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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Deuteronomy 13

Verses 1-18

  1. Intro:
    1. What was your reputation in your neighborhood growing up? How about in H.S.? How about at work or in school presently?
    2. Don’t you hate being misrepresented? By a friend, by a co-worker. In the newspaper. About you or your business, or the company you work for.
      1. No one wants to be misrepresented.
      2. (Syn.) Misrepresent, defame, slander, smear campaign, give someone a bad name, stigmatize, bad mouth, talk smack, besmirch. [besmirch - damage the reputation of someone or something in the opinion of others]
      3. Listen to this story about John Wilkes Booth’s Brother. (read at bottom)
        1. His reputation smeared, not because of who he was, but because of someone close to him smearing the family name.
    3. The issue in our 2 ch’s is Gods reputation possibly being defamed, because of his people
      1. If we give wrong representation, from our lives, about who God is, His reputation gets smeared, not because of who God was, but because of us/someone close to Him, smearing the family name.
      2. Everything that we communicate to people about God must be true.
      3. Here we need to go back & remind ourselves of the 3rd commandment.
    4. Title: Besmirched [damage the reputation of someone in the opinion of others]
  2. #3 NOT MISUSING GOD’S NAME (5:11)
    1. Deut.5:11 You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
      1. In its most narrow sense, the 3rd commandment prohibits swearing an oath or making a promise, in the Lord’s name & then breaking it.
      2. In its more broader sense, it forbids any false speech or communication about God, or anything that lessens or misrepresents God’s name (i.e. His character).
      3. The word vain means emptiness or nothingness.
        1. When the Psalmist declared that idols were vain, he meant there was absolutely nothing to them.
      4. In vain means then, uselessly, wastefully, falsely, for no reason or to no good purpose. (Shepherd’s Notes, Deuteronomy, pg.43)
  3. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​3RD COMMANDMENT REVISITED (Ch.13)
    1. ​​​​​​​Slide#10 PROPHETS & DREAMERS (1-5)
    2. A false Prophet was one who spoke on behalf of God, but it wasn’t true.
    3. A dreamer was one who had received a revelation via a dream from God, but it wasn’t true.
    4. These men would arise who would attempt to wean Israel away from the Lord by performing a sign or a wonder.
      1. Is the test the person’s ability to perform miracles? No. Even Satan can do that.
        1. Actually, his/her fidelity to the truth of God...that’s always been the test.
      2. Such men were to be considered national enemies and put to death. The baby was to be thrown out with the bathwater.
      3. If you got terrible/wrong/bad advice from your financial planner, or personal advice, or medical advice, the consequence is only temporal. But the seriousness here is that it has eternal consequences.
        1. It is kidnapping, stealing God’s children away from Him...which was a capitol crime.
    5. (3) Testing you - Moses recognized that God would periodically test Israel by sending false prophets, for then Israel would truly have a chance to show they loved God w/all their heart/soul.
    6. ​​​​​​​FAMILY & FRIENDS (6-11)
    7. The seriousness of forsaking the true God for idols is nowhere more vividly expressed than here
      1. Even members of a man’s family were to be put to death if they attempted to undermine his loyalty to God.
      2. We must bear in mind that Israel was at this time a theocracy. God was their king, and those who rebelled against him or encouraged others to do so were guilty of treason.
    8. No relationship, in our life, no blood relationship, is more important than our relationship with our God. As Jesus said, He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. Mt.10:37
    9. WICKED MEN (12-18)
    10. Furthermore, if apostate communities arose, they were to be exterminated after their guilt had been adequately determined. [Numbers do not determine truth]
      1. It would have made a mockery of divine justice if Canaanite cities had been destroyed for their idolatries and such people spared.
      2. Moreover, if these moral diseased were tolerated in the new nation of Israel, they would eventually permeate the whole.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Deuteronomy 13". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/deuteronomy-13.html. 2017.