Dowsing is a method by which people use a special device called a divining rod to locate water, minerals, and other underground material. The divining rod consists of a long stick which is forked, and the person holding it grasps the forked ends lightly and the elongated end is pointed towards the ground. It is believed that the rod moves downward or upward independently when the person walks directly over the ground where water or other material is present.
Dowsing –The History
Where did dowsing originate? This method has existed for thousands of years, and the original use was practiced for divination purposes. During the Middle Ages, dowsing was associated with the devil, and in 1659, it was considered to be satanic. Dowsing, as practiced today, originated in Germany during the 15th century when used to locate metals. The technique then spread to England with German miners who came to England to work in the coal mines.
Is dowsing an acceptable and accurate Christian method? There is one direct reference to dowsing in the Bible, and it is condemned by God. In Hosea 4:12, “My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviner’s wand informs them; for a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, and they have played the harlot, departing from their God.” From this verse we see that dowsing is a form of divination.
Dowsing – An Example
A gentleman by the name of Sam owns a farm in California, and he called a drilling company that employed a dowser to locate water. Sam agreed to permit the dowser although he was skeptical. As the dowser walked the field, everyone watching noticed the thrust of the stick when it reached a particular spot in the field. This indicated the rod had located water. The dowser, of course, was ready to show Sam the power was real and he challenged Sam to use the stick (divining rod) himself.
As Sam walked the field with the rod, he came to the same spot as the dowser, and immediately, the stick thrust forward at the same spot as the dowser indicating water. Next, the rest of Sam’s family tried it, and it worked for two members, but not for the others. Sam was bewildered because the method worked for some, but not all of his family.
Sam was told by a friend that this was a spiritualistic ability and something to be avoided. He proceeded to show Sam what was transpiring. A branch from a tree was cut, and try as he would, Sam could not get the stick to react over the same spot where water was discovered. Why? The power resides in the spirits who work through the dowser, and he was not present. This suggests that dowsing is neither a scientific theory nor a natural human ability.
Dowsing – The Conclusion
Dowsing is a form of divination -- attempts to know hidden knowledge or the future through a supernatural means, apart from the God of the Bible. An biblical example is in Acts 16:16: “One day as we were going down to the place of prayer, we met a demon-possessed slave girl. She was a fortune-teller who earned a lot of money for her masters.” You will notice that this girl was demon possessed. She was practicing a form of divination, similar to dowsing.
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