In this series of bulletin articles, we’ve been examining the Westminster Larger Catechism, published in the 17th Century. Lately we’ve been looking at the first commandment of the ten commandments: ‘You shall have no other gods before me’ (Exodus 20:3). We saw the duties of the first commandment and have now reflected on the sins forbidden by the commandment.
The first commandment also forbids consultations with Satan.
Satan is real. And Satan is very dangerous. Because of Satan’s lies in the Garden of Eden to Adam and Eve, the whole human race fell into a state of sin and misery.
Yet people continue to consult Satan and his demons. Thus the Bible warns against such practices. We read in God’s law: “Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the LORD, and because of these detestable practices the LORD your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the LORD your God. The nations you will dispossess listen to those who practice sorcery or divination. But as for you, the LORD your God has not permitted you to do so’ (Deuteronomy 18:10-14).
Also, in the Scriptures King Saul is given as an example of what not to do when you are distressed. ‘When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.” “There is one in Endor,” they said. So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.”” (1 Samuel 28:5-8). God’s word says later about this incident: ‘Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the LORD. So the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse’ (1 Chronicles 10:13-14).
Why would God forbid such consultations with Satan’s realm? Because Satan stands utterly opposed to God himself. The apostle Paul warns: ‘The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God’ (2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan’s great work is to assume worship for himself that rightfully belongs to God and God alone. To engage the help of Satan gives honour to a false god and leads to ongoing false worship.
Besides, there is no need to consult with Satan about anything. God’s word is sufficient for all our needs. Paul writes: ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work’ (2 Timothy 3:16-4:1).