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Dates: June 24; 27-28

The popular notion of God, as if He were a benign, aging grandfather, sitting passively in heaven—affable, lenient, permissive, and devoid of any real displeasure over sin because He loves us—cheapens God's love. It doesn't uphold the value of His love. In truth, looking into God's heart to discover His love is to discover His other attributes as well.

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Read 2 Kings 1:1-18

ELIJAH

Today, countless people seek to know the future. Newspapers and magazines carry horoscope columns. Television networks advertise psychic hotlines. Bus stop benches boast ads for palm readers. Magazine racks beside grocery store checkout counters offer paperback books on astrology, numerology, and other occult subjects. 

To many, this hype may sound like sheer silliness; it may appear to be nothing more than harmless fun. After all, what's so bad about reading your daily horoscope? But listen up—this is enemy territory! It is anything but silliness or harmless fun. Like the wood and stone idols of Ekron, these present-day seers are substitutes for putting our trust in the living God.

God is displeased with any occult involvement. No matter what the motive, no matter how great the need, dabbling with the occult is sin. God's Word is crystal clear on this subject. Far back in the book of Leviticus, God gives His people this direct command: "Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the LORD your God" (Leviticus 19:31). 

Beyond that, God is dishonoured by any specific pursuit of the future that does not find its source in His Word. I realize that most people who begin dabbling in astrology, fortune telling, or Ouija boards don't take it all that seriously. Astrology, for example, has a captivating appeal. Most do it for fun or out of curiosity. But these simple, harmless-looking games begin a process that many cannot handle; and they open doors that should remain closed. Then it's only a matter of time before the dark powers of demonic forces suck them in, and they find themselves ensnared. 

But let me reassure you, God is delighted when we trust Him only. The Lord strengthens those who put their trust in Him. If we are not grounded in the Word of God and seeking Him daily as our source of strength and knowledge for the future, we, too, can easily fall prey to the lure of the occult. 

Learn a lasting lesson from Elijah. As you stand strong for the truth, watch out for the enemy. He not only plays dirty; he plays for keeps. And he's playing for your soul.

Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Great Days with the Great Lives (Nashville: W Publishing Group, 2005). Copyright © 2005 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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