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December 14, 2023

Moses was a Bowler

So be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded; do not turn aside to the right or the left. Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess (Deuteronomy 5:32-33).

When reading these verses as part of our men’s study in the Gospel of John, God gave me a mental picture to go with it.

A bowling alley.

Now, I’m not a bowler.  Well, not a good one, anyway.  I can’t even remember the last time I bowled.

But God gave me a clear picture of me standing, ball in hand, ready to bowl.  The lane stretches before me, and the ten pins are in perfect formation.

I never actually bowled in that snapshot God gave me, but as I stood there, I knew I wanted to bowl a strike.

I wanted to avoid veering to the right or the left.*  I did not want to end up in the gutter, which happens more times than I care to admit.

I think Moses had bowling in mind when he penned Deuteronomy 5:32-33.

He instructs the Israelites not to turn aside to the right or the left.  But we know that they do, time and time again.  They veer right into the gutter.

Moses instructed them to walk in obedience to all that the Lord commanded them so that they would live, prosper, and experience prolonged days.

What’s true for the Israelites is true for us.

Do you want to keep from veering in the wrong direction?

Do you want to bowl strikes?

Do you want to live and prosper?

Do you want to experience the Lord’s blessings?

If so, stay out of the gutter.

Moses tells us we must “be careful to do what the Lord your God has commanded you.”

This is the secret to bowling strikes.  [And I’ll let you define what bowling strikes looks like in your life.]  But the key is doing what the Lord has commanded us to do.

This isn’t rocket science.  It’s bowling.

Any good bowler will tell you NOT to look at the gutters when you bowl.  It makes no sense to look where you DON’T want to go.  God, in his overwhelming love for us, has shown us the way.  We don’t want to pursue or even think about the things that dishonor God.  That’s a gutter trip.

Jesus is the way!

Jesus says, “I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life (John 8:12).

Walking with Jesus keeps us out of the gutter.

As men who love Jesus, we must keep our eyes on him all day.  Only then do we keep going in the right direction.

Here’s a question to consider:

What will keep you from turning to the right or the left?  In other words, what do you need to do to keep bowling strikes? 


*OK, true bowlers.  I know that if you want to bowl a strike, you can’t hit the pins head-on.  You must find that sweet spot where the ball curves into that pocket behind the headpin. So that requires some “veering” to the right or left.  But just the right amount!  🙂


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