Is there any such thing as white magic? Is it OK for Christians to read their horoscopes or study astrology or numerology? Is there anything wrong with tarot cards, cleansings, Ouija boards, and palm reading?
Have you ever dabbled in those things? Would you know how to talk to someone who has?
If there is a spiritual world out there, should we be afraid of it? How do we resist those things?
1 Samuel 28
White Magic, Jesus & Resisting the Devil
1 Samuel 28:
Mediums and Spiritists
This is one of the more bizarre stories in the Bible and difficult to understand at first glance. The chapter opens by telling us that Samuel has died and that Saul has banished all the mediums and spiritists from the land. Then when God won’t answer him, he resorts to seeking out a medium himself.
How about you? How do you respond when answers to prayer are slow in coming? Do you continue to wait on God or resort to your own solutions?
We can’t put God in a box or demand that He do things on our timetable. Just because we have decided to walk in biblical love and forgiveness toward our spouse, doesn’t mean God is, immediately, going to cause him or her to change.
Just because we give financially doesn’t mean all our debt will disappear or we’ll instantly have the job of our dreams. In fact, our expectations are often part of the problem. We are to obey God out of a desire to please Him, not to get some desired result. Instead, we need to trust Him for the right result. It’s not that blessings don’t come as a result of our obedience, but our attitude is not to be one of “giving to get something.”
God has always forbidden His people to seek after spiritists and mediums.
Deuteronomy 29.29 says, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
In fact, under the law anyone practicing such things was to be put to death! And God’s attitude about them has not changed. There is no such thing as “white” or harmless magic, witchcraft or spiritism, even if its practitioners claim to believe in God or talk about Jesus. It’s not the Jesus of the Bible. Remember, the devil himself can appear as an angel of light, but it’s the bait he throws out to get us “hooked” on something other than God.
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works (2 Cor. 11.13-15).
If you are involved in any of these things, including horoscopes, astrology, numerology, tarot cards, cleansings, Ouija boards, palm reading, seeking to talk to the dead, or have been involved with these things in the past, go to God, seek His forgiveness, stop those practices completely, and get whole-heartedly focused on seeking wisdom through His Word.
If some experience has lead you or someone you know to believe those things are true and helpful, remember there can be numerous explanations, including our own imaginations. And while there is an unseen spiritual world that is just as real as this physical world (2 Ki. 6.8-18), it’s not something to be played with. God is not going to bless something that is contradictory to His Word. We can’t base our definitions of right or wrong, true or untrue on experience. Our standard must be the Scriptures.
On the other hand, we don’t need to be focused on rebuking or casting out demons.
8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries. 9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 8-9).
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you (Jas. 4.7).
We resist the devil by submitting to God and His truth, by choosing to live obediently before Him when it’s convenient and when it’s not, and by trusting Him with our past, our present, and our future.
Today’s Other Readings:
The Rock that is Higher than I
Verse 2b, “When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
Who hasn’t felt overwhelmed at one time or another? How we need something higher than us to which to run!
“In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity; and by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.”
If the reason we avoid sin is only because we might get caught, look bad to someone else, or because someone is watching, it’s the wrong motivation. We are to live obediently out of a fear of God and desire to please to Him.
Religion Isn’t Enough
Nicodemus was a religious man. He was devout, a ruler of the Jews, a Pharisee. Yet Jesus told him that religion wasn’t enough. He needed to be “born-again” (Jn. 3.3). Verses 16-18:
“16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
Don’t let familiarity keep you from thinking deeply about those verses.
Have you ever wondered or had someone ask you, “How can all those Muslims or others be wrong? How can they all be going to hell because they don’t believe in the Christian God and in Jesus?” How can God condemn them for something they don’t know?
God doesn’t condemn them for not knowing. We were all already condemned. But God sent us a “life raft” in the form of His Son and He desires that all men get into that “ark of safety” and be saved. Jesus didn’t come to push people off the boat; He’s pulling as many to safety as are willing!
What About You?
Are you in that ark? If you’re not sure and would like more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you sharing your faith so others will come in, too?
Have you had any past involvement in fortune telling or the like? Have you confessed and completely forsaken it?
If you enjoyed this post, why not share it on FaceBook, Pinterest, Twitter or your favorite social media hangout!
I would love to have you join me on this journey through the Bible. Just sign up for the BIBLE IN A YEAR daily posts so you don’t miss a single one.
Sign up now and receive a copy of “Prayer for Busy, Imperfect Pray-ers: 5 Strategies to Jumpstart Your Prayer Life.”
You can also SIGN UP FOR SPECIAL “CHRISTIAN LIVING” posts, including the new series “Handling Emotions Biblically.”
Previous Posts in the “Handling Emotions Biblically” Series
I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs:
Mondays The Modest Mom The Art of Homemaking Musing Mondays
Tuesdays Purposeful Faith Tea & Word Tuesday Talk
Wednesdays A Wise Woman Builds Her Home Messy Marriage Coffee for Your Heart Christian Blogger Linkup Women of Intention Mississippi Mom Writer Wednesday Seeking God in All I Do Warriors of the Word
Thursdays Chasing Community Booknificent Thursdays Dare2Hear
Fridays Missional Women Grace & Truth Faith & Friends Fresh Market Friday Dance with Jesus
Sundays Spiritual Sundays
This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!
“Bible in a Year” posts have been edited and updated from previous posts.