"You Must Curse God"
Children's laughter came from the wooden horse carousel and the Ferris wheel. Smells of popcorn and cotton candy filled the air.
Carney barkers enticed visitors to drop their hard-earned coins on side shows, ball tosses, games, and weird exhibits, including the Cherokee alligator wrestlers.
A young woman walked along the midway at the 1920s Arkansas state fair.
Caroline stopped at a curtained booth painted with the image of an exotic gypsy woman gazing into a crystal ball. Out of curiosity, she went inside, plunked down a coin and said, "Okay, tell my fortune."
The woman asked for her hand and studied the palm lines a few moments. Her eyes suddenly grew wide. With something like fear in her eyes, she said in a low voice, "I cannot tell your fortune. But you have the power to read the fortunes of others."
What power? What was this? Caroline puzzled. She asked, "What do I have to do?"
The gypsy woman spoke slowly and deliberately, a serious expression in her eyes, "You must curse God."
Caroline drew back. She answered, "I'm not going to curse God. Give me back my coin."
She left the booth and never looked back.
That young woman was my grandmother, who later married a cotton farmer and settled in eastern Oklahoma.
Upon hearing that bit of family history, I became curious in my adult years. Why couldn't the gypsy simply make up some kind of fortune and keep the coin? Why would she urge Caroline to curse God? Was there really some mysterious force at work here?
In my Bible, I soon found numerous scriptures warning people not to seek information about the future from any source but true prophets of God and His Holy Word. Why would God forbid this activity if it is harmless?
The desire to know one's future through oracles, astrologers, and people with "psychic gifts" goes back for thousands of years. All pagan nations have practiced it.
Following is a quote from Deuteronomy 18:9-13: “When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire [human sacrifice], who practices divination [obtaining knowledge of the future through spiritualist practices, i.e. psychics] or sorcery, interprets omens [signs of activity of pagan gods, i.e. palm readers, astrology], engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead [séances and those who try to speak to 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."
Galatians 5: 19-20 is just one of many scriptures repeating this same instruction.
I have an acquaintance, an author who was once a satanic priest. He is now an ordained evangelist who devotes his ministry to delivering people ensnared by these practices. "They are not harmless pass times or mere games," says Tim Thompson. More about Tim in another post.