PROVE ALL THINGS Be Ready Always to Give an Answer
Val J Aspenns
It was just a regular business luncheon on company expense, and Alec was sure he'd have no problem landing another big account. He was at his best. Sharp, witty and exuding just enough confidence to control the situation. Alec covered all the bases the weather, sports — and then, never being at a loss for words, casually asked his prospect: "By the way, I'm Leo. What's your sign?" "Uh, well, Pisces, I think, but I'm not really into astrology." Alec was smart and he knew better than to pursue this topic any further, but this once he couldn't resist. "Why not?" he exclaimed. "Everybody I know is into astrology!" Maybe Alec, the hotshot salesman, closed the deal, maybe not. But what makes this meeting particularly relevant to us is that Alec's client happened to be a Christian, one who not only believes in God, but believes and lives by what God says in His Word. If you were that businessman, how would you have answered Alec? Does astrology have any meaning in your life? Should it? Astrology has become a multimillion dollar business and has never been more popular or had greater impact. Supposedly astrology is the key to wealth, love, success and happiness. It can help you buy the car that's just right for you. It can help you beat the blues. Everybody is "into" it! Everybody? Why even such intellectual giants as Galileo, Roger Bacon and Albert Einstein looked to the "stars." Astrology, the ancient art of divining the fate and future of human beings from indications given by the position of the stars, was spawned among the ancient Babylonians about 3000 B.C. It quickly spread throughout the entire world, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and it even influenced the cultures of the Far East. "Kings and popes had their private astrologers to forecast the most favorable times for carrying out policies, and even battles were postponed for days so that Mars or Saturn might be in a better position in the heavens to aid the believing general" (Civilization Past and Present, Vol. 1, by T. Walter Wallbank and Alastair M. Taylor, c. 1949). We're all familiar with the biblical account of how that great king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, looked to "the astrologers, the Chaldeans [pagan priests] and the soothsayers" whenever burdened by the pressing problems of his day (Dan. 4:7; 5:7). But the king had a lot to learn. Eventually, because of what Daniel said and did, Nebuchadnezzar received a powerful witness that: "The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, shew unto the king. "But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days" (Dan. 2:27-28). Man has always sought knowledge, and there is that insatiable desire to know about the future. Other sources at times may have elements of truth, but the God of the Bible tells us humans, "I the Lord thy God am a jealous God" (Ex. 20:5), and one particular area He reserves for Himself is foretelling the future. Note: Unger's Bible Dictionary in an article on divination: "Divination as the art of obtaining secret knowledge, especially of the future, is a pagan counterpart of prophecy. Careful comparison of scripture will reveal that inspirational divination is by demon power, whereas genuine prophecy is by the Spirit of God. The biblical attitude toward divination is distinctly hostile (Deut. 18:10-12)... Seeking knowledge of the future from any other source than the God of Israel was an insult to His holy Being and the revelation of Himself and His purpose for men." God is "jealous." "Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, 0 house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven" (Jer. 10:1-2). Is it possible for people to live without their daily horoscope? Could this nation give up astrology and turn to God? The Eternal God sounds out a warning to this end-time generation: "Go on with your spells! Practice all your magic arts! You have worn yourself out with them all: let the astrologers come forward now, let the star-gazers save you now, who calculate the future, month by month! "They fare no better than the straw burned by a fire; they cannot save their own lives from the flames of war" (Isa. 47:12-14, James Moffatt translation). There is beauty and grandeur in the heavens, and we ought not to ignore the stars. King David looked up on many a starlit night in the plains of Israel and was inspired to write, "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork" (Ps. 19:1). Also the prophet Isaiah tells us, "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things" (Isa. 40:26). While people like Alec search for the signs of the zodiac, a Christian will look up and see the great Creator God.