Proverbs 7:21-23 “With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces its liver; as a bird rushes into a snare; he does not know that it will cost him his life.”
By: Peter Kim, Pastor of House Churches, Seven Mile Road Houston
May 6, 2019
Proverbs 7 has the feel of a bedtime story from a father to his son, setting the stage of a tragic tale infused with a lesson to glean. The father’s words begin with the contrast of two pursuits, personified by women - Wisdom and Temptation. Verses 10 through 20 are a series of vivid images that further the story-telling from the father’s vantage point:
Temptation is ever-present and constant in her pursuit (v.10-12)
Temptation is self-justifying and convincing that you are deserving of pleasure (v.13-15)
Temptation offers immediate gratification and assures freedom in hiding (v.16-20)
The foreboding words of “all at once” in verse 22 highlights the lack of defense in a person that is willing to even entertain Temptation’s seductive speech. Ultimately, the father warns that the inevitable end isn’t simply self-harm or affliction to others... the definitive outcome is destruction for those heed Temptation’s voice!
With every choice I make today, I will listen to and chase after either Wisdom or Temptation. To convince myself that isn’t the case is telling of my ignorance of both my nature toward sinfulness and my lack of holiness. The Enemy’s desire isn’t for me to stumble... his sole aim is my destruction. There is a target on my back because I claim to belong to Jesus and Satan’s strategy is to crouch around every corner, whispering that I make one seemingly harmless misstep to gain an ecstasy of momentary pleasure. If my defenses are down, I will fall flat on my face.
Wisdom, however, shouts in my direction: "And how can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according Your Word."
May that always be true of me and of us as leaders in Christ’s Church, that we’re so enamored with God’s voice there isn’t any room for Satan’s to entice us toward our destruction. The truth is that we’re all one moment away from following the seductive voice of Temptation and finding ourselves in a place we never dared imagine.
Jesus, I’m so grateful this morning that you are so faithful. Though my propensity to fall short is heartbreaking, I’m all at once lifted up because I know your life, death and resurrection is my assurance! I’m accepted and adored because you were cursed and scorned. In light of that reality, help me lead my life in a way that honors you. Jesus, you modeled for me how to wage war against the Enemy and claim victory over sin. If I rely on my strength and words alone, I will fail. But Scripture has proven to stand the test of time and every temptation. Guide me to find refuge there. Direct me to run there each and every day. For without your voice, I’m one decision away from destruction. Help me, Jesus. For your glory and my joy. Amen and amen.