The LORD your God has not appointed such for you

Deuteronomy 18:9-14
9 “When you come into the land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations.
10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,
11 “or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
12 “For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you.
13 “You shall be blameless before the LORD your God.
14 “For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you.”

It amazes me how many Christians consult the newspaper or internet every day to get their horoscope. Let’s forget for the moment that “professional” astrologers say that horoscopes must be prepared on an individual basis, that one large horoscope cannot cover everyone born under that “sign.” Forget, too, that skeptics like James Randi have repeatedly shown that what we perceive as “accuracy” in astrology is nothing more than self-delusion and pop psychology. Why would so many people of faith bother to consult a horoscope? I am sure a few folks just get a chuckle out of it, noting, like Mr. Randi, that the “readings” are so vague you could roll some dice and still find one that was “accurate.” But I am sure most people consult them because of uncertainty about their future, and because they feel they need guidance.

As we can see from the Scripture passage above, God doesn’t want us to consult astrologers and mediums, and in fact such acts are an abomination before God. Yes, some might argue that today we no longer live under the law quoted above but under the grace of Jesus. True, but we are just as bound by the intent of this law, because Jesus didn’t abolish the law but came to fulfill it. (Matthew 5:17) So we are still bound by this statute that we seek no more knowledge of the future than what is contained in the Bible.

Why would God forbid that? First of all, any “knowledge” that does NOT come from one of God’s prophets plainly does NOT come from God. So where does it come from? Demons? Satan? Men? Can we really trust any of those “sources”? Truly, if Satan and his minions are behind astrology, the only aim of astrology would be to lead us astray. If men are behind it, then they don’t have any special knowledge, and so horoscopes cannot be trusted. If we are to trust in God and believe in His Son as our Savior and Lord, then it seems plain to me that we ought not to be seeking knowledge and inspiration and guidance from any other created thing.

Some might then say, “But why doesn’t God Himself give us more information about our futures?” Besides the fact that seeking individual information like that smacks of pride, the truth is that God has already given us all the information we need: Jesus Christ is Lord and He WILL return in power and glory to judge the earth. If we need to know more, then we ought to be seeking godly advice from mature Christians. Or we ought to be praying and fasting to seek God’s direct guidance.

Besides the fact that we cannot trust astrology to give us the answers we seek, God also forbids it because He wants His chosen people to listen more closely to His Word. In the very next passage (Deuteronomy 18:15-22), Moses explains to the Israelites that instead of astrologers, mediums, and necromancers, God will appoint for them prophets like Moses – specifically ONE Prophet:

Deuteronomy 18:18
“‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.'”

God’s own words come to us through Jesus, and if we believe in Him as Lord and Savior, His Spirit continues to dwell within us and guide us. Why then would we need an astrologer when we have the Spirit of God Himself inside us?

Astrology is no game, and horoscopes cannot be trusted. The “knowledge” we might gain from astrology and mysticism is at best vague and useless, and at worst misleading and evil. Either way, the only knowledge that a believer can trust is the Word spoken from the mouth of God. Consult God’s Word, consult His servants and shepherds, consult mature men and women who themselves recognize His voice. Ignore the thunder and fire of divination and sorcery, and listen instead to the still, small voice of God that speaks from His Spirit within you and from His Word before your eyes.

Father God, we seek only You and Your Word today and every day. What use is a newspaper horoscope when I have the Word of the living God before me? Precious Lord, I do not seek special knowledge for my future, and I wish only that You would guide my heart this day for the fulfillment of Your will. Amen.


About Glenn Pettit

I am a deacon at The Well of Iowa, and a father and grandfather. Called to teach and to preach, I write fresh messages about the Bible every now and then.
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2 Responses to The LORD your God has not appointed such for you

  1. It amazes me how much deference you give to an avowed atheist in your attempt to cite a non-biblical source for why one shouldn’t believe in astrology. If James Randi is such a great source of knowledge and wisdom about astrology, I wonder what he thinks about the bible? Lets find out:

    • pastorgadget says:

      Yes, there’s no doubt that James Randi is a card-carrying skeptic and atheist. He is entitled to that belief (or lack thereof), and so I pray for him. Is this a case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”? No, not really. I just have always been intrigued by the fact – and I do mean FACT – that the horoscopes people read every day are so generic as to have no real meaning in life. Mr. Randi’s exercise with that college class is amusing, but I do not, as you say, give him “much deference.” His demonstration simply indicates the falsehood of those who style themselves as seers and mystics.

      You will note that the bulk of my argument is that God is the one true source of reliable knowledge about our lives and how they should be lived. That is why God’s law given through Moses set prohibitions against seeking knowledge through divination and sorcery. God does not provide such knowledge to seers, and so who does? It is either the word of men – which is thus just as fallible as anything written by men – or it is the word of Satan, the very father of lies. Relying on astrology and “readings” and mediums sets up believers for a fall into Satan’s trap, that they would rely on worldly knowledge rather than the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.

      Mr. Randi is continuing the tradition established by his own idol, Harry Houdini. I appreciate the work that James Randi and others do to debunk New Age and pagan practices, but I still find his defense against the Bible unoriginal and petty. He says nothing that hasn’t been said before, and yet he ignores the plain evidence of lives truly transformed by the gospel of Christ.

      As a counter to Mr. Randi’s rants against the Bible, I would recommend Lee Strobel’s excellent book “The Case for Christ” (and other of his “The Case for…” books) or Josh McDowell’s “Evidence That Demands a Verdict.” For a short primer on the “evidence” books, one could read McDowell’s “More Than a Carpenter.”

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