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					Calvary Church                                                             Rev. Jacob Paul Stump
                                    Cities to Capture: Lesson 2

                              Jeshanah - City of the Old Paths

Key Text: II Chronicles 13:19; Jeremiah 6:16

II Chronicles 13:19,
       “And Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Bethel with the
towns thereof, and Jeshanah with the towns thereof, and Ephrain with the towns thereof.”

Review of Last Week’s Lesson:

       Abijah and Jeroboam’s battle
       Abijah’s victory because he relied upon the LORD
       Abijah’s taking of three cities: Bethel, Jeshanah, and Ephrain
       Jeroboam’s lasting defeat
       Bethel – The House of God
            o The place of the altar
            o The place of the covenant
            o The place of relationship

We Need the House of God in our lives!

The second city that Abijah captured was a city named Jeshanah. The name is the
feminine form of the word yashan, which simply means old.

Being a city, it was given a feminine name, and no, just because it is feminine and means
old does NOT mean it was the city of Old Women!!! How do I know? Abijah was able
to capture the city wasn’t he? Have you ever tried to cross your grandmother? That’s
what I thought. Jeshanah simply means the “Old City”. Other than this, let me tell you
everything we know about Jeshanah…

Yep, you guessed it. Nothing. This scripture is the ONLY place where Jeshanah is ever
mentioned in the Bible. To me, this makes it all the more interesting. Why in the world
did Abijah take Jeshanah? I mean, he had just came from Bethel, which was one of the
great Biblical cities! It’s like visiting Dallas or San Francisco or Philadelphia and then
saying, “C’mon honey, let’s hurry up and leave so we can get to Iredell!” Was he just
stopping at every place along the way, kind of like a driving vacation?


What is a driving vacation? You know, it is one of those vacations where the family
spends 8 hours in the Pinto everyday and the journey is the destination. I’ve never been
on a true “driving vacation”, but the closest I’ve ever come to it was our trip to California
several years ago. My Aunt Gina was riding with us from San Jose to Los Angeles and
she and Theresa decided (without any of the driver’s input) that we needed to stop at the
Fashion District in downtown Los Angeles. Now that was a destination that I was
excited about. Really, I just wanted to get home, but they wanted to enjoy themselves.
Calvary Church                                                              Rev. Jacob Paul Stump
                                    Cities to Capture: Lesson 2

So we get to downtown L.A. and immediately get stuck in traffic. My excitement level is
just growing. We finally find a place to park on the roof of some little building where I
have to pay $6 just to get my truck pinned behind three levels of vehicles. I am feeling
extremely happy at this point. I look over at my wife and Aunt and they are just beaming
at the prospects of the good deals somewhere on the city blocks beneath us. So we walk
for several hours through the many rundown stores selling clothing made in some third
world country on the other side of the earth.

At the end of the day, my wife ended up with a scarf. A scarf (or a poncho thingy)! But
my aunt had promised to buy a gift for each of my children and had not done so yet, so
just as I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel we had to turn around and go back!
Then we faced the next problem. There was not a single store in the *fashion district*
that carried Spider- men action figures or Cabbage Patch Kids. It was horrible! So we
finally found a store that had gifts for children and the lady behind us gave us a price. So
here we are putting our money down when the owner of the store walks up and refuses to
sell the items for the price that the lady told us! Well, by that time my excitement had
about run out and I lost my cool a little bit. 45 minutes later, after having been kicked out
of the store and told to never come back, waiting 30 minutes for the parking garage to dig
our truck out from the pack; we were back on our way… (I wasn’t yet pastoring so it was
ok to lose my cool. Everyone knows pastors are never lose their cool right?)


When I have a destination, I like to get to my destination. There might be some sweet
smelling roses on the side of the road but I’m generally content to pass them up at around
75 mph. Call it a flaw.

I’ve never understood people who feel an urgent need to stop at every historical marker.
One time I stopped at one and it read something like, “Back in 1874, somebody you’ve
never heard of did something that you don’t really care about to somebody else that
you’ve never heard and that you probably won’t ever remember in 10 miles.”

At my father- in-law’s property, there is a sign on their barn that says, “At this spot in
1894, Nothing Happened”. You could have taken a similar sign and posted it outside
Jeshanah. Nothing notable ever happened there. It was just an Old City. So why did
Abijah go take it? Not only did nothing ever happen there, it was old!

Folks, let’s face it; we live in a world that is obsessed with youth and things that are new.
There are very few things in the world that are considered to get better with age: wine,
real estate and a man’s favorite baseball cap. Other than these things, New is genera lly
considered better.

         Ladies need NEW shoes
         Men want a NEW car
         Couples want a NEW house
Calvary Church                                                            Rev. Jacob Paul Stump
                                   Cities to Capture: Lesson 2

         Kids want a NEW toy
         Married people want a NEW spouse
         Children want NEW parents
         The country wants a NEW president
         Does anyone want a NEW pet? I know of a Yorkshire Terrier…

New, new, new. Athletes are getting younger. Models are getting younger. Companies
are advertising to younger and younger audiences. Credit card companies are marketing
to 7 and 8 year olds. Cell phone companies are putting out products for e lementary aged


There is simply no love lost for old things in our society. But after having taken Bethel,
the House of God, Abijah pointed his men directly to the city of Jeshanah, the Old City.
There was something there that he absolutely had to have. It did not matter that nothing
exciting had ever happened there. It did not matter that it wasn’t considered a great
tourist destination or that the younger crowd generally shunned it for other cities. Abijah
told his men, “We’re going to Jeshanah.” I don’t just want the House of God; I want the
old city as well.

Though this world may despise anything that is not new, is it any surprise that God does
not share this view? What does the Bible have to say about it?

Matthew 13:52, “Then said he unto them, Therefore every teacher which is instructed
unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth
forth out of his treasure things new and old.”

Jeremiah 6:16, “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.”

Here in Jeremiah, God is speaking to Israel using an analogy of a traveler looking for the
right path to take. The weary traveler is standing at a crossroad where multiple pathways
intersect. When confronted with this situation, God says stand in the midst of the ways
and wait there until someone comes along who knows the area. When that someone
comes along, ask them for the old paths that lead to the good way.

“Stand ye in the ways…”

God did not say, “Stand in the way”(singular). He said, “Stand in the ways”, plural. In
other words there are multiple paths that we will come across. Some are good and some
are bad.

The advice given to someone who has caught on fire is to STOP, DROP, and ROLL.
Calvary Church                                                            Rev. Jacob Paul Stump
                                   Cities to Capture: Lesson 2

The advice given by God when you don’t know which way to take is to STAND. WAIT.
ASK. When you come to an intersection and you don’t know which way to go; don’t go
anywhere. Wait until someone comes along who has traveled this road before and ask
which path is the old path. Don’t take another step until you find this out.

The Direction Giver

Of course the caveat to this is that the directions are only as good as the person giving
them. Be careful whom you listen to. If he has two horns and a pointy tail and uses a
pitchfork to point to his recommended way, I probably would not advise listening to him.

Wouldn’t it be nice if it were that easy to determine?

So how do you know? The Bible says you will know them by their fruits. What is the
fruit of their lips? “Out of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Are they constantly telling
dirty jokes? Do they glorify God or are they out for themselves? Are they witnesses?
Do they lift people up or do they tear people down? If a tree is growing apples… it’s
probably an apple tree. (I know I’m stepping out on a limb here.)

The Good Way

So in the midst of the ways there is a Good Way. And the only way to find the Good
Way is to seek after the old paths. After finding Bethel, Abijah had to recapture the Old
Paths. He had to get to the Old City, Jeshanah.

The word that Jeremiah uses for “Old” means a path that is concealed or vanishing.
Folks, I’m not going to lie, sometimes it seems like the old paths are getting harder and
harder to find. As our world gets farther from God and the principles in His Word, it
becomes harder to show them the old path. Just a few generations ago holiness was
nearly a non- issue because most people naturally dressed modestly. Modest dress is as
foreign to our generation as driving on the left side of the road. People look at the
holiness life-style as completely backwards without realizing that it was the way
everyone lived for thousands of years, literally until the past two or three generations.

       The doctrine of separation has been all but abandoned by modern day
        Christianity. The Old Paths are vanishing.
       Viewing the Bible as absolute truth is ridiculed by today’s society. The Old Paths
        are vanishing.
       Church has become a place to see and be seen rather than a place to meet and
        worship God. The Old Paths are vanishing.

But Abijah said, “I’ve got to have the OLD PATHS! Give me the OLD CITY!” I don’t
want any new philosophy when I can find no fault in God’s WAY! I don’t need any new
outlook on life when I have God’s outlook on life! I don’t need a new way. I need God’s
way. I need the good way.
Calvary Church                                                            Rev. Jacob Paul Stump
                                   Cities to Capture: Lesson 2


I John 2:7, “Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment
which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard
from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you...”

Did anybody else notice that John contradicts himself? He says at first, “I write no new
commandment unto you” but then says “Again, a new commandment I write unto you…”


It’s not a new commandment… but it is a new commandment unto YOU because you
have never heard it before. The Bible is not a new book but it is new to millions of
people because they have never been told what it says. They have never read it. We
need to restore the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ.


In II Kings 22, King Josiah commanded that the house of God be cleaned out. In the
process of cleaning out the temple, they came across a book that none of them had ever
read. What book was it? It was the Torah, the Old Testament. Listen to what Josiah did
when he heard the book:

        “And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law,
that he rent his clothes. And the king commanded...saying, Go ye, enquire of the LORD
for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is
found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers
have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is
written concerning us.”

Because their fathers did not teach them, the old commandment had become the new
commandment. It was not new to God, but it was new to Josiah. It was not even new to
his fathers, but because they failed to hand down the torch, Josiah did not have a clue.
Just as Josiah rent his clothes we need a rending. Just as Josiah commanded the people to
begin enquiring of the Lord, we need to enquire.

Jeremiah said that the old paths would lead to rest. If we want to gain a lasting victory
over the enemy, like Abijah, we need to capture the old paths. We must recognize that
these new philosophies of relative truth and easy believe- ism only lead to daily struggles.
If truth is relative and situational, you will constantly be in a state of flux as right and
wrong are daily re-defined in your life. We must grab a hold on the Old Paths.

Calvary Church                                                             Rev. Jacob Paul Stump
                                   Cities to Capture: Lesson 2

There is a saying when a bride is preparing for her wedding day. She is supposed to
receive “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue.”

Something New - Jesus gives us New Wine in New Bottles
Something Borrowed – Our righteousness is as filthy rags, but Jesus imputes, or loans us
His righteousness.
Something Blue – The color of Heaven, Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you…”

But first things first, we must first obtain Something Old.
    Old Truth
    An old- fashioned walk with God
    An old- fashioned lifestyle
    An old- fashioned doctrine that does not change with each new generation
    An old faith that is based upon an Old Book
    An old God who does not change with our fickle and vacillating culture
    An old gospel that still calls for us to “Come Out From Among Them and Be Ye

This morning as I close, if we want lasting victory we must find the vanishing pathway
that leads to an old city. I cannot tell you how to get to the actual city of Jeshanah
because it has vanished. It no longer exists and archeologists don’t know where it was

But I’m not talking about a physical city anymore. I’m talking about an old pathway that
is vanishing before our eyes. It is the pathway of God that leads to everlasting life. Why
is it vanishing? It is vanishing for lack of use. But if you look, you can still find it. If
you stand still and listen, an old traveler will meet you there and with nail scarred hands
point out to you the way of life.

The Ancient of Days still walks along the Old Paths. If we follow His voice we will find
the Way.

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