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
Employers do reference checks on prospective new employees. Its is extremely helpful when the reference says things that are commendable and compelling about the person’s character and person. David was in danger of being killed by King Saul. At the right moment, Jonathan spoke a good word about David. Let us see how a good word can be a matter of life or death.
We see the positive.
Jonathan said about David, “He hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good.” He was extolling the good virtues of David. He reminded the king that David did not say or do anything against him. He gave acknowledgement that David’s works toward the king were very good: and they were! David volunteered to face off with the giant, Goliath, and gave Israel a great victory. David behaved himself wisely among Saul’s servants. When David was put to the test to win the hand of Michal for marriage, he went beyond what was required of him and gave the king double. Jonathan spoke positive things about David.
We see the prevention.
“For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?” A good word keeps a person from doing something that he might regret. When we become angry and even furious because of the words or actions of someone towards us, the devil wants us to be vindictive and hurtful. God says that the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. In speaking good about David, Jonathan was keeping Saul from committing the sin of murder.
We see the protection.
“And Saul hearkened unto the voice of Jonathan: and Saul sware, As the LORD liveth, he shall not be slain.” Jonathan’s good word for David protected him temporarily from harm. Saul pledged to Jonathan that he would not hurt him. A good word keeps relationships from having a meltdown. A good word can be helpful in protecting a church from untruthful criticism. A good word protects and validates the character of someone who is wrongfully accused.
We see the persuasion.
The Bible say that “death and life are in the power of the tongue.” What you say or don’t say might save a person’s life. A good word is speaking up and testifying of Jesus' death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. A good word is also praying for God to intervene for another person who is in critical need. When Jonathan spoke up for David, his goal was to persuade Saul to spare him. A persuasive witness can keep a sinner out of Hell. A persuasive prayer to God can turn an impossible situation into a possible one. Let us remember that “a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” Is there someone you know that you can speak a good word for?
Have a good-hearted God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Genesis 38-40