In Jeremiah chapter six, Jeremiah is receiving messages from God about what is to happen to Jerusalem and why. God is chastising Jerusalem for being influenced by the surrounding pagan religions. Many of these religions practiced brutal child sacrifice and other abominations before God, and in this chapter it is made very clear how God feels about having his chosen people fall into worship of these false deities and the brutality of these pagan religions.
In verse sixteen, we are told: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.'”
This is such a beautiful verse and so refreshing amidst all the sadness and admonishment in this book of the Bible. God is telling us that to choose the way of God and Christ is a choice that we have to make for ourselves, and that it is a different way, with different values, than that of the world.
Jesus tells us this over and over in the Gospels, that we have to give up our own way if we want to be his follower. He warns us about the state of the world and about his imminent second coming, and implores us to repent of our sins and ask forgiveness of them, in order to receive spiritual Salvation from him. He tells us that we must obey his commandments to love others as ourselves, love God with all our hearts, and give service in whatever way we can to those who are less fortunate than us.
It is vitally important that we not only repent and ask forgiveness to receive Salvation from Christ, but that we really commit to living his commandments and following his teachings, abandoning our old way of doing things and changing our behaviors to live up to his standards. In Jeremiah we have the example of what happened when the Israelites abandoned the ways of God, and in the New Testament we are warned in the Gospels and in Revelation about what will eventually befall the earth when God decides it is time for Jesus to come back. We need to make sure that we not only accept Salvation from Christ but that we keep it, by truly obeying his commandments to us and changing our lives to travel the path that they demand of us, rather than falling into our own ways and the ways of those who surround us.
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