Hideyoshi, a Japanese warlord who ruled over Japan in the late 1500s, commissioned a huge statue of Buddha for a shrine in Kyoto. It took 50,000 men five years to build, but the work had scarcely been completed when the earthquake of 1596 brought the roof of the shrine cras … More
Moses warns the people of three ways in which temptation to idolatry may come:
1. Through a false prophet. (v.v. 1-5)
2. Through friends and relatives. (v.v. 6-11)
3. Through a multitude of people. (v.v. 12-18)
The key phrase in Deuteronomy 13 is, “Let us go after other gods” (vv. 2,6,13). The Israelites were warned not to listen to false prophets or to anyone else who tried to get them to worship other gods (vv. 2-11). Loved ones and friends can be especially persuasive. But love for relatives should not take precedence over devotion to God.
If a person has committed wickedness, the fact that hundreds of people approve of it doesn’t change the fact it is sin. God instructs us as to how we should deal with it (vv. 12-16). A city that completely rejected God was to be destroyed so as not to lead the rest of the nation astray. But Israel was not to act against a city if it was just a rumor and had not been proven true. However, there are times, of course, when God wants us to act and rebuke a wayward friend or group, but we must first make sure we have all the facts straight. “He that answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame unto him” (Prov. 18:13).
If I hear of friends or groups who have wandered from the Lord I should check the facts, to find out the truth, before doing or saying anything that could be harmful.
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View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »
Deuteronomy 10:1-10The Second Pair of Tablets
Deuteronomy 10:11-21The Acceptance of Moses Petition
Deuteronomy 11:1-15God Sends Israel “to school”
Deuteronomy 11:16-32Declaration of Blessings And Curses
Deuteronomy 12:1-32Qualifications For a Place of Worship
Deuteronomy 13:1-18Do Not Listen to False Prophets
Deuteronomy 14:1-29Moses Deals With Diet
Deuteronomy 15:1-11Regulations Concering Debt Cancellation
Deuteronomy 15:12-23The Principles of Slavery
Deuteronomy 16:1-22The Three Feasts of God’s Chosen People