The Apple Of God's Eye

July 26, 2009

Water Dowsing, Water Divining, Water Witching: Are They Biblical?

Water divining, also known as “water witching” and “water dowsing,” is practiced all over the world. It is the craft of seeking underground water by means of a divining rod, commonly a forked stick which is held by the twigs, one in each hand with the stock pointing outward or upward. Many first-time observers of the ancient art of dowsing have watched in mute fascination as a dowser walks over the ground, and the stick will suddenly twist in his hands and point downward, supposedly indicating the presence of underground water.

Although millions of people have come to accept dowsing as a unique ability or even a divine gift, few have examined this widespread and seemingly innocuous practice critically — with an eye to uncovering the real source behind its power. The fact that dowsing is also increasingly accepted in the church as a spiritual practice adds to the need for an evaluation of this technique.

Dowsers claim that they possess a natural sensitivity to alleged earth magnetism, water “radiations,” or some other natural phenomenon. They believe their dowsing stick or other device somehow “focuses” or otherwise identifies this energy so that one is able to find water or other substances or things that one is seeking — including oil, treasure, and lost persons or objects.

The fact that dowsing works is clearly its major defense. Dowsers think that if it works it must therefore be both a helpful and legitimate method: “What interests us about all dowsers is not the theories they develop but the results they obtain. It is these results which will attract more and more adepts [initiates] as well as less and less convinced adversaries.” (Otis Brickett, “The Gift of Healing,” The American Dowser, August 1979, 116. )

Hosea prophesied that divining rods would be used in our time. He wrote, “My people ask counsel at their stock and their staff declareth unto them” (Hos. 4:12). According to the “Critical and Experimental Commentary,” by Jamieson, Faussett, and Brown, “staff” here refers to a divining rod.

What is the origin of this practice? How did it come to be used so extensively in our western, so-called Christian nations? In his book titled “Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science,” Martin Gardner admits:

“The employment of various shaped rods for divination purposes 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.”

Water witching is outright divination — a practice of ancient paganism! God absolutely forbids and condemns it. He says, “Thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone … that useth divination” (Deut. 18:9-10). And God adds, “I will even set my face against that soul, and will cut him off from among his people” (Lev. 20:6).

We cannot practice divination and still be Christian! It is high time that we look into the Bible and begin to live by every word of God! We must quit trusting in the superstitions of ancient heathenism.

There are a few guidelines which can help one find a source of water. A Christian should first ask God in prayer to aid him in locating the right place to drill. Then he should analyze the lay of the land and drill in the most suitable area. Asking the advice of an experienced well driller — one who does not consult “witchers” — should also be helpful.

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