When I taught elementary school before my girls were born, I used to tell the parents on our first meeting, “If you don’t believe everything your child says about me, I won’t believe everything they tell me about you!” Children can say some pretty startling things – but it’s seen through their young perspective, and hence, is not always accurate. We can see how a child can misunderstand and then tell things they really shouldn’t, but what happens when an adult misinterprets, then goes running to find someone they can tell? They become like Doeg.
Doeg is found in I Samuel 21-22. In this chapter we read about David running away from Saul. He’s fearful for his life, and rightly so! Saul has just tried to nail him to the wall with his spear! David goes to Nob and seeks help from the priest, Ahimelech. The priest gives David bread and also Goliath’s sword (I’d say David earned it, wouldn’t you?). In verse 7 we read, “Now a certain man of the servants of Saul was there that day, detained before the LORD; and his name was Doeg, an Edomite, the chiefest of the herdmen that belonged to Saul.” I can only imagine David’s thoughts when he saw that Doeg had seen him…”Oh, no! There’s that busybody Doeg! He’s sure to go running to Saul and tell him of my whereabouts!”
That is precisely what Doeg did. When Saul had his men gathered together to scold them for not helping him find David, Doeg gets his chance to speak up. Here’s what we read in chapter 22 – Saul said, “…is none of you that is sorry for me, or sheweth unto me that my son hath stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day? Then answered Doeg the Edomite, which was set over the servants of Saul, and said, I saw the son of Jesse coming to Nob to Ahimelech the son of Ahitub. And he enquired of the LORD for him, and gave him victuals, and gave him the sword of Goliath the Philistine. ” Doeg is of he personality that I imagine he couldn’t wait to share this juicy little bit of information! This news infuriates Saul and he orders all the priests to be killed. None of the footmen would do it, so Doeg jumps in to carry out Saul’s cruel wishes.
Doeg left a bad taste in many people’s mouths with his actions. One person that records what Doeg was like is David. In Psalm 52 he gives a detailed description of him. It’s also a list of what we need to steer clear of if we’re to have a life that honors the Lord. Here’s what a person is like if they’re like Doeg:
- They dwell on mischief rather than God’s goodness. Ps 52:1,2 Why boastest thou thyself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of God endureth continually. The tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully.
- They love evil news more than good news. V. 3a Thou lovest evil more than good
- They tell lies instead of the truth. V 3b (Thou lovest) lying rather than to speak righteousness.
- They enjoy devouring words rather than those that build up V. 4 Thou lovest all devouring words…
It can be real easy to feel smug and say that we’d never do what Doeg did! Murder God’s servants? No way! But if we
- talk more about people in a negative light than in a positive one, we’re being a Doeg!
- enjoy hearing some juicy information about someone, if our ears lean in to hear some evil report, we’re being a Doeg!
- pass on things that we shouldn’t be sharing (even if it’s true, is it necessary to tell?), we’re being a Doeg!
These are thoughts that the Lord brought to my mind recently as I studied this passage. Yes, they are convicting thoughts. If we’re honest, we’d all admit to being a Doeg on occasion (and once is too often!). It’s a sin. It displeases the One who created our mouths. My prayer is that instead of being like a child who blurts out whatever I’ve heard or have seen, the Lord will “Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” Psalm 141:3 I don’t want to be a Doeg! How about you?
Grateful for forgiveness,