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©Bonnie LaBelle

Chapter 18:9-14 (ESV)

Posted on March 09, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 18:9-14 (ESV) - “When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD. And because of these abominations the LORD your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God, for these nations, which you are about to dispossess, listen to fortune-tellers and to diviners. But as for you, the LORD your God has not allowed you to do this.

Question to consider: What is wrong with going to fortune tellers?

Even though Moses was one of the most revered men in all of human history, a true prophet of God, and wise enough to preside over millions of people, it is depressing to see how much precisely the generations that followed disregarded his sage advice.

Israel faced every potential situation he described, and yet they heeded none of his warnings! Proverbs 12:15 says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” As the LORD would one day say through His prophet, Isaiah, “...this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me…” (Isaiah 29:13)

Saul, the very first king Israel chose for themselves (despite Moses’ warning to let God choose for them) was one who engaged with a necromancer to reach out to Samuel after he had died.Rather than seeking council among the dead, Samuel should have prayed to his living God.

By the time Ezekiel was given visions from God about the coming judgment on Judah by the Babylonians, the abominable practices of the nations had infiltrated the very courts of the temple itself with Asherah poles and high places. God even let Ezekiel see within the walls of places he hadn’t been yet since he was a young priest who was exiled to Babylon before being able to serve in the temple. What he saw there shocked him, for his fellow priests were worshiping other gods within the holy temple of the LORD.

I understand that many people have a deep desire to know their personal future— just enough information to know how to invest financially or whether a pending decision would prove to be a blessing or a source of pain. With that knowledge, they may receive a bit of assurance or find the confidence to move boldly forward. However, Moses is very clear that the LORD does not allow us to do this.

The only thing that we need to know about the future is that it belongs to the LORD and that the LORD is good. Whatever God has in store for us, it is a part of God’s goodness that we face it. The LORD wants us to trust in Him above all else— even (especially) when it is difficult to do. The only real reason someone wants to know their future is to avoid the things we don’t like. It is similar to the “why” question. People don’t ask God why He does something in order to gain wisdom. People ask the question to determine whether they approve of His reasons. God does not need our approval concerning our future just like a parent doesn’t need approval from their first grader on their decision to serve broccoli with dinner.


Dear heavenly Father, please forgive us for ignoring the wisdom You have given us in order to pursue what is right in our own eyes. May we continue to grow in our understanding of Your goodness so that we may trust in the outcomes You have ordained for us. Amen.