As the story goes, David was on the run from Saul who was determined to kill his perceived rival to the throne. In need of sustenance, David fled to Nob where the tabernacle was located. When questioned about his sudden appearance, David told Ahimelech the priest that he was on a secret mission for the king. Satisfied with the explanation, Ahimelech provided David with food and with the sword of Goliath. Armed with provisions, David made his getaway. But it was not a perfect escape. For as he left, David noticed the presence of one of Saul’s men — Doeg.
Later, when Saul accused his advisors of being involved in a conspiracy against him, Doeg told about the meeting between Ahimelech and David. Doeg did what many slanderers do. He told the truth, but not the whole truth. He didn’t tell that David had deceived Ahimelech. With this important information withheld, Doeg slandered the innocent priest. Though a godly man, Ahimelech fell victim to the sword of slander; he and his entire family (1 Samuel 22:18).
A slanderer who assassinates the character of guiltless victims is rightly held in contempt. But the slanderer would make no headway without the assistance of willing accomplices. Once the malicious rumor gains ground, it’s almost impossible to stop before irreparable damage is done.
A man had slandered a friend only to find out later that what he had said was not true. Troubled in his conscience he went to a monk to confess. The monk said to him, “If you want to make peace with your conscience, you must fill a bag with feathers and go to every house in the village and drop a feather at each door.” The man did as he was told. Going to every house where he had spread the lie, he laid a feather at the door.
The monk then gave this final instruction, “Now go to every house and gather up the feathers.” But the man protested, “The wind has blown them all away by now.” The monk answered, “That’s true. And so it is with gossip and slander. Words are easily dropped, but no matter how hard you try you can never get them back again.”
As there is in the Bible a hall of fame of the heroes of faith, there is a hall of shame, of which Doeg is a charter member. Refuse to be associated with the Doeg’s of this world. Aspire to better things by being filled with the love of God that, ”thinks no evil” and “does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:5-6).
Pastor Todd Weston