Friday, November 20, 2009

Beyond the Normal What’s That You Hear

Deuteronomy 18:9-14


No way, no how

Lately there is a revival of an artform that was very popular from the late 1800's to mid 1900's

Spiritualists and mediums flourished in the Victorian period

Many people believed in the spirit world and sought to make contact

The rise of spiritualists and mediums eventually turned in the age of science

Science began to "prove" many of these individuals as fakes and con-artists

The increased interest in this artform now is due to the willingness of many to believe in the paranormal

But this practice of communicating with the dead goes all the way back to pre-biblical times

Shaman and magi would claim ability to communicate with spirit world

That is where the OT picks up the story

The Hebrew children/Israelites were surrounded by cultures that practiced this

Egyptians had a very strong belief in the spirit world

The Chaldeans were known for their spirit world beliefs

The Hebrew children were exposed to this on a daily basis

Deuteronomy becomes a defining law in the life of Israel

God prohibits allowing those who cast spells, mediums, spiritists, or anyone who calls up the dead

Chobar cheber - Spell casting to charm someone, or to take away free will

Shoeel owb – a consulter of familiar spirits

Yidde oniy – a knowing one

Doreesh hameetiym – seeker of death/ the dead

Saul breaks the law when he consults a shoeel owb in 1 Samuel 28

Samuel, the prophet, was dead and buried

The Philistines had invaded the land

Saul sought God's wisdom through approved channels – God did not answer

Saul found a consulter of familiar spirits to bring Samuel forth

Samuel comes forth and condemns Saul in death as he did in life


Why turn to the dead

Saul is a great example of anyone who goes to a medium – they want reassurance or comfort or wisdom from someone they know has the answers

In life we turn to parents or aunts/uncles we admire for wisdom; we look to our children as hope

In death, when those we have turned to are gone, it seems that our source of wisdom, hope, reassurance is gone

Mediums and spiritists play on the longing of people to find answers or words of comfort regarding someone they have lost

But Saul forgot the word of the Lord – 1 Chronicles 10:13-14

The issue of mediums, spirit talkers, séances, Ouija boards isn't in the act of doing but in the act of not doing

By turning to the dead through these individuals people are forgetting the living – God

Isaiah 8:19 – to consult the dead is to turn on the living God

God has established himself as the ultimate source of wisdom, comfort, assurance, hope

Exodus 34:14 – God is Jealous, demands singular devotion

1 Corinthians 15:22-28 – death is defeated in Christ and under his authority

Romans 5:1-5 – hope that God offers does not disappoint

Post a Comment