And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good: ~1 Samuel 19:4
Have you ever had someone come to you with very harsh words against someone else whom you both know? I am referring to words that are critical, slanderous, and vilifying. If this has happened to you, you know that you have the choice to believe what you heard or to say something good for that person’s defense. Let us see the importance of a good word when another person’s character is attacked.
We see the prudence.
Saul told all of his servants, as well as his son Jonathan, that they should kill David. Saul had very deeply-embedded envy and hatred of David. Without giving a good reason, he was out to destroy David in character and in person. Our passage says that Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father. The prudent thing to do is not feed into an angry or bitter person’s dislike or hatred of another. It is important that we calmly try to redirect the negative feelings to at least a position of neutrality and remember the good the accused person has done. The prudent thing is to not company with a multitude to do evil.
We see the protection.
Jonathan protected David from danger. When we speak a good word, we protect the accused person from gossip. We also protect the person from character assassination. Solomon said, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” We can give life with our words, or we can kill with our words. David did much good for Saul and Israel. If Jonathan did not courageously step up on behalf of David, David would have been a dead man. David’s good deeds would have been erased because of untruthful slander from Saul.
We see the prevention.
Jonathan’s words kept Saul from sinning against David and God. Jonathan reminded Saul of the good that David did for him and the kingdom. He reminded Saul that David put his life at risk against the Philistines and never did anything against Saul worthy of death or punishment. Saying something good about a person being unjustly vilified keeps the hateful person from going deeper into sin. Jonathan’s good words reminded Saul that David did no evil or bad against Saul. Jonathan was trying to prevent the king from going into bad sin.
We see the product.
“And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As the LORD liveth, he shall not be slain.” Jonathan’s good words kept David alive. Your good words for a person being vilified keeps him alive. It keeps what is being said from becoming a group vendetta or group slander. Your good words help to avert a war. Your good words make you a peacemaker. “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).
Good words are peaceable. Good words give the other side to the story. Good words keep a bad situation from getting worse. Good words are apples of gold in pictures of silver. Don’t allow yourself to be a party to a character assassination. Say something good, and give a good report.
Have an encouraging God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Genesis 32-34