Devotionals Archive

Daybreak: Deuteronomy 13:1 through 14:29

Jan 19, 2021

“And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers.” (Deuteronomy 13:17)

I could not sleep. Memories spun through my head, filling my heart with sadness. Anna and I were good friends. We had many things in common — our personalities clicked. We had shared a lot of fun times during the past few years.

In one way, however, we differed. It was a fundamental difference: she was not a Christian. I knew what God was asking me to do. He wanted me to separate myself from Anna, who did not believe in Him. In fact, she frequently insulted Christians in my presence. I could not endure the spiritual battle in this close friendship with Anna. I knew I had to pull away, even if it was hard.

In our text, we read about a law that demanded serious consequences if it was not followed. The Children of Israel had the responsibility of ridding themselves of idols and idol worshipers, even if the worshipers were people extremely close to them — even if they were their own family.     

God still requires that we separate ourselves from sin and sinners. The influence of someone who is our intimate friend will likely impact us more than that of a stranger. Just as Anna hindered my faith in God, there may be people — even close friends — from whom we must pull away in order to wholly follow God. Is the pulling away easy? Probably not, and God does not promise that it will be. However, He does promise to be with us, and when we are obedient, we are in a position to receive all the benefits of His promises. God will have compassion on us and He will multiply our blessings!

It is worth any price to do what God commands. Is He asking you to distance yourself from someone? Start your obedience today! You will be glad you did.


“Deuteronomy” means “second law.” This law was given by Moses to the Children of Israel after they had wandered in the wilderness for forty years. The earlier generations had heard the Law given to them on Mount Sinai. Now, Moses reiterated the Ten Commandments and the Law of God.

The essence of these chapters is purity in worship. Chapter 13 emphasizes the importance of the One worshiped. Israel was to follow the one true God, and Him only. Regardless of popular opinion, Israel was to walk after the Lord, “and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice . . .” They were instructed to reject even the family members who enticed them to turn to idols.

Chapter 14 concentrates on the purity of the worshiper. God demanded Israel to abstain from unclean and unholy meat. In this way, Israel set itself apart from the Gentiles. God instructed them to avoid pagan mourning rites, unclean foods, and pagan rituals.

God expected the Israelites to follow His leading to a separate, holy place to sacrifice to Him. His emphasis was that the Children of Israel should be holy and unblemished before Him.

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines – Used by permission per WORDsearch)

II.   The second discourse: exposition of the Law
     C.   The exposition of the principle laws of Israel
           1.   Religious legislation
                 b.   The laws against idolatry (13:1-18)
                      (1)   Conduct toward a false prophet (13:1-5)
                      (2)   Conduct toward seducers to idolatry (13:6-11)
                      (3)   Conduct toward an apostate city (13:12-18)
                 c.   The laws concerning personal holiness
                      (1)   The law against disfigurement (14:1-2)
                      (2)   The laws concerning dietary restrictions (14:3-21)
                             (a)   Certain species of animals (14:3-8)
                             (b)   Certain water creatures (14:9-10)
                             (c)   Certain fowl (14:11-20)
                             (d)   Any animal that dies of itself (14:21)
                      (3)   The laws concerning the tithes (14:22-29) 

A Closer Look

  1. If the Children of Israel heard of a group of people serving idols, what were they instructed to do before they destroyed them?
  2. Do you think Israel had more frequent problems with false prophets or with close family and friends who enticed them to idol worship? Why?
  3. In what ways might close friends and family either encourage or discourage you today? What should you do about it?


Let us be alert to the company we keep and determine to hold God first in our lives, and choose our friends wisely.

Reference Materials