Does God mind if you study astrology? Is astrology evil, or merely naughty? Will God smite you if you look into the future?
Or… does the Bible tell us that God actually wants you to pay attention to his signs in the sky? Is astrology a gift from God? I hope this brief article will serve as a jumping-off place for folks to consider an alternative viewpoint.
Way back in 2006, I attended a lecture by Bible scholar Stephen J. DeLapp, sponsored by the Richmond, Virginia chapter of the NCGR. I’ll share with you some Bible verses from his notes. (These are mostly from the Catholic Bible.)
God ordained the Heavens
Genesis 1:14 (4th day of creation)
“And God said, ‘Let there be Lights in the firmament of the Heavens to separate day from night; let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years.’”
“Thus sayeth the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the Moon and of the stars for a light by night.”
“When I consider thy heavens, the works of thy fingers, the Moon and Stars which thou hast ordained…”
Psalms 103 (104):19
“You made the Moon to mark the Seasons…”
(as compared to false gods of silver and gold)
“The sun and moon and stars are bright, and obedient in the service for which they are sent… but these false gods (of gold and silver) are not their equal, whether in beauty or power… Kings they neither curse nor bless.”
“the King said to the Wise Men, which knew the Times.. for all he did was by their counsel…” (Wise Men were astrologers.)
“…the God of Daniel… is a deliverer and a savior, working Signs and Wonders in Heaven and on Earth, and he delivered Daniel from the lion’s power.”
The Magi Star
The Magi Star is perhaps the best-known appearance of astrology in the Bible, hiding right there in plain sight. The Star announced the birth of Christ in the heavens, and by all accounts, astrologers (known then as Wise Men) were present for the event.
Matthew 2:1-2 and 9-10
…Magi came from the East to Jerusalem, saying ‘where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his Star in the East and have come to worship him.. And behold the Star that they had seen in the east went before them and stood over the place where the child was.
Mr. DeLapp then put a map of the ancient Middle East up for us to view, and pointed out that although the Magi observed the star in the East, the Magi traveled WEST from Babylon to Bethlehem to visit the baby Jesus. How they found the place is a subject of much speculation among Biblical scholars. However, it is clear that it was not a “follow the bouncing ball” situation.
For more info on the Magi’s star, see Rick Levine’s article over at StarIQ.com.
God invites you to use astrology in the Bible
And the Pharisees came to him (Jesus) to test him, and they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. But answering them he said, ‘When it is evening you say “the weather will be fair for the sky is red.” And in the morning you say, “it will be stormy today, for the sky is red and lowering.” You know how to read the face of the sky, but cannot read the Signs of the Times.
Can you bring forth the Mazzaroth (the signs of the Zodiac) in their season, or guide the Bear with its train? Do you know the Ordinances of the Heavens; can you put into effect their plan on the Earth?
The selections above tell a different story than most modern Christians would tell you. God actually invites you to use the lights in the sky as signals. God placed them there intentionally. They are ordinances. God has ordained them. “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” As above, so below.
The case against astrology in the Bible
What about the case against astrology and other forms of divination? God clearly states in the book of Leviticus, for example, that you should not go to mediums, sorcerers, etc. But what about context? He also states you should not shave the sides of your beard, or wear linen and wool at the same time. How many of those who tell you that divination is evil, also shave their faces? Hmm.. Do they only follow God’s law when it suits them? (This is the book that intolerant people quote out of context to justify their claim that God hates gays as well.)
“You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor shall you practice divination or soothsaying. You shall not shave around the sides of your head, nor shall you disfigure the edges of your beard.”
I learned a lot at this lecture about the book of Leviticus. It’s a history of a people’s migration. As the people of Israel moved into a new land, they had to pass through land which was inhabited by another nation. They lived side by side with this other group of people. God gave them some specific instructions about how to conduct themselves during that specific migration. How to and how not to intermingle with the other people. It’s all about context. (Any Bible scholars reading this, feel free to correct me or expand on this.)
Why would people misrepresent God’s word like this? I have my theories. Suffice to say, the Bible has a lot to say about false teachers and false prophets. We should all read for ourselves, and find the truth that resonates deeply within. Like the prophets and holy people of all major religions, Jesus taught compassion and love. Judge not thy neighbor.
Mazel Tov! (May you be blessed with good constellations.)