Straight Ahead

Straight Ahead

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge / Deuteronomy 17:18–20; Deuteronomy 28:14

A little boy was riding his tricycle furiously around the block, over and over again. Finally a policeman stopped and asked him why he was going around and around. The boy said that he was running away from home. Then the policeman asked why he kept going around the block. The boy responded, “Because my mom said that I’m not allowed to cross the street.”

The point is clear—obedience will keep you close to those you love.9271

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 253.

Our 2021 Bible Reading Challenge has taken us through the Pentatuch, the Books of the Law. In them we have been introduced to the main players in the battle of good and evil. We have learned about satan, about sin, about death and about forgiveness and restoration. Most of all we have learned about who God is and how we can relate to Him. One of the things we have been taught is that God knows better than we do.  He gave Moses the 10 Commandments not the 10 suggestions. We saw fire come from the altar and kill Aaron’s two sons because they did not follow God’s commandments regarding incense.

While doing this week’s devotions, a repeated phrase jumped out at me.

Deuteronomy 17:20 KJV

That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

Deuteronomy 28:14 KJV

And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

I was reminded of the words of our Savior also refering to the way of truth being a very narrow and specific pathway.

Matthew 7:14 KJV

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

God knows better than we do. God loved us enough to give us the truth. We should not turn to the right and add what we think God really meant. We should not turn to the left by taking way what He did say. We would do well to follow the advice found in the law and repeated by our Savior. We should stay right on the path He put forth and go straight ahead.

The Straight Path Delivers Leaders From The Snare of Pride.

Deuteronomy 17:15 KJV

Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.

Deuteronomy 17:18–20 KJV

And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: 

And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: 

That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel.

 • Godly leadership is always submissive to the Word of God

 • Godly leadership is always learning

Psalm 131:1 KJV

LORD, My heart is not haughty, nor mine eyes lofty: Neither do I exercise myself in great matters, or in things too high for me.

 • Godly leadership must guard against pride.

 • Godly leadership does not invent new scripture

 • Godly leadership does not ignore existing scripture.

Isaiah 55:7–11 KJV

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts: And let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; And to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways, And my thoughts than your thoughts. 

For as the rain cometh down, And the snow from heaven, And returneth not thither, But watereth the earth, And maketh it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: It shall not return unto me void, But it shall accomplish that which I please, And it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

The Straight Path Delivers From False Doctrine

 • False gods… idolatry

Deuteronomy 28:14 KJV

And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.

 • False and deceptive teaching

Ephesians 4:11–14 KJV

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 

Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

The Straight Path Delivers From Crippling Fear

Joshua 1:7 KJV

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

Joshua 23:6 KJV

Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left;

The Straight Path Delivers From Past Mistakes and Leads to Revival.

2 Kings 22:1–2 KJV

Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty and one years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Boscath. 

And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.

Jeremiah 6:16 KJV

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.

We learn a lot about who God is from reading the Books of the Law. He is a God that loves us and knows all. He has revealed His truth to us in His Word. We do not need to add to it (turn to the right) nor dilute or take away from it ( turn to the left). We need to go straight ahead!

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 6:24 PM March 9, 2021.

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