Monday, September 24, 2007



Psalm 15:1-3 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in they holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.

The focus of this little series has been on the concept of gossip. This particular passage considers this concept from the position of personal holiness. Introspection is what few of us really enjoy doing. We tend to want to think better of ourselves than we should. At times, we miss the obvious beam in our own eye while pointing out the sawdust in another's. Motivation for doing so varies from individual to individual and occasion to occasion. Perhaps we have been offended and we are wanting to "even the score". In other words, personal vendettas rule the moment. We are warned against taking vengeance into our own hands when in fact the Scriptures testify that vengeance belongs to the Lord. That passage can be read in Romans 12:19-21. But if our goal be personal holiness or rather, a sanctified daily walk, we need to consider OURSELVES rather than the other person. This Psalm considers that gossip is a hindrance or a defiling of such personal holiness. If abiding in the presence of the Lord is what one truly desires, then there truly is NO PLACE for gossip in that life.

Verse two of this passage is very positive and speaks of that which should be done. However, even if that were done on a human level, there are certain things that should be avoided as well. In fact, it could be argued that there is no way that you could practice verse 2 WITHOUT practicing verse 3. Paul, in the book of Romans parallels the two ideas when he said that those things he should not do he does and those things that he should do he does not. The point being that they are not mutually exclusive. You cannot have sanctification without BOTH being practiced rightly.

Verse three is where I have been driving for and it is comprised of three things that SHOULD NOT be done. The word backbiteth is also translated as slander. The word basically means to go about on the feet. In some instances, it means to spy out. Thus one goes about on his feet in search of whatever information is sought. However, in this passage and in 2 Samuel 19:28, it is used of slander. A person goes about on foot(traverses the internet) in order to bring a false message or even a message of truth that is meant to "destroy" the particular individual that it is lodged against. This phrase is closely tied with the next in that the one who wants to abide or dwell does not "do evil" to his neighbor. Jesus told us who our neighbor is and in this passage of Psalms, we are not to seek the hurt or harm of our neighbor. We are not to seek to do injury to our neighbor. This includes spreading truth under the guise of safeguarding others while our motive is nothing but injury to the individual. Brethren, be sure of this. God knows your heart. He will search you out and reveal you for this. You can say it is for good all the while knowing your heart is evil and yet the audience to whom you speak cannot do much else rather than observing your life and seeking God's wisdom to try the spirits. You may hide behind clouds of religion and piety but you can rest assured, you have not escaped the Light of God. The man who wants to abide with God does not take up a reproach against his neighbor either. Take up means in this passage to take up as with voice, even to carry as your own a reproach, a mocking or scorn of your neighbor. It is wrong to taunt your neighbor but it is especially a hindrance to those who are wanting to have that holy walk that is honoring to God. In blogland, you have seen it as well as I have, that some,not involved in a particular situation, become the most vocal on something they really have no specific knowledge of or relation in a personal way. Too often, under the cover of "our opinion", we are simply passing out slander, gossip or mocking to whoever will listen in order to tear down another or take up a cause against another to defend one we call our own. As one of my seminary professors used to say. "My brothers, these things ought not be so!" Our goal for our neighbor should be to do them good, not cause them harm.

Do you really desire personal holiness and a sanctified walk with God? If that be the case, make sure that you understand that gossip/slander is a hindrance to, not a help with, that walk.

For the first in this series, go HERE.
For the second in this series, go HERE.
For the fourth in this series, go HERE.


Anonymous said...

You didn't pull any punches today.
Amen, bruce

Luke said...

The problem is that I ended up hitting myself. Of course, I knew that when I started this little set that I'd get my toes smacked.