The Bible’s Viewpoint
Should the Zodiac Influence Your Life?
“THERE IS NO LACK OF YOUNG PEOPLE AND ADULTS WHO SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF THEIR DESTINY IN THE STARS.”—POPE JOHN PAUL II.
ACCORDING to one poll, 1 out of every 4 Americans uses astrology when making decisions. Consulting astrological signs is by no means limited to that part of the world. Virtually worldwide, the zodiac is consulted for advice on financial matters, travel plans, career moves, wedding dates, and military strategies. It is claimed that one’s zodiacal sign can identify prospective mates and can even reveal which partners will be incompatible. From East to West, astrology has captured the attention of millions. But what is the origin of the zodiac?
Various forms of the zodiac can be traced to the earliest known civilizations. Even the Bible mentions “the constellations of the zodiac.” (2 Kings 23:5) Evidently, the zodiac was consulted in ancient times by Hindus as well as by the Chinese, the Egyptians, the Greeks, and other peoples. However, the earliest references to the signs of the zodiac were found in ancient Babylon.
The Babylonians developed astrology in an effort to obtain information about the future. As celestial movements were noted, elaborate charts and tables were made. From these, human affairs and terrestrial events were predicted. In many cases political or military decisions were not made until astrologers were called in to give their advice. Hence, a priestly class claiming to have special wisdom and supernatural powers came to have great influence. In fact, all great temples in Babylon were equipped with a celestial observatory.
In modern times signs of the zodiac continue to play an important role in the lives of many people. Even those who do not claim to believe in the horoscope may casually consult it simply for entertainment or out of curiosity. It is true that astrologers have made some predictions that have come true. But does this mean that consulting the stars is beneficial? Really, how did ancient servants of God view interest in astrology?
Unlike the Babylonians, faithful Jews did not practice astrology—and for a good reason. God had explicitly warned them: “There should not be found in you . . . anyone who employs divination, a practicer of magic or anyone who looks for omens or a sorcerer, or one who binds others with a spell or anyone who consults a spirit medium or a professional foreteller of events or anyone who inquires of the dead. For everybody doing these things is something detestable to Jehovah.” *—Deuteronomy 18:10-12.
God’s servants took a firm stand against astrology. For example, faithful King Josiah “put out of business . . . those making sacrificial smoke to Baal, to the sun and to the moon and to the constellations of the zodiac.” Josiah’s action was said to be “right in Jehovah’s eyes,” and God blessed him for it. (2 Kings 22:2; 23:5) But some might ask, ‘Do not at least some of the predictions of astrologers come true?’
Interestingly, in the Christian Greek Scriptures, we read of a girl who “used to furnish her masters with much gain by practicing the art of prediction.” Apparently, some of the things this girl foretold came true, since her masters profited from her powers. But what was behind this girl’s ability to predict future events? The Bible states that she was under the influence of “a spirit, a demon of divination.”—Acts 16:16.
The Bible shows that “the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one,” Satan the Devil. (1 John 5:19) By maneuvering events to make certain predictions come true, Satan and the demons have captured the attention of millions.
The simple truth is that astrology is one of “the machinations of the Devil,” which he uses to control and influence people to serve his purpose. Thus, it is hardly surprising that the Bible exhorts Christians to “stand firm” against Satan’s clever devices—which include astrology. (Ephesians 6:11) But does this mean that we are left without any guidance as to the future?
The Bible—A Reliable Guide
Millions have found the Bible to be a reliable guide in making decisions. As the psalmist David put it, “the reminder of Jehovah is trustworthy, making the inexperienced one wise.” (Psalm 19:7; 119:105) This does not mean that the Bible spells out precisely what a person should do in each situation. But God’s Word does contain principles that can help us train our perceptive powers. This, in turn, will enable us to discern right and wrong and will help us to make wise decisions.—Hebrews 5:14.
Thus, it is for good reason that genuine Christians do not consult horoscopes, even for entertainment or out of curiosity. Instead, they wisely heed the warnings in God’s Word against all demon influence, including subtle forms. By letting the Bible rather than the zodiac influence your life, you can enjoy God’s blessing eternally.—Psalm 37:29, 38.
^ par. 10 Divination embraces the entire scope of gaining knowledge, especially concerning future events, through occult powers.
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