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February 16, 2023 - Deuteronomy 18-21

In my 7:00 World Religions class, this morning, we began talking about animistic worldviews in which people engage in all sorts of magical arts in order to control all the presumed spirits and powers that rule our world. Moses knew what Israel would face in Canaan and, so, he instructed, “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. 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, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord” (18:9-12).

We live in a time in which the popularity of magic and the accompanying worldviews are proliferating. Angel numbers. Spells. Witchery. Magic crystals. And on and on we can go. I am so glad that our God has given us the Scriptures in which we get knowledge of God, ourselves, and the gospel and which point us to our true help. I am so glad that we can say with the psalmist, “Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him” (Psalm 62:1). Israel was about to enter a very dangerous world. We live in a very dangerous world. We do not trust in the foolishness of magic but in our God!

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds

in a believer’s ear!

It soothes our sorrows, heals our wounds,

and drives away our fear.

It makes the wounded spirit whole

and calms the troubled breast;

‘tis manna to the hungry soul,

and to the weary, rest. --John Newton (1779)

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