Gross Superstition the Alternative of True Religion
Deuteronomy 18:9-14
When you are come into the land which the LORD your God gives you, you shall not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.…

The popular superstitions of every age are very seductive. Our only safeguard against them is complete loyalty to the living God. The indwelling Spirit is a Guide and a Defense.

I. MAN GENERICALLY CRAVES TO UNRAVEL THE FUTURE. In every sane mind the inquiry arises, "What is beyond phenomena? What is to happen tomorrow?" The present enjoyment may satisfy animals; it does not satisfy man. He has a faculty that lives in the future. He is ever forecasting life. This inquisitiveness, if repressed, becomes a passion - an insatiable fire. If there is no true oracle that will give reply to his queries, he will betake himself to false ones. If no reply is forthcoming, he is driven hither and thither by the demon of unrest.

II. THIS CRAVING FOR REVELATION LEADS TO CHILDISH SUPERSTITIONS. This conscious want of the soul clearly indicates that some provision has been made by God; but, lacking this, men betake themselves to a thousand subterfuges. The more shrewd and avaricious among them trade upon this prying curiosity, and invent a thousand frauds for self-enrichment. In olden times, every village had its self-anointed oracle; every nation has had its modes of divination. No price has been too great to pay for this envied knowledge. Parental feeling has been freely sacrificed at this blood-stained altar. Fathers have made their loved ones to pass through the fire, in order to avert supposed disaster. Without doubt, the devil has been the moving genius in these systems of enchantment.

III. CRUEL SUPERSTITIONS HAVE LED TO HEAVIEST DISASTERS. So deeply rooted had these systems of diabolic divinations become in the land of Canaan, that to extirpate them it was necessary to extirpate the people also. We are not at liberty to suppose that the Amorites were destroyed because of aberrations in intellectual belief. But the fruit of superstitious belief is soon experienced in sensuality, bestial excess, witchcraft, murder, war. Under such influences society is rent in pieces; every man's hand is red with rapine and blood. At length it becomes an act of necessity to remove such a people from the face of the earth. The deeds of the Canaanites had become a stench in Jehovah's nostrils - a detestation that could no longer be endured. Hence their extermination.

IV. OUR ONLY SAFETY IS IN LOYAL OBEDIENCE TO GOD. No resting-place can be found for intellect or heart of man between degrading superstition and religious faith. Who can solve mysteries but God alone? If God reveal to us our line of duty just to the extent that we really need it; and if, in addition, he give us the assurance that the soul's need shall be met as fast as that need arises; - this will satisfy every reasonable request. Men can and must trust the true God. As a child walks along the darkest road quite contentedly so long as its hand is in its father's hand, so with equal confidence may we confide in the safe and unerring guidance of our Almighty Parent. We have in God a perfect Friend; all that is needed for well-being is complete submission. "Thou shalt be perfect with the Lord thy God." To have recourse to witchcraft or divination is practical treason! - D.

Parallel Verses
KJV: When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.

WEB: When you are come into the land which Yahweh your God gives you, you shall not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.

Divination Forbidden
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