You shall not go up and down as a talebearer among your people: neither shall you stand against the blood of your neighbor…
I. CHARACTER IS IN THE KEEPING, and therefore at the mercy of acquaintances.
1. Therefore supremely value each other's good name.
2. Jealously defend a worthy reputation.
3. Scornfully silence the unproved rumours of evils.
II. CHARACTER MAY BE RUTHLESSLY SHATTERED by sinister whisperings.
1. For listeners are ready to entertain and repeat slander. "Man's inhumanity to man!"
2. Aspersions feed on the inventiveness of malice.
3. Reputation is easily damaged. That which only a lifetime can build an hour may defame.
III. CHARACTER IS SO PRECIOUS that its traducers should be loathed.
1. Dread a talebearer as a destroying pestilence.
2. He who wrongs another's reputation may next wrong yours. By heeding his slanders you" encourage his vile trade, and slander must find new victims!
3. Put to shame all talebearers with ruthless severity.Note —
1. There is enough of woe abroad without increasing it.
2. As we need our many evils to be pitied by man and pardoned by God, let us with "charity hide sins," not expose them.
3. There is grace in Christ, and energy in the Holy Spirit, by which to perfect a good life and win a good name, which even enemies of religion shall be unable to defame or destroy.
4. The light of the final judgment will refute all slander, and bring every secret thing to the open gaze of the world.
(W. H. Jellie.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.