Bible Answer

How is astrology different than Biblical signs?

In Genesis it says that the lights in the sky are for signs and seasons, and for days and years. I know the Bible speaks strongly against Astrology, but how is it that the stars are for signs, but Astrology is wrong? 

In Genesis we read:

Gen. 1:14  Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years;

The Lord says the heavens were created for signs, seasons and  counting time. Obviously, we can understand how the heavens create our seasons on earth, but the other two uses (signs and counting time) leave open the possibility for some confusion. Let's consider what the Lord meant.

First, the sun and moon were given so we could count time. Obviously, our process of counting time has always involved counting revolutions around the sun, rotations of the earth and revolutions of the moon. It's important to note that the process of counting time is one of tracking the passage of time, not predicting future events. Clearly, mankind uses the heavens as God intended when we count the passage of time.

Why did God want us to count time? Remember, God Himself lives outside of time, so He doesn't count time for His sake. He gave man the ability to mark the passage of time for our needs. The answer is God wanted man to track progress toward the fulfillment of His promises concerning the end of the age. Because man could count time, Israel could anticipate God's fulfillment to bring the Messiah (from Daniel 9). Because man can count time, we can know the length of Tribulation (seven years), the length of the Kingdom (1,000 years), and so on.

Until this present age ends, man will have reason to track the passage of time so we can verify the faithfulness of God in keeping His promises. Interestingly, after this age ends, the sun and moon will depart, presumably because the tracking of years will not be necessary in the New Heavens and Earth (as described in Revelation 21 & 22). 

Secondly, these heavenly objects are for signs. The word "sign" in Scripture means omen or a warning that something promised is about to occur. God has promised in His word that certain events must take place in the future on earth, particularly events related to His Son's first and second coming to earth. God intends to use the sun, moon, and stars as signs in the sky to warn the world of the approach of these events.

Remember, these heavenly bodies do not by themselves predict future events - the Bible itself has already given us prophecy concerning these events - the heavens simply alert us when the promised event begin to occur.

Contrast these purposes with astrology. Astrology is a demonic-inspired means of predicting future events by the movement of the sun, moon, planets, and stars. This is divination and is evil and forbidden in Scripture:

Deut. 18:10 “There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer,
Deut. 18:11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead.
1Sam. 15:23  “For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
He has also rejected you from being king.”
Ezek. 13:9 “So My hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. They will have no place in the council of My people, nor will they be written down in the register of the house of Israel, nor will they enter the land of Israel, that you may know that I am the Lord God.

Satan is the one supplying the insight to those practicing astrology (or any other occultic practice of divination), and the only future he can predict are his future actions. Satan can tell us what he might do in the future, but he can't tell us what God will do in the future. Satan is limited to supplying us prophetic information about his actions and nothing more.

Therefore, the predictions of astrology and other dark arts are often inaccurate. Even when astrological predictions are accurate, it is only when Satan has revealed future demonic activities. The Spirit of God will never participate in any effort by us to learn about the future outside what's already provided in God's word, so when we consult astrology, we are consulting Satan alone. We are tapping into the enemy's knowledge and seeking truth from him rather than from God's word, repeating the sin of Adam in the Garden.

Therefore, any "prophecy" or "telling" obtained through astrology or other means of divination will be at best inaccurate and worthless, or at worst it will be demonic-sourced information about the future activities of Satan. In either case, such predictions say nothing about God's purposes or plans, and seeking after them is a dangerous and ungodly practice.

While we may watch the heavens for signs and omens confirming God's word (e.g., the sun turning black and the moon turning to blood and the stars falling from the heavens as described in Revelation 6:12), we should not turn to them for any other source of information.