Much Seductive Speech
Proverbs 7:21 (ESV) – With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him.
How affected are we by persuasive speech? I think the answer is “very.” Some of the most powerful people in the world are in those positions because of how persuasive they are. Hitler rallied the nation of Germany around him because he knew how to use rhetoric to move the masses. But it doesn’t require famous people or politicians to do this. People on social media and our friend groups have the power to persuade us. This persuasion can be good, but it can also be bad. It can lead us to sin and rebellion against God.
We read a powerful passage today in our devotion. The proverb captures the plight of a young man that finds himself where he shouldn’t be. An adulterous woman appeals to him with imagery that quickens his fleshly impulses. She speaks about her husband being out of town. Her bed is covered with fine linens and scented perfumes. She kisses him and invites him to join her in filling up their desires. Then we read, “With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him.”
The seductive speech of the woman persuades the young man to follow her home. The implication is that he goes and engages in sinful actions with her. The remainder of the passage speaks to the fallout that will follow. He is an ox led to the slaughter. He flies like a bird into a snare. He blindly and dumbly walks right into his own destruction. It will cost him his life.
The foolish young man is not unique. We see him in the mirror every morning when we start our days. We each have the capacity of walking astray if we let persuasive speech lead us away from what God says.
It doesn’t take much for us to lose sight of God’s Word and let someone else lead us the wrong way. We must stay anchored to Scripture so the words of others don’t cause us to walk down a path to destruction.
Do you have the courage to stand firm on God’s Word instead of letting others persuade you? Seductive speech can lead anyone astray that doesn’t have discerning ears. Remain humble and ask the Lord to protect your heart and mind from taking the path of the ox.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why does the young man get seduced so easily?
- What are the strategies for standing against the persuasive speech of others?
- How do we see persuasive and seductive speech manifested in our culture today?
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