The Book of Jeremiah has become a favourite, especially as I continue to come back to the same chapters repeatedly and repeatedly find new perspective. Often that perspective is paralleled to my own life, serving as a paradigm microscope to view the intricacies of the good, bad and ugly of what I've experienced. Some of these verses (6:14-16) I've read before, but they bear repeating from the context of a nation to the context of myself:
14 They have also healed the hurt of My people slightly, Saying, ‘Peace, peace!’ When there is no peace. 15 Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? No! They were not at all ashamed; Nor did they know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time I punish them, They shall be cast down,” says the Lord.16 Thus says the LORD: “Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
What I find so fascinating is the visual effect of verse 16 (hence the picture). The aspect of no shame I also find interesting. I am reminded of another verse but this time from Psalms 119:9, "How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word..."
The idea of paths and seeking for or guarding knowledge as the wellspring of life is seen in both of these verses but what both verses embrace is the idea knowledge becoming action. And all of this comes back to me - the action of seeking knowledge, seeking purity in an active place rather than in a negative space. Jeremiah's words refer to a need to seek after God in their negative space whereas David on the other hand refers to seeking after God in a positive space. Jeremiah speaks of a people not ashamed and David speaks of a young man already in purity. Whatever the space, both men point out the Way.
So, some days ago, I stood in the way and I asked which way should I go? I stood in the ways and looked, I asked for the old paths, where the good way was, and I began walking in it, and now, I find rest for my soul. Amen.