Editor’s Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from September 21-23 are provided by Kate Moon who serves as a missionary in E. Asia.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
2 Kings 21:6
He built altars in the temple of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, “In Jerusalem I will put my Name.” In both courts of the temple of the LORD, he built altars to all the starry hosts. He sacrificed his own son in the fire, practiced sorcery and divination, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the eyes of the LORD, provoking him to anger.
When I was younger, I liked reading books about magic. Before Harry Potter, there were classic fairy tales, the Oz books, the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. I remember one of the very first series I really enjoyed as a young reader featured a little witch named Dorrie. I loved the whimsical illustrations and charming narration: “This is Dorrie. She is a witch. A little witch. Her hat is always on crooked and her stockings never match.” Because she wasn’t a grown-up witch, her spells did not always come out exactly right, and that was what made things fun.
What is it about magic that fascinates human beings? The longing for the other-worldly is a sign that we were meant for more than just this material world; it points us to seek out God who is spirit. Yet sorcery, divination and seeking mediums are about trying to access supernatural power or knowledge without accountability or relationship with Him. It is a way for human beings to try to exert control over circumstances, on their own terms; whereas, in contrast, God’s power and revelation is given so that we can submit ourselves and circumstances to God’s will and authority. It is given on His terms, for His purposes, to those who are in relationship with Him.
Are we dabbling in or pursuing any kind of spiritual activity (Buddhist meditation, fortune-telling, tarot card reading, etc.) that is not of God? It is a deception to think that we can be truly satisfied by any spiritual activity outside the context of a relationship with Him. Or though we may not be blatantly engaging in such activities, just as our idolatry is more sophisticated and subtle in modern days, so can our sorcery and divination. Have our prayers become more a kind of magic spell than a way to connect with a spiritual Father who loves us? Do we ever seek others’ prayer ministry or counsel because we just want a quick answer, too lazy to go to God ourselves and wanting to bypass the relationship-building of personally wrestling with and submitting to Him?
Father, do I ever provoke you to anger by my disrespect? Do I ever, like King Manasseh, try to bypass building a relationship with you in favor of just getting quick results? Forgive me, Father. I do want to know You. Help me to seek You more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Timothy 4
Lunch Break Study
Read Deuteronomy 18:10-17: Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. . . .14 The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so. 15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him.” . . . 17 The Lord said to me: “What they say is good. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him.
Questions to Consider
- How does God feel about sorcery, divination, etc. (vv. 10-12)?
- Why doesn’t it make sense for Israel to pursue such practices (vv. 12, 14)?
- What alternative to the above practices does God give to his people (vv. 15-17)? Currently, who are you listening to for spiritual guidance? What are their qualifications?
- He hates it.
- God is going to drive out other nations from their land because of these practices. It makes no sense for the Israelites to want to imitate a people that they would defeat.
- He provides a prophet and commands His people to listen to Him rather than to mediums or spiritists. We need to exercise discernment in terms of who we are receiving spiritual guidance from. We need to listen to people who are in right relationship with God and speak His words.
When I sought guidance today, how did I seek it? Did I walk through the day in communication and consultation with God, or were there times I relied on other kinds of guidance? Ask for discernment to rely on the Holy Spirit and not on any other kind of spirit.