DON’T LISTEN TO RUMOUR MONGERS

WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL

JUNE 18, 2024

TOPIC: DON’T LISTEN TO RUMOUR MONGERS

BY T. O. BANSO 

David asked Saul, ‘Why do you listen to rumors that I am trying to harm you?’” (1 Samuel 24:9 GOD’S WORD Translation) 

The enmity between King Saul of Israel and David was probably because Saul listened to people telling him that David wanted to harm him and take the throne. I say this based on what David, the victim of this false rumour, said. And David said to Saul: “Why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Indeed David seeks your harm’?” (1 Samuel 24:9 New King James Version). GOD’S WORD Translation says, David asked Saul, ‘Why do you listen to rumors that I am trying to harm you?’”

From what David said, Saul acted on false rumours, chasing him everywhere to kill him. This was the same David who had helped him and Israel earlier to kill Goliath, thereby delivering Saul and the nation from reproach (1 Samuel 17:31-54). After David had killed Goliath, Saul did not let him return to his father’s house (1 Samuel 18:2). David went out wherever Saul sent him, and he prospered and behaved himself wisely; Saul set him over the men of war and it was satisfactory both to the people and Saul’s servants (verse 5).

Verses 6-9 say,When the victorious Israelite army was returning home after David had killed the Philistine, women from all the towns of Israel came out to meet King Saul. They sang and danced for joy with tambourines and cymbals. This was their song: ‘Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands!’ This made Saul very angry. ‘What’s this?’ he said. ‘They credit David with ten thousand and me with only thousands. Next they’ll be making him their king!’ So from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David” (New Living Translation).

Probably Saul based his conclusion that the people might make David their king on the meaning some people read to the song of these women and told Saul. Therefore, he began to devise means of killing him, first hurling a spear to pin David to the wall when an evil spirit came upon him. Fortunately for David, he eluded him twice (1 Samuel 18:10-11). Saul even promised to give David his older daughter, Merab, to marry if he would serve him bravely and fight the LORD’s battles. But his plan was for the Philistines to kill him. Nevertheless, Saul defaulted despite David satisfying his requirement (verses 17-18). Saul’s plan failed as the Philistines couldn’t kill David.

A similar attempt to get David killed by the Philistines by asking for a hundred Philistine foreskins to give him Michal, his daughter, as wife also failed. David brought more foreskins than Saul requested. He brought to him two hundred foreskins of the Philistines he had killed. This time, Saul gave him Michal in marriage (verses 20-27). Nevertheless, Saul never stopped his desperation to kill David.When Saul realized that the Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved David, Saul became still more afraid of him, and he remained his enemy the rest of his days” (verses 28-29 New International Version). Why? Because, as David, said, he listened to the rumour that he sought to harm him.

However, the truth was that David had no intention of harming or killing Saul. He knew he would become king at God’s appointed time, though he had been anointed king by Samuel. In a cave in the Wilderness of En Gedi, David had the opportunity to kill Saul, and he was encouraged by his men to do so, but David refused.

The Bible says, “‘Now’s your opportunity!’ David’s men whispered to him. ‘Today the Lord is telling you, ‘I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish.’ So David crept forward and cut off a piece of the hem of Saul’s robe” (1 Samuel 24:4 New Living Translation).

If David had listened to his men he would have killed Saul, but he didn’t act on what they said even when they tried to spiritualize it! There is no record of when God said what they claimed He said that He would put Saul into David’s power, to do with him as he wished. That probably was their invention. David didn’t listen to them as Saul had listened to those who said David wanted to harm him. David’s conscience even bothered him because he had cut Saul’s robe. He said he shouldn’t have done so because it was serious to attack the LORD’s anointed. David sharply rebuked his men not allowing them to kill Saul. He chose to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).

Hear what David told Saul later after cutting his robe: Look, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord delivered you today into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you, and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’ Moreover, my father, see! Yes, see the corner of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the corner of your robe, and did not kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my life to take it. Let the Lord judge between you and me, and let the Lord avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you. As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Wickedness proceeds from the wicked.’ But my hand shall not be against you” (1 Samuel 24:10-13 New King James Version).

Saul was merely on a useless mission as David never intended to harm him, and he didn’t. The Bible records two occasions when he could have killed Saul but he refused to do so. The second occasion is recorded in 1 Samuel 26.

Exodus 23:1a says,Do not spread false reports” (New International Version). Some people spread false reports. Don’t listen to rumour mongers or false rumours – stories or allegations that are not true. Don’t listen to those who want to cause enmity between you and someone else, and give you false information. They have destroyed so many relationships through their false rumours. They concocted allegations and stories for ulterior motives.

In John 21, after Jesus had told Peter by what death he would glorify God, he asked Jesus what would happen to the disciple He loved. Jesus said to Peter, ‘If I want him to live until I come again, how does that concern you? Follow me!’ So a rumor that that disciple wouldn’t die spread among Jesus’ followers. But Jesus didn’t say that he wouldn’t die. What Jesus said was, ‘If I want him to live until I come again, how does that concern you?’” (Verses 22-23 GOD’S WORD Translation). Note the phrase “So a rumor that that disciple wouldn’t die spread among Jesus’ followers.” But Jesus didn’t say that. Some people start or spread rumours of what didn’t happen and misinform others.

Don’t listen to or act on a false rumour. Investigate it. Don’t judge someone without first giving him a hearing (John 7:51). Don’t let people set you against others through false allegations. They might have a score to settle with them. Don’t let anyone use you to fight his war or turn your friend into an enemy. Imagine that David had not fled from Saul because he wanted to kill him and was with Saul in that battle where he was killed. Maybe he wouldn’t have died with a combination of Jonathan and David fighting on his side. But he saw a friend as an enemy and drove his helper away.

When Jesus was asked about the sign of His coming and the end of the age, He said in Matthew 24:6, You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come” (New International Version). Mark 13:7 says a similar thing.

Rumours are not always true. Don’t listen to rumour mongers. Verify their stories or reports. Don’t believe them just like that. Gossip is close to a rumour. It is a “Conversation or reports about other people’s private lives that might be unkind, disapproving, or not true” (Cambridge Dictionary). Don’t listen to gossip and don’t gossip. A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much” (Proverbs 20:19 New International Version). Proverbs 16:28 says,Gossip is no good! It causes hard feelings and comes between friends” (Contemporary English Version).

Beware of listening to false rumours; don’t jump to conclusions. “What a shame-yes, how stupid!-to decide before knowing the facts!” (Proverbs 18:13 Living Bible).

TAKE ACTION!

If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. Take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.

Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself.  I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.

I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You must join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.

PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to differentiate between the truth and false rumours. I shall not jump to conclusions on unverified rumours in Jesus’ name.

(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).

T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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Email: cedarministryintl@yahoo.com,
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Website: www.cedarministry.org