Action Words From the Weeper to the Sleeper

William Andrew Dillard
From the pages of long, long ago there is preserved for us the words of our kind, loving God through His prophet Jeremiah. “Thus saith the Lord, ‘Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls, But they said, We will not walk therein.’” Jer. 6:16. This verse is literally packed with action words that command attention. Here is a closer look.
“Stand.” The ancient word is “Amad,” and is used some 500 times or more in the Old Testament. Over 350 of those times it is translated “Stand,” “Stood,” or “Stand up.” In the world of convictions, it means to hold tenaciously.
“See.” The Hebrew word is “Raah,” meaning to have vision, perceive, regard, consider, watch, and other synonyms.
“Ask” Here, the word is “Sha’al,” meaning to request, enquire, seek desire.
“Walk.” The Hebrew word is “Yalak,” and means to go, come, proceed, live life.
“Find” is “Matsa.” it means to attain to, secure, get, acquire.
Thus did Jeremiah, in tears, appeal to a stiff-necked people, “Stand up, [even hold tenaciously to convictions] in the ways [of God]; see [consider, regard, perceive, and have vision] and ask, [enquire, seek, desire, and request] for the old paths wherein is the good way, and walk, [proceed to live the manner of life] therein, and he shall find {attain to, secure, get, acquire] rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk therein.”
What a powerful appeal of promise to a wayward, but covenant people whose path had long since left the ways of God. Furthermore, the timing was so crucial. Judah was about to go into Babylonian captivity, and they were so cold and backslidden that they were not touched in heart and mind at the appeal of God, but rejected the kindness of their loving Creator while treating His weeping prophet despitefully. They refused to be blessed by turning from their sinful, prideful ways of life.
One cannot meditate on the problems of National Judah in the days of Jeremiah without drawing a parallel vision of modern churches. Although there are many who love the Lord and seek to worship Him correctly, while waiting patiently upon His return, there are so many who have given themselves over to materialism, socialism, and other sins of the modern era. It is heartbreaking. Still, prayers are offered that all who love the Lord will follow the mandates of Jeremiah 6:16,. The time is short, and ears are dull of hearing. It remains that each of us will be found as a weeper over the plight of others, or a sleeper, unaware of the impending judgment: that of Christ’s return for Christians, and the Great White Throne for others. It is so much better to be a weeper than a sleeper!

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