Divination has an answer from the divine for every situation. There are many forms of divination such as tea leaf readings, cleromancy i.e. the rolling of special dice and the pulling of straws. The term divination immediately brings up a red flag for most Christians because it was something that was forbidden in the Bible. Upon further study we find that the act of divination was used many times throughout the Bible as something righteous and was used to determine the will of God by the prophets and disciples. They used an ancient form of divination called “The Casting of Lots”. Casting lots was a method used by the Jews of the Old Testament and by the Christian disciples to determine the will of God. Lots could be sticks with markings, stones with symbols etc. These lots were thrown into a small area and then the result was interpreted. This is where the term “The Luck of the Draw” comes from. Children also somewhat practice a form of luck when picking someone for a task such as ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors’ and ‘Eenie Meenie Miney Mo’.
One of the main reasons divination is looked at as something negative is because in the New Testament in Acts chapter 16, there was a certain fortune teller that the scriptures says was possessed by the spirit of Divination. This woman would follow the Apostle Paul around mocking him and his ministry. Paul grew tiresome of her following and mocking and in turn rebuked the spirit that was within her. When he did this the spirit left and the woman lost her power to predict the future. The Greek word used here doesn’t mean ‘Divination’ but ‘Python’. This is referring to the Pythian serpent that was said to have guarded the oracle at Delphi and known to have been slain by Apollo in Greek mythology. This woman was channeling the Pythian spirit and was able to predict the future and tell fortunes because of it’s influence.
Divination by itself is not something bad or something to be afraid of. The prophets and disciples all participated in forms of divination and ritual in order to communicate with God. It is all about the intention and manner of which one uses this tool. In the case of the spirit of Python, the texts show us how people are able to channel foreign spirits in order to gain information about people and circumstances. In the end there is usually a high price to pay for this information.
Let’s examine a few scriptures and examples within the Bible that seem to be overlooked when discussing this subject. When trying to understand the Casting of Lots, one of the key scriptures to note is Proverbs 16:33 which reads:
“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD,” This scripture plainly tells us that when the lot is cast that it is God himself who determines its very outcome.