Water witching, practiced all over the world, involves using a Y-shaped stick, a “divining rod,” to find underground water. One practicing water witching holds the two branches of the stick in his hands, while pointing the rod upward and outward. The idea is that, as the diviner walks, the rod held in this position will suddenly jerk downward if and when water is found, to indicate where one should, for example, drill a well. Sometimes water is present at that spot; other times, it is not.
God foretold that people in our time would employ this craft: Notice Hosea 4:12: “My people ask counsel at their stock and their staff declares unto them.” Jamieson, Faussett and Brown’s Critical and Experimental Commentary further expands upon this verse by saying that the word “staff” here is better translated “divining rod.”
Martin Gardner, in his work Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, gives valuable insight into the origin of this practice: “The employment of various shaped rods for divination goes all the way back to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians…In the Middle Ages, it was associated with the power of Satan, although many churchmen made use of divination rods. The forked twig, for finding minerals, apparently did not appear until the fifteenth century when it was used by German prospectors in the Harz Mining region. When German miners were imported to England in the century following, they brought the practice with them. It was in England that the use of the twig was transferred from minerals to the search for water.”
Such practices are not biblical. Notice God’s command to Israel in Deuteronomy 18:9-19: “You shall not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone…that uses divination.” Those who do so, God says He will “cut…off from among His people” (Lev. 20:6).
To find water, perhaps for a well on your property, ask God, in prayer, for help in finding the best place to drill. Then survey the area around you and find the most suitable place for the well. Another helpful tool could be the advice of a seasoned well-driller—who does not practice water divination.
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