Follow The Old Maps

October 17, 2019
Volume 23, Number 33

One feature of the vehicle I drive is a glove compartment. I’ll have to confess, however, that there are no gloves in that compartment. Neither will you find what used to be a necessity in years gone by – maps. My navigation now comes from either a dashboard-mounted GPS, or from the GPS app on my smartphone.

GPS (global positioning system) is usually a marvelous tool. No longer do we have to nervously study foreign-looking symbols and lines to see which route to take. We just enter the address of our destination, and the device speaks the directions to us.

In the Italian island town of Sardinia, though, authorities have posted signs warning tourists not to use GPS there. In the past two years they’ve received 144 calls for help after drivers took roads fit only for rugged all-terrain vehicles. Specifically, Google Maps has been leading many drivers astray. The authorities are urging tourists to use old-fashioned paper maps instead.

Long ago the prophet Jeremiah gave a similar warning to the people of his day: “Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, “We will not walk in it”’” (Jeremiah 6:16).

The “ancient paths” about which Jeremiah spoke referred to the pathway in life that God had marked for His people. The destination one could reach by following this route was “rest for your souls”. So why didn’t the people want to take God’s route?

A bit later in Jeremiah we find the problem: “I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps” (Jeremiah 10:23). But like the stubborn husband who refuses to stop to ask for directions, we continue driving our lives, confident that we’ll eventually figure things out for ourselves. (But we won’t.)

Thankfully Jesus Christ offers a rescue service: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Those who are honest enough to admit that they are lost and cannot find the way need only turn to the Lord and call upon Him for help. (Galatians 3:26,27 gives a short statement on how such a call for help can be made.)

It may be OK that Google Maps are effective 99% of the time (just don’t use the app in Sardinia!). But for my soul’s salvation I don’t want to take even 1% risk – I want 100% assurance. The Lord offers that assurance. His “map” is the Bible.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5,6).

Come to the light God offers! Study His word, the Bible. Worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Get in touch with us if you’d like to discuss these ideas further.


Copyright, 2019, Timothy D. Hall. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from the New King James Version (Copyright, 1990, Thomas Nelson, Inc.).

“LightGrams” is produced by the Central Church of Christ, 2722 Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, Tennessee, 37601, and is written by Tim Hall, minister. It is sent free of charge every Thursday to all who request it. To subscribe or to receive more information, write to “” (our E-mail address), to the U.S. mail address above, or call (423) 282-1571.

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