Divination is the practice of seeking knowledge or prophetic insight through supernatural means. Throughout history, many societies have practiced divination in various forms, including astrology, tarot, and the reading of omens and signs. The Bible also contains references to divination, but its outlook on the practice is complex and multifaceted, with some passages forbidding it outright and others describing situations where divination was sought or used by individuals. In this article, we will explore the topic of divination and its portrayal in the Bible.
What is Divination?
Divination is the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means. It has been practiced throughout human history in various forms, such as astrology, tarot reading, and crystal gazing. The practice of divination has been a controversial topic in many religions, including Christianity.
The Bible’s Perspective on Divination
The Bible is clear in its stance on divination. In Deuteronomy 18:10-12, it states, “There shall not be found among you anyone who… practices witchcraft or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord.”
Different Forms of Divination
There are various types of divination, and each practice has its own unique characteristics. Here are some of the most common forms of divination:
Astrology is the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies and their influence on human affairs. It is one of the oldest forms of divination and is still widely practiced today.
Tarot reading involves the use of a deck of tarot cards to gain insight into a person’s past, present, and future. It is a popular form of divination and is often used for spiritual guidance and self-discovery.
Crystal gazing involves the use of a crystal ball or other reflective surface to gain insight into the future. It is often used in conjunction with other forms of divination, such as astrology or tarot reading.
Understanding the Relationship between Divination and the Bible
The Bible is clear in its condemnation of divination, but that does not mean that all forms of divination are inherently evil. The context in which divination is practiced is crucial in determining whether it is acceptable or not.
Biblical Examples of Divination
There are several instances in the Bible where divination is mentioned, and not all of them are condemned. In Genesis 44:5, Joseph’s steward is described as using a divination cup to determine who had stolen from him. In 1 Samuel 28:6-14, King Saul consults a medium to speak with the spirit of the prophet Samuel.
The key factor in determining the acceptability of divination is the context in which it is practiced. If divination is used to seek knowledge or guidance from supernatural sources other than God, then it is considered an abomination. However, if divination is used to seek guidance from God, then it is not necessarily condemned.
FAQs: Divination and the Bible
What is divination?
Divination is the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or of hidden things through supernatural means. It often involves the use of objects or rituals to invoke spirits or entities believed to have knowledge and power beyond human understanding.
Is divination mentioned in the Bible?
Yes, divination is mentioned several times in the Bible. In the Old Testament, divination was commonly practiced by the nations surrounding Israel, and was often condemned as a form of idolatry. The Bible specifically prohibits divination, stating that it is an abomination to the Lord.
What does the Bible say about divination?
The Bible unequivocally condemns divination as a sin and a spiritual danger. For example, in Deuteronomy 18:10-12, divination is listed among the practices that are detestable to God: “There shall not be found among you anyone who…practices witchcraft or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord.”
Can Christians practice divination?
No, Christians should not practice divination, as it is explicitly forbidden in the Bible. Instead, Christians are encouraged to seek knowledge and guidance from God through prayer, meditation, and study of the Bible. It is important to remember that seeking supernatural knowledge through divination can lead to deception and spiritual harm.
What are some examples of divination in modern times?
Some examples of divination in modern times include astrology, tarot reading, crystal gazing, and psychic readings. These practices are often marketed as harmless entertainment, but they can lead people away from a reliance on God and his wisdom. Christians should exercise caution and discernment when considering any form of divination or supernatural practice.