ASTROLOGY: THE FRUIT OF IDOLATRY
"Astrology is the belief in the occult influence of heavenly bodies in human affairs and the practice or techniques of divining events from astronomical observances" (Americana, II, p 557, 1969). Most newspapers publish daily astrological charts. Magazine racks have numerous publications devoted to astrology. It is common to hear of movie starlets and people of wealth and power consulting their favorite astrological advisor before making a trip or some important decision. Can one participate in this fad and still please God?
God’s Word has much to say about astrology, always condemning it. Astrology is a practice that originated in ancient Mesopotamia. It was rooted in idolatry. Lists of heavenly bodies with omens have been found dating to 2370 B. C. In ancient Babylon, private horoscopes were common in the fourth century B.C. (Baker’s Dictionary of Christian Ethics). A large collection of clay tablets know as Anu-Enlil (c.a. 2250 B. C.), cataloged omens and predictions of astrologers. As ancient men studied the heavenly bodies, most of them thought the stars were divine beings that controlled the destiny of men and nations. In their ignorance and superstition, believers in astrology worshiped the heavenly bodies. Those who claimed to understand the secret messages of the stars were employed by the wealthy and rulers to be their advisors. When the Hebrews moved into Canaan, some of them “worshiped all the host of heaven, and serve Baal” (II Kings 17:16). By the time of Josiah, worship of the heavenly bodies had found its way into the temple service of the Hebrews. Josiah had their implements removed and burned (II Kings 23:4).
Looking over the several references
to astrology in the Bible, we learn the following:
I. Astrology is seeking for forbidden knowledge. Moses wrote, "The secret things belong unto...our God, but the things that are revealed belong unto us..." (Deut. 29:29). God has reserved knowledge of the future for himself. "It is not for you to know the times and seasons which the Father hath set within His own authority" (Acts 1:7).
II. The origin of astrology is in idolatry. God warned against serving other gods and worshiping them, including the sun, or the moon or any of the hosts of heaven. Such is abomination (Deut. 17:2-4). God is offended when people “worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator (Rom. 1:25). Under Moses' law it was punishable by death (Deut. 17:4-7).
III. It is corrupting. "Thus saith Jehovah, learn not the way of the nations, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven" (Jer. 10:2). God does not want His children dabbling with things relating to idolatry
IV. It is forbidden (Jer.10:2) which should be sufficient for any one who loves God and hopes to see heaven.
V. It is futile. "I am Jehovah that...stretcheth forth the heavens above...that frustrateth the signs of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish (Isa. 44:24-25). There is no truth at all in the warnings, predictions and promises of astrologers.
VI. It is worthless. God challenges, "let now the astrologers, the star gazers, the monthly prognosticators stand up and save thee from the things that shall come upon thee. Behold they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves (Is. 47:13-14). Those who put their trust in astrology are no different than the primitive pagan who worships a stone, a mountain or a river, thinking it can protect or bless him.
VII. It is wasteful. Since the observation and advise of astrologers is nought but guess work and vague generalities, telling readers what they want or expect to hear, it is a waste of ones time and money to fool with it.
In the beginning, God created “heavens
and the earth,” including”the greater light, (the sun) to rule the
day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And...set
them in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth...” (Gen.
1:16). When the creation has served its purpose and God declares that time shall
be no more , “the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements
shall melt with fervent heat” (II Pet. 3:12). Rather than exercising power
and ruling over men and nations they will be as helpless as dry grass before
a raging fire.
In His holy scripture God has given us "all things that pertain to life and godliness" (II Peter 1:3). By prayer we can ask God's help. We should not allow ourselves to be allured and deceived by the empty claims of astrologers.
By John Waddey
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