“When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you; understanding will keep you, to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things.”Proverbs 2:10-12 NKJV
Few politicians in history have been as crafty as the man we know as Talleyrand. Born in Paris on this date in 1754, his full name was Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, prince de Bénévent. As Talleyrand, he left an astonishing record of political survival fostered by habitual manipulation, often playing both sides of issues.
An ordained priest, he was instrumental in the French Revolution, but after being expelled from France, he lived for a time in Great Britain and the US. Somehow he gained favor again in France and returned to his homeland, where he became a leader in Napoleon’s government.
When Napoleon fell, Louis XVIII became king. Once again, Talleyrand rose to prominence as foreign minister of the new government until forced to resign. Then, continuing his shrewd scheming, he eventually helped bring Louis-Philippe to the throne, becoming influential. Again.
Today, many, like Talleyrand, seek to manipulate people for their own benefit. We find them in politics, business, and every segment of society.
The Bible describes how people like this have crooked ways and walk in devious paths. Yet we all can find ourselves influenced by these manipulators. We need to be on guard, armed with God’s wisdom and discernment, and sensitive to His Spirit.
The Bible promises that God can help you recognize deception and keep from being trapped and tricked by schemers. Seek Him for discernment. Make sure to base your life and decisions on His Word.
Father, I need Your help. I cry out for wisdom and discernment. Help me to be on guard against those whose ways are devious. In Jesus’ name, amen.