What does the Bible say about horoscopes, astrology and the zodiac?
Pt 1: Should a Christian consult horoscopes?
Pt. 2: What does the Bible say about astrology or the Zodiac? Is astrology something a Christian should study?
Question: "Should a Christian consult horoscopes?"
Answer: The purpose of a horoscope is to gain insight into a person’s character and foretell the future. The basic belief of astrology is that planets and stars exert an influence upon our lives. Those with special knowledge—astrologers—can predict events in a person’s life. It is distressing that most major newspapers have a horoscope column, and even more distressing that many Christians read their horoscopes.
The Bible expressly forbids divination, sorcery, and hidden arts (Deuteronomy 18:10-14). God’s people are to heed God only (Deuteronomy 18:15). Any other source of guidance, information, or revelation is to be rejected outright. (See also Acts 16:16-18.) The Bible points to Jesus Christ as the only proper focus of faith (Acts 4:12; Hebrews 12:2). Our trust is in God alone, and we know that He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Faith in anything besides God is misplaced.
Astrology, then, opposes biblical teaching in at least two ways: it advocates faith in something other than God, and it is a form of divination. We cannot determine God's will for our lives through horoscopes. As Christians, we are to read the Bible and pray to God in order to gain wisdom and guidance. Consulting a horoscope is a violation of God's means of communicating with His children. We strongly believe that horoscopes should be rejected by Christians.
Recommended Resource: The Kingdom of the Cults, revised and updated edition.
Question: "What does the Bible say about astrology or the Zodiac? Is astrology something a Christian should study?"
Answer: The Bible has much to say about the stars. Most basic to our understanding of the stars is that God created them. They show His power and majesty. The heavens are God’s “handiwork” (Psalm 8:3; 19:1). He has all the stars numbered and named (Psalm 147:4).
The Bible also teaches that God arranged the stars into recognizable groups that we call constellations. The Bible mentions three of these: Orion, the Bear (Ursa Major), and “the crooked serpent” (most likely Draco) in Job 9:9; 26:13; 38:31-32; and Amos 5:8. The same passages also reference the star group Pleiades (the Seven Stars). God is the One Who “fastens the bands” of these constellations; He is the One who brings them forth, “each in its season.” In Job 38:32, God also points to the “Mazzaroth,” usually translated “constellations.” This is thought by many to be a reference to the twelve constellations of the zodiac.
The constellations have been tracked and studied for millennia. The Egyptians and Greeks knew of the zodiac and used it to measure the beginning of spring centuries before Christ. Much has been written of the meaning of the zodiacal constellations, including theories that they comprise an ancient display of God’s redemptive plan. For example, the constellation Leo can be seen as a celestial depiction of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5), and Virgo could be a reminder of the virgin who bore Christ. However, the Bible does not indicate any “hidden meaning” for these or other constellations.
The Bible says that stars, along with the sun and moon, were given for “signs” and “seasons” (Genesis 1:14); that is, they were meant to mark time for us. They are also “signs” in the sense of navigational “indicators,” and all through history men have used the stars to chart their courses around the globe.
God used the stars as an illustration of His promise to give Abraham an innumerable seed (Genesis 15:5). Thus, every time Abraham looked up at the night sky, he had a reminder of God’s faithfulness and goodness. The final judgment of the earth will be accompanied by astronomical events relating to the stars (Isaiah 13:9-10; Joel 3:15; Matthew 26:29).
Astrology is the “interpretation” of an assumed influence the stars (and planets) exert on human destiny. This is a false belief. The royal astrologers of the Babylonian court were put to shame by God’s prophet Daniel (Daniel 1:20) and were powerless to interpret the king’s dream (Daniel 2:27). God specifies astrologers as among those who will be burned as stubble in God’s judgment (Isaiah 47:13-14). Astrology as a form of divination is expressly forbidden in Scripture (Deuteronomy 18:10-14). God forbade the children of Israel to worship or serve the “host of heaven” (Deuteronomy 4:19). Several times in their history, however, Israel fell into that very sin (2 Kings 17:16 is one example). Their worship of the stars brought God’s judgment each time.
The stars should awaken wonder at God’s power, wisdom, and infinitude. We should use the stars to keep track of time and place and to remind us of God’s faithful, covenant-keeping nature. All the while, we acknowledge the Creator of the heavens. Our wisdom comes from God, not the stars (James 1:5). The Word of God, the Bible, is our guide through life (Psalm 119:105).
Recommended Resource: The Truth Behind Ghosts, Mediums, and Psychic Phenomena by Ron Rhodes.
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