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A Matter of Trust

Leviticus 19:31
“Do not turn to mediums or necromancers; do not seek them out, and so make yourselves unclean by them: I am the LORD your God.”

There’s a famous incident recorded in 1 Kings 28 where King Saul seeks out a banished necromancer to summon the ghost of the prophet Samuel, hoping Samuel can give him clarity on whether God has truly removed the kingdom from his hand. And as far as we know, Saul isn’t a closet demonist or someone who’s been dabbling in black magic under the cover of night. He’s just a scared man searching for answers. His future is shrouded in an unsettling fog and he desperately wants clarity for the next move. Unfortunately, he isn’t willing to trust God for it. Instead, he takes a shortcut in his life of faith that turns out to be just another dead end.

But throughout the biblical drama, God always provides His people with special ways to discern His will in difficult situations. At times, He provides prophets, at times He sends angelic messengers, at times He allows them to cast lots, at times He speaks through Urim and Thummim, at times He calls out through angelic tongues and interpretations, and even at times He gives dreams and visions and firsthand theophanies. Ultimately, He doesn’t leave His people in the dark. He doesn’t stay an arm’s length away from their very present and practical needs. As one Scriptural voice calls out to us, “Cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you,” and another writes, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of the LORD who gives lavishly,” and another, “Why are you downcast O my soul? Hope in God!”

I believe the principle undergirding this Levitical prohibition against mediums is less about the demonic underpinnings of such practice and more about the essentiality of faith. It’s that God doesn’t want us to turn to palm-readers and magic eight-balls and astrologers and horoscopes when we’re struggling through the dilemmas of earthly life—who to marry, where to work, where to send our kids to school, how to invest our money, etc. But He wants us to lean on Him for understanding, to seek His face through the fog of our present wilderness, trusting that He’ll always provide the wisdom we need in the right way, at the right time.