Gregor MacGregor invented his own country. It was London in 1820. According to MacGregor’s elaborate ruse, a native chieftain had appointed him Crown Prince. That made him royalty. Much nicer than swindler and con-man. He sold shares of land that did not exist to adventurous, albeit unsuspecting, pioneers who became easy targets for a deal too good to be true.
The fictional Central American country, called Poyais, was allegedly on the Bay of Honduras. MacGregor printed Poyais currency and sold shares of land. Sketches detailed the fictional land’s abundant resources of un-mined gold, silver and rich farmland on fake maps. It even had an imaginary capital with an opera house.
Many of the 250 would-be colonists sold what they had. They gave their life savings to purchase the bogus currency of a pretend country. As they wandered at sea looking for a non-existent land, MacGregor rounded up his next group of settlers.
People from two separate missions met on an untouched island jungle. Life was hard. Tropical diseases, exposure, and starvation killed 180 of the 240 within the first year. Most of the settlers returned to England when they had the opportunity. Sick and impoverished, less than 50 people survived the trip back.
When English newspapers published their stories, some survivors refused to label MacGregor as a charlatan. By then he had already left for France to start another expedition.
Seduction makes us look foolish after its eaten our lunch. It promises perpetual sunshine, but has only destruction to offer. It entices us to make decisions on the basis of appearance instead of integrity. Using flattery, it whines over unfulfilled desires. Betrayal peeks around its corner, hoping we’ll come along for the ride.
Balaam was a prophet. Well, sort of. His loyalty went to the highest bidder. He could hear the word of the Lord and prophesy on the mountain top and in the next breath go to an enemy king with a plot to sabotage God’s people.
Balaam and seduction were buddies. Why stage a battle when God’s people were willing to join the enemy? What a duo they were, promising such sweetness with such a diabolical heart.
No one is bigger, better, kinder, or more loving than our Creator, God. No one has better rewards. No one offers sweeter joy or better security. Psalm 91 reminds us that He rescues us from hidden traps. We fear nothing in His arms – only what can take us out of them.
Seduction isn’t bullet-proof. Truth can expose it. God offers wisdom and discernment, two sure-fire weapons against its lure. Tested friends and family can also help. Like Tyler Perry’s Madea says, find the root kind of people, ones who’ll give life-long stability and nourishment. God is like that. He is honest and kind. He won’t leave us. What we hoped for in a dream can come true. He carries the goods to deliver.
Be watchful. Seduction is after the precious currency of our lives. It lusts after our value, hoping we’ll buy the lie and purchase those false hopes. Its fiendish eye longs to see our dreams dashed against the shore of a desolate island. Listen to the true Lover of your soul, Yeshua Messiah. He is a worth the investment of our time, attention and desire. He’ll keep us from all that glitters but is not gold.