Superstitionously Questionable

Do you remember the days of the “Magic 8 Ball”?!

In 1 Samuel, chapter 23, David uses the ephod to determine whether or not he should do certain things.

Q:  “Shall I go and attack these Philistines?”

A:  “Go and attack the Philistines and save Keilah“.

Q:  “Should I…..seriously?”

A:  “Arise, go down to Keilah.  For I will deliver the Philistines into your hand.”

(And then after he does that, he hears that Saul is coming after him…..)

Q:  “Will the men of Keilah deliver me into the hand of Saul?  Will Saul come down here like I have heard?”

A:  “He will come down.”

Q:  “Will the man of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul?”

A:  “They will deliver you.”

So David high-tailed it out of Keilah, escaping capture and death by Saul, being extremely thankful for his Magic 8 Ball Abiathar and his ephod.

What is this “ephod”?  In Exodus, the ephod refers to the linen apron worn by the high priest.  (Ex 39:2-7)  With Abiathar’s ephod David would essentially ask a “yes/no” question and by some means the ephod would reveal God’s answer.

Although it is not known exactly how this worked, it is important to know that David was seeking God with his questions, and then God was answering.

This ephod, in contrast, to modern day devices, was not a ball simply shook and then an answer was revealed on the appearing triangular shape.  God actually used the ephod as a method of communicating to His people .

All the Magic 8 balls, fortune cookies, horoscopes, palm lines, and cards in the world cannot be used to measure the voice of God.  These are superstition — not a real means of determining life actions.  They are questionable because they aren’t real.   God didn’t choose those methods for communication, and we must be diligent in recognizing the potential for straying from God’s will when we “dabble” with them, much like playing with fire.

Some creative person is right now earning a living writing vague, broadly applicable sentences that someone will sadly use to determine serious life issues.

Don’t step outside your house today.  Something bad is going to happen”  and the person lives in fear for hours.

A great fortune is coming your way soon!” and the person rushes to the local convenience store to use their rent money for lottery tickets.

Worse, is the palm readers and so called psychics who lead people into believing their one true love is right around the corner, or perhaps their dear, dead darling is still calling to them from beyond the grave.  They prey on a person’s grief or loneliness and then charge them $29.95.

These things are all “superstitionously questionable”.  The ephod was not.

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  1. #1 by ashleyltodd on April 9, 2012 - 2:46 pm

    You need to back up a few chapters to Ex. 28, where it talks more about the priestly garments. Verse 30: “And in the breastpiece of judgment you shall put the Urim and the Thummim, and they shall be on Aaron’s heart, when he goes in before the Lord. Thus Aaron shall bear the judgment of the people of Israel on his heart before the Lord regularly.” (ESV)

    These are what God gave to the priests to determine His will since He was no longer speaking directly to them. (That ended with Moses.) The priests wore them in a pouch which was made into the breastpiece of the ephod. This is likely what the priests used when Joshua was identifying Achan as the man who broke God’s law and took plunder.

    The Urim and Thummim are specifically mentioned in 1 Samuel 14:41, when Saul is trying to find out who broke his vow about eating while they were battling. (Remember, Jonathan didn’t know his father’s edict, so he ate some honey that he found on the ground.) Verse 41-42: “Therefore Saul said, ‘O Lord God of Israel, why have you not answered your servant this day? If this guilt is in me or in Jonathan my son, O Lord, God of Israel, give Urim. But if this guilt is in your people Israel, give Thummim.’ And Jonathan and Saul were taken, but the people escaped. Then Saul said, ‘Cast the lot between me and my son Jonathan.’ And Jonathan was taken.” (ESV)

    Here’s a good article for more information about the Urim and Thummim: http://bible.org/question/how-did-urim-and-thummim-function.

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