WIZARDS, WITCHES, AND THE WORD
(Deu 18:10-12) 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 . . .
In our culture, magic has always had its place and influence. Growing up I remember being exposed to magic through the media. Mickey Mouse in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice (Fantasia). The wizard in Wizard of Oz. Samantha in the TV series Bewitched. Nowadays there is the ever so popular Harry Potter series in books and movies. Why all this interest in magic? Is it benign and therefore no bother? Should Christians be concerned? What does the Word of God say?
When Israel was about to enter the Promised Land, God warned them that they were not to dabble in magic in its various forms. He even laid out the specifics of what to avoid. He then stated that this is what the former inhabitants were into and that it was an abomination to Him. The law of Moses made sorcery a capital offense: (Exo 22:18) “You shall not permit a sorceress to live. During king Saul’s time mediums and spiritists had to operate under cover for threat of their life. Saul had to hunt one down because he needed guidance and God would not speak to Him because of his sin (1 Sam 28).
So why all the prohibitions about wizards and witches? It’s because God reserves the right to speak to and guide His people. And He does so by His Spirit and through His Word: (Isa 8:19-20) And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living? 20 To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
It is interesting that right after God forbids His people from practicing witchcraft, there is a prophecy of Christ: (Deu 18:15) “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear. Then at the Mount of Transfiguration this verse was fulfilled: (Luke 9:35) And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!” God was pointing to the fact that we are to look to His Son for the guidance we need. God has sent His Word (the written Word) and God has sent His Son (the living Word) who died and rose again. What more light or power do we need?
Power comes from three sources: God, the devil, and man. God has omnipotent power, Satan limited power, and man has finite power. Why tap into the inferior? (1 Tim 6:15) . . . He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords. God has all the power you need! (Acts 1:8) But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you . . .