Reading today from Deuteronomy 17 – 19.
People of our world today are searching for answers. They want answers concerning their future. Who will be my spouse? How will this investment I am about to make turn out? Will it make me wealthy, or will it leave me in bankruptcy? We all have this inkling to know what tomorrow holds. Some turn to horoscopes, also known as astrology, reading of signs, and forms of witchcraft and sorcery.
God forbids His people to have part in these things. The LORD even tells us that He is driving out the Canaanites because of this very thing. Their abominations/evil practices.
Yet, there are professing Christians who dabble in these “dark arts”. They say things like, “What does it hurt?” or “I just do it for fun” or “It doesn’t affect my fellowship with God or other Christians”. In this study today we will make some observations which will show us that even the early church shows us that these were evil things, and are not for the dabbling of those who love Jesus Christ. Today we look at…
“When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God. For these nations, which thou shalt possess, hearkened unto observers of times, and unto diviners: but as for thee, the LORD thy God hath not suffered thee so to do.” Deuteronomy 18:9-14 (KJV)
There are nine practices which are named in the above text. The first of which is the offering of one’s child in the fire. The Canaanite worship had involved the worship of at least three deities which were Baal, Moloch, and Ashtoroth. I am not going to get into their worship practices because they are vile, immoral and not worthy of any recognition. All we need to see is that first one listed involved the offering of children to the fires, and this was to Moloch. It is amazing how we can make laws or gods convenient for out beliefs. I heard it said, “Man makes god after his own image”; and there is a small element of truth to that.
Those who worship false deities have made these gods to suit their own hearts. They fashion the gods to find their pleasure, comfort, and convenience. Isn’t it amazing that in the Canaanite forms of worship they had a god like Baal who offered them all the sexual immorality in worshipping this deity and that of Ashtoreth; and children were born as a result of all this immoral conduct; then, they didn’t want the children and offered them to Moloch. How convenient.
The GOD of heaven; who created all things created mankind in His own image. That image has fallen into sin and no longer glorifies Him. He called out the people we know as Jews or Hebrews, and through them has sent a Savior into this world as an offering for our sins.
The MacArthur Study Bible notes for these verses tells us,
“18:9-12 the abominations of those nations. Moses gave a strict injunction not to copy, imitate, or do what the polytheistic Canaanites did. Nine detestable practices of the Canaanites were delineated in vv. 10, 11, namely: 1) sacrificing children in the fire; 2) witchcraft, seeking to determine the will of the gods by examining and interpreting omens; 3) soothsaying, attempting to control the future through power given by evil spirits; 4) interpreting omens, telling the future based on signs; 5) sorcery, inducing magical effects by drugs or some other sort of potion; 6) conjuring spells binding other people by magical muttering; 7) being a medium, one who supposedly communicates with the dead, but actually communicates with demons; 8 ) being a spiritist, one who has an intimate acquaintance with the demonic, spiritual world; and 9) calling up the dead, investigating and seeking information from the dead. These evil practices were the reason the Lord was going to drive the Canaanites out of the land.”
From page 276 NKJV edition.
Christians, listen to the Lord here. It was forbidden by God for the Israelites to take part in this evil. It was at least part of the reason God drove the Canaanites from the land, and gave it to Israel. If Israel participated in the evil they then would be chastised, sent into captivity, and suffer much until they returned to the Lord.
There is a portion of Scripture in the book of Acts which tells us what some new believers in Christ did with books concerning sorcery and such;
“And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many that believed came, and confessed, and shewed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” Acts 19:17-20
I am not advocating the burning of books. I am, however, asking Christians to forsake these dark arts; and trust only in the LORD. He alone knows our tomorrow. It does make a difference what you believe. Your beliefs will have a part affecting your morality and life. I am advocating for a fire of passion for our Christ, our Lord and Savior. One of the verse of Deuteronomy says, “Thou shalt be perfect with the LORD thy God”. Jesus even said,
“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
The only way of “perfection” with God is through the cross of Jesus Christ. He is perfect and by His death, burial and resurrection we are made perfect before the LORD God. Obedience is not optional.
Please read Deuteronomy 17 – 19
-Tim A. Blankenship