Isaiah 8:19 When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?Occultism in the US has increased quite a bit this last generation. Mediums, astrology and psychic readings have become commonplace in the society. The medium John Edward has a popular TV program "Crossing Over" in which he rather convincingly communicates with the dead. But for the Christian rather than debate the legitimacy of such practices the more important issue the Bible puts forth is the inappropriateness of God's people seeking counsel and guidance from the dead. The Law of Moses states:
Leviticus 20:6 "I will set my face against the person who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute himself by following them, and I will cut him off from his people."And even seeking guidance from the righteous dead is inappropriate. For Saul went to a medium to call up Samuel for guidance in 1Samuel 28 and was rebuked for doing so. So also Catholics should not pray to dead saints for guidance, as they may be in the habit of doing. It is an occultic practice. But the essence behind the command is found in the question above.
Deut 18:10,11 "Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead."
Why should the living consult the dead when they have God to consult?
This implies a number of things. It implies first of all that God can be
consulted. Many go to mediums because even though they may believe in God,
yet they think that they cannot consult God, that God won't talk with them.
And perhaps in many cases they are right. For example it is written, "Surely
the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden
his face from you, so that he will not hear." Is 59:1,2
Another implication is that the dead simply don't have any relevant guidance
to give. Even the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus of Luke 16
seems to teach that fact. How does it end? "‘If
they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced
even if someone rises from the dead.’" People already have
all they need for guidance in the Bible.