Therefore you shall be careful to do as the Lord your God has commanded you; you shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you, that you may live and that it may be well with you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which you shall possess. (Deuteronomy 5:32-33)
There Is No Right Or Left Hand
The Law of Moses was given to the nation of Israel but the law was given to all the people of the world for all time as a testimony to the character of the will of the Lord. In part it was given to the children of Abraham to preserve the Seed promise which was Christ and because of man’s propensity for sin. While the Law of Moses (including the Ten Commandments) has been abolished, the purpose of preserving the law today shows the powerful message of the Lord in the manner of obedience. The specifics of the law are no longer binding as the grace of God is through Jesus Christ. When the early church began to teach and preach the gospel of Christ they used the Old Testament as their battle ground to establish, defend and show the redemption of men through the blood of Jesus. It also reminded Jews and Gentiles that trifling with the word of God would not be accepted. When Moses rehearsed the law with the people he affirmed the righteous principles of God’s law by reminding them to be careful to do what the Lord said to do. That has never changed and never will change.
Salvation in Christ does not come by being a good person, religious follower or casual believer in God. Many in the world accept the mistaken idea that God loves all men and the only thing they have to do is give nominal reflection on the Lord and He will accept their table scraps of worship. Obedience comes from being very careful how one treats the word of God. The Lord demands those who desire to be saved not to turn aside to the right hand or to the left. This suggests a constant understanding of the will of God in correcting and guiding one’s life in accordance with the word of God. There can be no variation in doing what the Lord requires. It cannot be a spiritual delicatessen where men pick and choose what they want to believe or practice under the law of God. Men have the idea that God is in the cereal business – allowing them to pick which every flavor suits their needs (and there is an abundance of man centered religion). There is no variation with God. His will is His will and there is no other truth. Being careful to do as the Lord God has commanded requires not turning aside to the right hand or the left because the Lord God is not a right or left handed God.
Obedience accepts the path laid out by the Lord with trusting faith desiring to walk in all the ways (notice the word ‘all’) and following the commands of the Lord. Loving God is an important part of the relationship but loving God is not enough. Many people love God but refuse to follow His will. Jesus challenged the people of His day when He declared that love is found in obedience – doing the will of the Lord. Life in Jesus demands keeping the words of God. Commandment keeping is not drudgery but the blessing of show love to the Father for the sacrifice He made. Moses declared the character of the grace of God when he admonished the people to walk circumspectly in following the commands of God; not turning aside to the right hand or to the left. Can we do any less today to be pleasing to the Lord? Can we pretend He does not care how we live and what we do with our lives? Not everyone who calls upon the Lord will be saved but only those who are willing to do the will of God – and that is being careful to keep the commandments of God.