The Vision Behind Ancient Paths
One day while reading through my Bible, my attention was drawn to the following peculiar scripture as being important:
“Thus says the Lord, ‘Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and you shall find rest for your souls.’ But they said, `We will not walk in it.’” Jeremiah 6:16
As I began meditating on this verse, I wondered what the Lord meant by “the ancient paths”. Here we are directed to ask for the “ancient paths”. The first thing I did in my investigation of the passage was to look up the Hebrew word for “ancient” to discover its meanings. I found that the Hebrew word is “OLAM”. Some of the meanings of this Hebrew word are: old, concealed, hidden, perpetual, eternal, timeless, from eternity.[i]
When I read the words “from eternity”, something inside me jumped, and I remembered reading in the Bible how everything on the earth is patterned after things in heaven. The things on the earth are really just types and shadows of the things in heaven. God’s ways are heavenly, eternal, timeless. Before God created man or the earth, His ways were established, and He walked in them. When God created Adam and Eve, He made them in His own image and established within them His ways: supernatural, timeless, from eternity. These were ways of thinking, ways of speaking, ways of behaving and relating to one another. Since man chose sin, he has departed farther and farther from these ways. Today we don’t even recognize what “these ways” are any more, so we couldn’t return to them if we wanted to do so.
Nevertheless, God instructs us through the prophet Jeremiah to see and ask for the “ancient paths” again. He tells us that they are the “good way.” The Hebrew word for “GOOD” used in this passage is the word “TOV.” Some of the meanings of this word are: pleasant, agreeable, happy, well-off, prosperous, great, excellent, cheerful, merry, distinguished[ii]. Such characteristics are the result of walking in the ancient paths of God. This scripture passage further says that when you walk in these paths, you will find rest for your soul. So many people today have very little rest or peace on the inside. Life is a constant struggle, and there is a continual torment on the inside of many. God never intended for us to have to live this way. Such a state is not walking in “the ancient paths.”
When God created man and placed him on the earth, He made him in His own image and programmed him with His own ways. Since that time, man has departed farther and farther from the original ways of God. Even after sin entered the world, man still lived 900 years. By the time of Noah the life span of man had already decreased to around 600 years, while in Moses’ day men lived only 120 years. Today the average life span is about only 80 years. The farther away from the original ways of God man has departed, the shorter his life span has become, and the more complicated he has made his own life.
About Craig Hill
Craig holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from Carleton College in Russian Area Studies and Geology and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Chicago.
Upon completion of his formal education, Craig worked as a corporate manager in the oil and gas exploration industry for several years. Being an experienced pilot, he later founded and managed a Learjet charter service. During these years, Craig (being fluent in the Russian language) frequently took time off from his business endeavors to minister the Gospel to the peoples of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Craig met his wife, Jan, through Youth With a Mission.
Having a specific interest in ministering to marriages and families, Craig pursued an internship and later a volunteer staff position at the New Life Counseling Center in Denver. He subsequently taught counseling and missions on the faculty of the Marilyn Hickey Bible College. In 1987, the Lord raised up Craig as Senior Pastor of a local church where he and Jan served for seven and a half years, until he was called by God to devote his full-time energy to the ministry of Family Foundations International.
Through his past experience in missions, counseling and pastoral ministry, God has given Craig unique insight into marriage, family, financial and interpersonal relationships. This has resulted in his ability to identify for many people, root causes of relational conflict, compulsive habits, low self-esteem, workaholism, lack of financial provision and other undesirable life patterns, which are repeated from one generation to the next. By interweaving personal stories with biblical truths, God has anointed Craig to pierce through the veil of the mind to minister to the depths of the heart, resulting in real life change for many.