Astrology is becoming popular, with many people regarding it to be a source of wise counsel. What does the Bible say about those who consult with astrologers and use astrology as guidance for their lives? It's in the Bible, Isaiah 47:13-15 NIV. "All the counsel you have received has only worn you out. Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the flame… Each of them goes on in his error; there is not one that can save you."
In this first mention of astrology in the Bible, God is speaking to the people of ancient pagan Babylon. Middle East archaeology has confirmed that astrology did indeed originate in the nation of Babylon, now called the country of Iraq. Cuneiform tablets have been excavated depicting horoscope charts dating from the 5th Century BC and earlier. Astrology is a divination art which teaches that the relative positioning in the sky of the Sun, Moon and planets has an influence upon individuals and upon the course of human affairs. In our modern times, just like in ancient Babylon, a growing number of people are utilizing the services of astrology consultants.
In the Book of Daniel, there is narrated a profound event in the life of Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon. The king had a very disturbing dream, and he wanted to understand its meaning. Daniel 2:2 NIV, informs us, "So the king summoned the magicians, enchanters, sorcerers and astrologers to tell him what he had dreamed."
The astrologers, also known as 'Chaldeans', were part of the king's circle of so-called 'wise men' who practiced divination. The actual word for astrology in the Hebrew language literally means, 'divining the heavens'. Divination is the act of foretelling future events, or of revealing secret knowledge, by means of signs and omens or other supernatural agency. The practice of pagan divination is prohibited by God. It's in the Bible, Leviticus 19:26 NIV, "Do not practice divination or sorcery."
Divination was common among the pagan peoples of the Bible lands. When the Israelites were about to enter the Promised Land of Canaan, God warned them not to practice astrology. Says Deuteronomy 18:9, 12 & 14 NIV, "Do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there… The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the Lord your God has not permitted you to do so… Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord." Divination is actually regarded to be a grave sin. Declares 1 Samuel 15:23 NIV, "Rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry."
For curiosity and amusement, millions of ordinary citizens read the daily horoscopes published in mass-circulation newspapers. Is it okay to have this kind of casual 'fun' interest in astrology? What counsel does the Bible give on this type of issue? In 1 Thessalonians 5:22 KJV, God emphatically states that we should "abstain from all appearance of evil."
King Nebuchadnezzar had asked his astrologers and other wizards to tell him his dream and interpret its meaning. How did they respond? Daniel 2:10 NIV, informs us, "The astrologers answered the king, 'There is not a man on earth who can do what the king asks! No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer.' "
The astrologers of Babylon were unable to help the King with his troublesome dream. However, God had blessed his prayerful prophet Daniel with the true gifts of the Holy Spirit, and he was brought before the king to interpret the dream. The Bible says in Daniel 2:27-28 NKJ, "Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, 'The secret which the king has demanded, the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, and the soothsayers cannot declare to the king. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream, and the visions of your head upon your bed, were these…' " With God's anointing, Daniel was able to then describe and explain the king's great prophetic dream.
If there is a need to understand perplexing situations in our lives, we are wise to shun the error and evil of astrology divination; but rather let us know that "there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets." Like Daniel, in prayer we can turn to God for help. And in the Bible, we have the assured counsel of His truth.