there “is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

No one questions the value of true advances in science and technology. In fact, this is implicit in the primeval dominion mandate to “subdue” the earth (Genesis 1:28). All these “new” trends in morality and religion, however, are really only ancient immoralities and ancient evolutionism refurbished in modern terminology.

It is such as these that the prophet deplored. The “old paths” constitute the “good way,” and God’s people will never find true soul-rest until they “walk therein.” “Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set” (Proverbs 22:28). The New Testament similarly rebukes all those idle “philosophers” who “spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (Acts 17:18,21). When the true gospel comes, however, it is genuine “good news” to all who are not merely curious to hear “this new doctrine” (Acts 17:19), but who will appropriate it for themselves by faith. This new doctrine, in fact, is not new at all, but is that “hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began” (Titus 1:2). HMM