This is what the Lord says:
Stand by the roadways and look. Ask about the ancient paths: Which is the way to what is good? Then take it and find rest for yourselves.
But they protested, "We won't!"
We've all felt at times that we are, "in a rut." Maybe you've used that expression. We feel that we are doing the same thing over and over and we can't seem to shake it. The expression raises the image of a car driving down an old dirt road, a road that has been so well traveled that deep ruts have been worn into it. If you were driving that car you could let go of the wheel and bounce back and forth in the rut, but you probably wouldn't bounce out. You would be stuck in the rut. It doesn't always have to be a bad thing, it just depends on where the road is taking you. If the rut leads over a cliff you better get out of that rut, put the car in reverse if you have to. But if the rut is taking you home, just follow the rut.
We don't typically speak of being stuck in a rut in a good way. There is another expression that means almost the same thing, "I'm in the groove." If someone is doing something well and can't seem to make a mistake, he is "in the groove." A basketball player who can't miss a shot, is in the groove.
Habits and things we do on a regular basis don't have to be bad things. What we need to do is develop good habits. We need to purposely develop ruts in our lives that will take us in the direction we want to go. We need to get in our groove. But we have to know the way to go. That is what the above verse is saying. The Lord spoke through the prophet Jeremiah and told the people to get into the ancient paths, the old grooves or ruts. They had left the road God had started the people on and were following their own ways, making new ruts. So God instructed them to leave the way that looks good and find the old ways.
The Bible, in Proverbs 14:12, says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death."
Not everything that seems good is good. We need to find out what the Word of God says and do that. Conventional wisdom might tell us one thing, but what does the Word say? That is what we need to do because it is the "ancient path." The Word of God will lead us to life, and peace. Jeremiah announced to the people to follow God's way, but the people responded, "We won't do it!" Will you?
Let me encourage you today, follow God's way. Develop a pattern, a rut, of listening to and obeying God's Word. Before you know it you'll find yourself in the groove.