Thus says the LORD: "Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.'"
God knew that Israel had ancient revelation that showed them the way to please Him. There was an ancient path known as the Law. Moses had been used by God to record it faithfully for the nation. The people could go to it to find the way of righteous living that God desired.
This was the good way. It was the pattern for living clearly given to them. It required the commitment to walk according to its directives. But it was a clear and easily found map for navigating life. And even as Jeremiah pronounced impending judgment from God, there was a call to return to the path revealed in scripture. It was the only way God's people would find rest.
The tragedy is in their continuous disobedience. God's people refused to walk in the path of obedience to the Law. They chose their own paths, abandoning the ancient, good way God had graciously given them. And so rest was impossible. Their souls were troubled by their lack of obedience. They toiled down tireless roads that they thought would lead to happiness.
My call is also to an ancient path. It is the good way mapped out in Christian discipleship. It involves daily getting my bearings from the Bible. I have no problem saying that ancient wisdom is what I need to navigate a complex and confusing culture. God guides me through His Word. And really, I find rest, joy, and freedom here in God's Word! For that wisdom I am truly and profoundly grateful.