Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The Ancient Path

"The snow never melts high up in the Lebanon mountains. The cold, flowing streams from the crags of Mount Hermon never run dry. These can be counted on. But not my people! For they have deserted me and turned to foolish idols. They have turned away from the ancient highways of good and walk the muddy paths of sin.  Therefore, their land shall become desolate, so that all who pass by will gasp and shake their heads in amazement at its utter desolation." Jeremiah 18:14-16 (The Living Bible - used for better understanding.)
When Jeremiah wrote these words, Israel had forsaken God.  They worshipped foreign gods.  God's word was not heard in the land and His commandments were not obeyed. Therefore, God was sending the Babylonians to utterly destroy Israel and take them all captive back to Babylon.  It was a very harsh, brutal punishment.  Israel had forsaken God and stopped following the "ancient path" given to them on Mount Sinai.
The 10 commandments:
1- Thou shalt have no other gods before me.2- Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.3- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.4- Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.5- Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.6-  Thou shalt not kill.7- Thou shalt not commit adultery.8-  Thou shalt not steal.9- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.10- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's." (Exodus 20:3-17)
The Greatest Commandment:
 In the New Testament, when Jesus was questioned by a scribe as to which is the greatest commandment,   "Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."  (Mark 12:28-31). We all know it as the golden rule.   Each one of these commandments is like a stone on the ancient path we should follow.
What path are we following?I have been so saddened about the recent protests and violent riots against our country, it's flag, courthouses, president, memorials, statues, monuments, churches, and many other things that are good and represent our country.  Our liberties and freedom of speech and worship have also been attacked. What warrants this behavior? Our country is crumbling.  These precious ancient stones are being tossed aside.  A strange, harsh, stumbling path is now being formed and followed, leading to disaster and many of the leaders are just letting it happen.  We are a Judeo-Christian nation, founded on God's commandments and many more instructions given in the Bible, leading to stability and peace. For sure, we've had our problems. We work through them, and learn from them.  There are still many more obstacles to cross. With respect for others, and with God's help, we will solve them.   But I feel like we, as a country, have forsaken God in so many ways and are walking in the "muddy paths of sin".
We as believers need to stay on the ancient path and pray for our country, our president, his family and our churches before our land becomes, as Jeremiah said, "desolate, so that all who pass by will gasp and shake their heads in amazement at its utter desolation." 

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