Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.
Do not wander through life. Once you know where you should go, do not vary from that direction. Get away from every wrong or tempting thing. Set your eyes on pleasing God in each part of life, and do not be turned away by anything. Solomon earnestly told his son how to have a prosperous and successful life before God and men (Pr 4:20-27).
The way of wisdom – the road of righteousness – the highway of holiness – the path of purity – leads straight forward (Pr 4:25-27). The warning is clear! Do not veer from the road into the swamp of sin on either side. And the remedy is clear! If you have already veered into the swamp, then jerk your foot out of the mess and leap back onto the road.
The blessed God laid out a path for every saint to walk. It is clearly defined with bright markers and warning signs in the Bible (Ps 119:105). And He sent teachers to make sure you do not misread the roadmap. He promised they will help by saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Is 30:21).
Solomon taught his son to keep his eyes looking only forward. He said, “Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee” (Pr 4:25). The world offers many enticements to leave the highway and venture into the swamp of lust and sin. The allurements and invitations are very deceiving and catchy. You cannot even look at them.
He also told his son to carefully consider where he was walking, and to walk only where he had solid reasons to do so. He said, “Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established” (Pr 4:26). It is the duty of every Christian to prove everything he does by the word of God and reject any contrary opinion or activity (Is 8:20; I Thess 5:21).
Most men do not like a restrictive way of life (Mat 7:13). They want to do their own thing; they want to have it their way. They want to taste the pleasures of sin. The swamp billboards are too appealing! There are very few like Moses, who gave up great worldly advantages to stay on the road to heaven with the people of God (Heb 11:24-26).
Most men resent sound doctrine and dogmatic preachers telling them what they should or should not do (II Tim 4:3-4). They want entertainers, who will tickle their ears with nice stories. They are tired of the strait and narrow way (Matt 7:14), so they find teachers that will lead them into the swamp of carnal Christianity (Is 30:8-11). There are many of them today and easy to find. Real preachers require a hard search, but the result will be worth the effort. Their beautiful feet and treasure will help you (Rom 10:15; II Cor 4:1-7).
The LORD gave the word – it is absolute and final. Variations are judged severely. Ask Cain, who thought God would like his clean offering (Gen 4:1-5). Ask Nadab and Abihu, who tried contemporary worship (Lev 10:1-2). Ask Moses, who thought smiting the rock was close enough (Num 20:7-13). Ask Saul, who pleased the people with an innovation in worship (I Sam 15:22-26). Ask David about moving the ark on a new ox cart (II Sam 6:1-9; I Chr 15:13-15). Ask Uzziah, who thought he had a ministry (II Chron 26:16-21).
The LORD has already ruled regarding most aspects of your life. Do not even think about looking or turning any other way. Trust Him and His word! Reject your own thoughts (Pr 3:5-6). Love His commandments regarding all subjects, and hate any other opinion (Ps 119:128). Do not even think about adding something from the world’s religious practices (Deut 12:29-32). Remember that He counts the world and its friends His enemy (Jas 4:4).
If you have already foolishly turned aside after the world and entered the swamp of sin, either in private habits or lusts or public worship, there is only one remedy. You are now in the congregation of the dead, and you must save yourself (Pr 21:16). Repent! Get out of your sin and back on the road of righteousness now. Repent! Cut out your sinful habits. Repent! Leave your compromising church. Repent! Remove thy foot from evil.
The LORD gave the word – it is absolute and final. Variations are judged severely. But repentance can save you. Ask David, who was forgiven adultery and murder (II Sam 12:13). Ask Manasseh, who was forgiven the most heinous sins (II Chron 33:12-13). Ask Nineveh, who saved their city from total destruction (Jonah 3:10). Ask the church at Corinth, who saved their lives and church by godly repentance (II Cor 7:9-11).
The way of wisdom – the road of righteousness – is straight. Do not turn even a little. Do not modify God’s commands even a little. Do not think for a second a new millennium justifies a new look at Scripture. Do not listen to the clamor on all sides for more tolerance at innovations in doctrine and practice. Turn not to the right hand or to the left!