Summary: This sermon encourages Christians to practice a life that is straight.
Stay On The Straight And Narrow
24 " 'Rise, take your journey, and cross over the River Arnon. Look, I have given into your hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land. Begin to possess it, and engage him in battle.
25This day I will begin to put the dread and fear of you upon the nations under the whole heaven, who shall hear the report of you, and shall tremble and be in anguish because of you.'
26"And I sent messengers from the Wilderness of Kedemoth to Sihon king of Heshbon, with words of peace, saying,
27'Let me pass through your land; I will keep strictly to the road, and I will turn neither to the right nor to the left.
28You shall sell me food for money, that I may eat, and give me water for money, that I may drink; only let me pass through on foot,
29just as the descendants of Esau who dwell in Seir and the Moabites who dwell in Ar did for me, until I cross the Jordan to the land which the LORD our God is giving us.'
30But Sihon king of Heshbon would not let us pass through, for the LORD your God hardened his spirit and made his heart obstinate, that He might deliver him into your hand, as it is this day.
During World War II, a passenger ship set sail from Great Britain
headed for New York City.
The Captain of the ship was afraid of German submarines.
So he sought the advice and guidance of the British Admiral.
The Admiral assured the captain that no matter what happens,
he should be sure to sail his ship straight ahead.
"Do not take any detours -- sail the ship straight ahead -- continue on-ward, heading straight towards the intended mark."
After several days of sailing across the Atlantic Ocean
the Captain spotted an enemy destroyer off his forward bow.
Nervously he grabbed the handset and called for assistance.
The calm voice replied, "Keep on Straight, Do not Detour, and just sail the ship straight ahead. Everything will be just fine. Just keep on going - straight ahead."
After a couple more days
the ship pulled safely into the harbor of New York City.
Shortly after docking
the British battleship "Man-of-War" pulled into port
behind the passenger vessel.
While the Captain had not seen the British Battleship,
she was always there, standing bye.
Standing ready to come to his defense should it prove necessary.
When God’s people were delivered from the bondage of Egypt,
they crossed the Red Sea
and entered into their Wilderness Journey.
It was supposed to be only a short trip
from the Red Sea to the Jordan River.
However, disobedience turned a short journey
into a 40 year failure.
While passing through the Wilderness,
they would pass through many countries with kings and rulers
who were pagan god worshippers.
They included the Edomites, the Moabites, the Ammonites,
the Amorites and a few other pagan nations.
As they traveled through these lands,
God gave them precise instruction for their journey.
The Wilderness Journey of God’s people
is like the journey Christians must make
from the day of their salvation to their eventual death.
Making the journey is not, nor has it ever been,
a joyride with no turns or difficulties.
Proverbs 24:16 says: For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity.
So the clear instruction to not turn from the path
that God has laid out for each of us is apparent.
As it says in Verse 27, we should “neither turn to the right nor to the left.”
Abraham Lincoln said, “No man ever got lost on a straight road.”
Straight is the direct opposite of crooked.
If one path is straight, it is not crooked!
If it is crooked, it cannot be straight.
In North Dakota, Highway 46 is supposedly
the longest straight road in America.
It stretches across 123 miles of North Dakota prairie.
Rivers are crooked because they follow the path of least resistance.
The same thing is true for many Christians.
The Christian who walks a crooked path
is one who walks a path with little resistance.
The straighter a Christian walks, the less crooked he will be.
Hebrews 12:13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.
When a Christian begins to wander from the straight path,
he becomes a crooked Christian.
That is not the way a Christian is supposed to live.
He needs to walk a straight path,
not a crooked one.
The Bible says in Ephesians 5:15,See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,
The word “circumspectly” describes a walk