Deuteronomy 18:9-22

Spiritism Forbidden

“When you enter the land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not learn to [h]imitate the detestable things of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you. 13 You shall be [i]blameless before the Lord your God. 14 For those nations, which you shall dispossess, listen to those who practice witchcraft and to diviners, but as for you, the Lord your God has not allowed you to do so.

15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your [j]countrymen, you shall listen to him. 16 This is according to all that you asked of the Lord your God in Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, let me not see this great fire anymore, or I will die.’ 17 The Lord said to me, ‘They have [k]spoken well. 18 I will raise up a prophet from among their [l]countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. 19 It shall come about that whoever will not listen to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, [m]that prophet shall die.’ 21 [n]You may say in your heart, ‘How will we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ 22 When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.

There is something here that makes an interesting contrast, as it talks about witchcraft, and all these related things that God detests. The passage mentions “one who interprets omens”, which would, I suspect, include things like astrology, for that is a very old custom, and certainly there were those who looked for signs in the stars in that day. But they would have looked for signs in all of nature, in animal behavior, and other natural occurrences.

The contrast is that God does indeed “speak” to us through His creation. He shows us His glory, majesty, creativity, and so much of his nature. But God wants us to communicate with Him, not through nature, but through his Spirit, who lives in us. All of the practices mentioned were ways of trying to communicate with the supernatural world, but all the time, God was trying to speak to His people directly. They were too afraid of that, so He promised to send them prophets instead.

But do not think that the only way to hear from God now is through a prophet. God wants to hear from you, and he wants to speak to you. Today, tomorrow, and every day, He wants to have a relationship, and that only happens with communication.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *