Twenty-five hundred years ago, through Jeremiah, God said to the southern kingdom of Judah, “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.” However, they said, “We will not walk therein” (Jer. 6:16).
God has never left his people without guidance. In the Hebrew Scriptures, through Moses God gave the Israelites the Law (or Torah; sometimes this refers to the first five books of the Old Testament or to the 613 specific laws of the enclosed). Throughout Israel’s history, the prophets repeatedly tried to get God’s people back to the Law. In the New Testament, Jesus fulfilled both the Law and the Prophets (Matt. 5:17-20). In a Moses-like persona, Jesus went up the Mount and gave his disciples a new type of Law (or Torah; Matt. 5-7). This Law is not one that he would carve into tables of stone, but one that he would etch into their minds and hearts (Heb. 8:10-12).
In our world of religious confusion, people take many paths to find the good way, but God said we could only find the good way in the ancient paths. God pled to Judah to find the ancient paths and follow his Law, but they refused to do so and this decision led to their destruction. Today, Jesus is the Way to the Father (John 14:6) and we need to be followers of that Way (Acts 19:2). That is, we need to get back to Jesus’ teachings and follow his precepts, and only then can we become followers of that Way. “We need to get back to the Bible. We need to speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent and call Bible things by Bible names and do Bible things in Bible ways. We need to restore the church as it was in the days of the apostles” (housetohouse.com).
While there is no explanation for why people forsake the ancient paths today, their destination is the same as the ancient Jews. It is destruction and their god is their own appetites (Php 3:19). While some mind only earthly things, we should remember that we are citizens of heaven (Php. 3:20a). When our god is our own appetites, we leave the ancient paths and find new, perverse paths.