08 Mar Shun Diviner Foreboding
The clock is about to strike midnight. Noise of steps in the corridors has become rare. Lights are out in almost all rooms. Through the window, Sam looks beyond his hostel campus. Darkness has overshadowed everyone. Silence of night is overwhelming. Light flickers off and on from a long distant highway. Emptiness and loneliness of the dark night have crept in. Strange harping of insects adulates confirming fierceness of approaching midnight. Pall of gloom looms large over him. Sam just returned from his friends’ room. He is disturbed with their decision. Frustration has gripped them. Future looks bleak and belies all promises. Friends are intrigued with the same questions: Will we pass the final examination with flying colours? Shall we be able to go out from here with employment on our strides in the face of recession and stagflation? Atmosphere is charged with hopelessness and failures. One of them shows a glimmer of hope. He proposed a way of spiritualism to his friends to reveal their future. Necromancy, occultism, channeling, speaking to the dead through medium, sorcery, black magic and the like are not uncommon in this land.
Both the orient and the Occident follow these age old practices. There are even associations and organizations to practice spiritualism. He stressed that there was nothing wrong to resort to this practice of calling dead spirit as it is very much accepted in all religions as part of spirituality. Almost all of them agreed and tonight is the right time to conjure up the dead to prophesy their future. Sam gathered up courage to tell his friends their way of spiritualism is not the real spirituality but an evil practice to lead them to disaster. He tried his best to dissuade his friends. But being the single minority, their plan prevailed. Due to strong resistance, he was forced out of the place and retreated to his room.
As a believer, Sam recalls the story of King Saul and Prophet Samuel who anointed Saul as the first king of Israel. But Saul was rejected as king as he turned from following the Living God and did not obey His commandments. I Samuel 28 record the incidence. After the death of Samuel the prophet, the Philistines attacked Israel and Saul was afraid of the large encampments of the enemy. He inquired of the Lord. Since he did not get any answer either by dreams, or Urim or by the prophets, he visited a Witch or a Medium at Endor despite the ban of the mediums and spiritists in the land. God clearly commanded them not to turn to mediums or necromancers and not to seek them out and so make themselves unclean by them (Lev.19:31).
Before the Israel entered the Promised Land, God reiterated, “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, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord. And because of these abominations the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God, (Deut. 18:9-13). Saul could not save himself and the Israel even after consulting the necromancer. He met the tragic end of himself and his sons. I Chronicles10:14 endorsed, “He did not seek guidance from the Lord.
Therefore the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.” Isaiah the prophet was instructed not to walk in the way of other people saying “… should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?” (Isa. 8:19). In Philippi city of Greece, a slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination brought her master much profit by fortune telling. Paul, during his maiden visit to that city, commanded the spirit to come out of the girl in the name of Lord Jesus and it came out of her. The Bible Scholars warn spiritualism on the basis of the scripture as follows: spiritualism is sternly forbidden by God, it is defiling, its followers would be destroyed by God would destroy, it is no new thing, The devil and his followers are busy at their work of deception ever since the Fall and it is not an advance on Christianity, as some affirm, but a backward movement of heathenism. Fortune telling and future telling by the common spirit or medium has turned to be a good business by so called ‘god-men’.
Many resort to it because of ignorance or lack of light in them (Isa. 8:20). Others do so due to inquisitiveness or for fun or sensation. It is important for us to have grace of discerning spirit to refrain from indulgence into such practice of spiritualism. Schools of spiritualism seem to have almost the same doctrines as that of the scripture. With subtle differences, many come like wolf in sheep’s clothing to steal and kill. Some have fallen sick and some have faced dead end of life because of this bondage. Therefore, the Bible warns, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.” (I Tim 4:1). Apostle John also admonishes: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”(I John 4:1)
Unfortunately, many youngsters fall prey to these deviant ways of spiritualism to seek future. Future promises elude them. Time of youth is the time of dreaming of future and achieving the dreams. It is not a time to run after dead spirit to know the future. The Lord has promised, “For I know what I have planned for you, I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope” (Jer. 29:11). Future told by the fortune-teller or diviner spirit may not be fulfilled, but the God given future for us will come to pass.
A Young man called Joseph had a dream of his brothers’ binding sheaves standing all around and bowing to his sheaf in the field at the age of seventeen (Gen. 37:5-7). Joseph’s dream was quite threatening to his brothers. So they hated him even more for his dreams. Many times our God given dreams will threaten others and even bring hatred on us as it happened to Joseph. But Joseph never stopped dreaming. He still had another dream of the sun, the moon and the eleven stars bowing down to him (Gen. 37:9). Out of envy, his brothers threw Joseph into a pit and later sold him off to Midianite traders. The traders, in turn, disposed him as a slave to Potiphar, an officer of Egyptian king Pharaoh. Egyptian master’s wife accused falsely against him and he was put into prison. God endued him with wisdom to interpret Pharaoh’s dream and suggest plan for building food reserve for the imminent famine in the land. Pharaoh put his signet ring in Joseph’s hand, clothed him in garments of fine linen and declared him the highest ruler of Egypt. Many may try to kill and extinguish our dreams. Frustration, disappointments, lack of resources and support, suffering, professional jealousy and persecution push us away from fulfilling the dreams. Pit, prison and even famine appeared to have pushed Joseph to the rock bottom of his life. At those trying times, he would have felt disheartened and could have given up his dream. But he pressed on without compromising and his God given dream succeeded.
Nothing deterred him to reach the palace to become ruler over the land of Egypt, only next to pharaoh. God leads us to success, not failure. God called Joseph to succeed and then to live to serve others. Likewise, God has future plan for each one of us and He will allow living the future to succeed and serve. Many had already God-received the given dream. It is time we started living on it. Joseph lived dreaming and God brought his dreams to pass. Let us not underestimate what God can do with our dreams. The Holy Spirit, the Helper, will help, guide us and stand by our side to fulfill the purpose for which God has called us.
Let us encourage each other to have God given dream for the future as we step into another new year with the hope that “He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to that power that works in us.( Eph. 3:20).
Dr. Nanda Dulal
The author is presently working as Group Director (Administration) in a Central Government Department. He resides in Bangalore with his wife Geetanjali and daughter Bonita. He and his wife are involved with UESI ministry right from their student days.