24 July 2020 - "Bomoh" or God?
What do you do when you receive bad news? Who do you consult for advice?
As a native of the island of Borneo, it is not uncommon for us to hear of people, Christians included, consulting "bomoh" and mediums for spiritual advice. I had an experience where a young person was "spiritually harrassed" and was brought to church for deliverance. As I did an assessment on the situation, I discovered that he had undergone many “treatments" by various "bomoh". As a result of this, he was tormented by many demonic spirits. By God's grace and power, he was immediately delivered by the Word and Name of Jesus Christ.
My point is that there is great temptation to consult different sources of "power". In the reading from Isaiah 8:19-9:7, God inquired the people through the Prophet Isaiah, of their idolatry and witchcraft. They had been consulting mediums and "spirits of the dead," to advise them of the grave situation they were in - the destruction of their nation by the Assyrian kingdom. They had lost their belief and faith in their God. In fact, they had become a pagan nation like the rest of the known world of their time.
Today, we might not consult mediums or spirits as the ancient Israelites did. Rather, we turn to superstitions such as horoscopes, fortune-telling, folk-beliefs and taboos (pantang-pantang) to determine our decisions. We also consult people of other faiths and religions, and their scriptures, to seek advice. Just as detrimental, we consult websites and online personalities (social-media influencers) who do not have the fear of God. They lack biblical wisdom and insights. All these are "dead spirits" that are contrary to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of life. This faithless and godless acts are truly an offense to the LORD.
We are asked the same question that Israelites were asked, "Should not a people inquire of their God?"
God is not too far that he cannot be inquired of. Instead, he insists that we seek him and call upon him first and only. He urges us to persevere in our prayers for surely he will answer us. Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus came to prove to us that God hears our pain and cry for deliverance.
In Isaiah 9:1-7, God foretells a Prophecy that Hope will arise from the land in darkness. A light will dawn upon it and the people will rejoice again. Jesus, the child that is to be born, who is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (v. 6), who is Immanuel (Isa. 7:14), God with us, is our assurance that we do not need any other mediator - bomoh, mediums, spirits - for advice or comfort. Jesus is our promised Mediator (Heb. 4:14-16; 10:19-25).
Perhaps, you have been struggling and are tempted to find solutions from unbiblical and unholy sources. I urge you to heed the Holy Spirit's advice to turn to God in your time of distress. Let him give you the answer you need. Let him be your Answer.
Father, may I trust you and no one else. Help me to overcome the temptation of seeking wisdom from other sources that are not truth. I choose to fix my eyes on Jesus, the Author of my faith. AMEN.