The Poison of Suspicion

For 30 years, he worked as a Soviet spy, betraying British secrets to the KGB. Listening

For this, H.A.R. (Kim) Philby has been called “the Napoleon of deception, the greatest mole of them all.” A New York Times editorial said of Philby, and his fellow double-agents,

“Beyond information, their greatest service to Moscow was to spread the poison of suspicion, setting ally against ally.”1

According to Psalm 15:3, one sign of a true follower of Christ is “He does not backbite with his tongue.”

The word used here comes from a root signifying foot, and denotes a person who goes from place to place, speaking things he should not. A word from this root signifies spies, speaking of those who pry into secrets about others, and oftentimes represent them in a false light.

Spurgeon said, “Such are ranked among the worst of men, and are very unfit to be in the society of saints, or in a church of Christ.”2

John Wesley told that, at Epworth, on one occasion, a wagon load of Methodists were brought before the magistrates.

“What have they done?” asked the magistrate.

That was a point the prosecution had not considered. Then, one said, “Please, sir, they converted my wife. Before she went among them, she had such a tongue! But now she is as quiet as a lamb.”

“Take them back,” said the magistrate, “and let them convert all the scolds in the parish!”3

“The tale-bearer carries the devil in his tongue, and the tale-hearer carries the devil in his ear.”4

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    1. Our Daily Bread, “The Poison of Suspicion,” May, June 1996.

    2. C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, Volume One, Psalm I To LVII, Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, p. 184.

    3. Walter B. Knight, Knight’s Master Book of New Illustrations, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, MI, Copyright 1956, p. 692.

    4. Same source as #2, p. 17