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Broken Branches

Deuteronomy 18:9-11
“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.”

To gain something right and good by an unholy means is to remain in the wrong.

Without making an argument from silence here, consider that God doesn’t say in Deuteronomy 18:9-11 that diviners and astrologers and fortune tellers and necromancers are abominable because they always lie. Maybe they do. But these pagan practices aren’t expressly forbidden on that basis. In other words, God doesn’t call them abominable because they inevitably lead to untruth but because they lead in the wrong way, by the wrong means, whether they arrive at truth or not. It’s like the difference between winning a football game through playing well and winning through cheating. A team that plays fair and a team that cheats both win, but one loses where it really counts.

Look back to Eden, friend. That Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil wasn’t a fake tree, was it? It wasn’t a prop or an illusion, that is. It really did bear fruit and contained in its juices the power to make Adam and Eve wise in some regard. But when they ate of it, against God’s explicit command not to do so, they became more like God in their understanding but less like Him in their moral standing. And I believe that’s how we should view modern forms of mysticism or ‘secret knowledge.’ Not as false ends but as false means. Think of star alignments and demonic visions and hallucination-inducing mushrooms and psychedelics and Tarot Cards as branches from that Tree of Knowledge, with juicy fruits ever dangling before our lustful eyes, luring us by the wisdom they possess, that might make us wiser in one sense but will make fools of us in the ultimate sense.

Why did God put those forbidden branches here in the world at all? Well, the answer’s been in Eden all along. So that we’d choose Him of our own will and be forever blessed thereby.