Deuteronomy 13

* Enticers to idolatry to be put to death. (1-5) Relations who

entice to idolatry not to be spared. (6-11) Idolatrous cities

not to be spared. (12-18)

1-5 Moses had cautioned against the peril that might arise from

the Canaanites. Here he cautions against the rise of idolatry

among themselves. It is needful for us to be well acquainted

with the truths and precepts of the Bible; for we may expect to

be proved by temptations of evil under the appearance of good,

of error in the guise of truth; nor can any thing rightly oppose

such temptations, but the plain, express testimony of God's word

to the contrary. And it would be a proof of sincere affection

for God, that, notwithstanding specious pretences, they should

not be wrought upon the forsake God, and follow other gods to

serve them.
6-11 It is the policy of Satan to try to lead us to evil by

those whom we love, whom we least suspect of any ill design, and

whom we are desirous to please, and apt to conform to. The

enticement here is supposed to come from a brother or child, who

are near by nature; from a wife or friend, who are near by

choice, and are to us as our souls. But it is our duty to prefer

God and religion, before the nearest and dearest friends we have

in the world. We must not, to please our friends, break God's

law. Thou shalt not consent to him, nor go with him, not for

company, or curiosity, not to gain his affections. It is a

general rule, If sinners entice thee, consent thou not, #Pr

1:10|. And we must not hinder the course of God's justice.
12-18 Here is the case of a city revolting from the God of

Israel, and serving other gods. The crime is supposed to be

committed by one of the cities of Israel. Even when they were

ordered to preserve their religion by force, yet they were not

allowed to bring others to it by fire and sword. Spiritual

judgments under the Christian dispensation are more terrible

than the execution of criminals; we have not less cause than the

Israelites had, to fear the Divine wrath. Let us then fear the

spiritual idolatry of covetousness, and the love of worldly

pleasure; and be careful not to countenance them in our

families, by our example or by the education of our children.

May the Lord write his law and truth in our hearts, there set up

his throne, and shed abroad his love!
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