2 Kings 5:17
Now we are going to see Gehazi show his true colors, he is not as reliable as Elisha was for Elijah. The sad thing for me in this story is how easily something God wants to do in a person’s life can be ruined by one step in error of another person. The message from God that Elisha wanted to show Naaman will be polluted by Gehazi. It makes me want to keep praying that never come behind a teacher and hurt the message given to another by something I say or do, or don’t say and do. Never do I want to interfere in the work God is doing in someone’s life.
Remember Naaman wanted to pay Elisha for the healing he received from leprosy. Elisha refused payment, for Elisha’s purpose was that Naaman would know Israel had a prophet of God. Naaman realized the God of Elisha, God was God, but he had a problem because of his official duties. I find it wonderful that he cared enough about God to ask the following:
2 Kings 5:17-18 So Naaman said, “Then, if not, please let your servant be given two mule-loads of earth: for your servant will no longer offer either burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD. Yet in this thing may the LORD pardon your servant: when my master goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon–when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the LORD please pardon your servant in this thing.
Notice the difference in Naaman’s attitude toward Elisha, instead of being the proud warrior, Naaman now says, “your servant.” Elisha comes out to talk with Naaman and Naaman has a problem and a question for Elisha. Naaman’s master is a pagan king of Syria. Part of Naaman’s duties is to accompany the king into the pagan temple for worship, and he has to bow down to help the king down and up. Naaman will still have to do that, and he is saying that he will not worship the pagan gods when he bows down, but he will still have to bow down.
2 Kings 5:19 Then he said to him, “Go in peace.” So he departed from him a short distance.
Elisha tells Naaman no problem.
Now we will see Gehazi’s meddling and ruining God’s message to Naaman, through greed.
2 Kings 5:20 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “Look, my master has spared Naaman the Syrian, while not receiving from his hands what he brought; but as the LORD lives, I will run after him and take something from him.”
Pastor Don’s comment was “Oh, oh.” Here Gehazi is bringing God into this situation. Elisha had said he would take nothing, and Gehazi is going against what his teacher is saying. (Heather’s note, he is acting in the flesh, not at all concerned about the spiritual lesson Elisha might have been showing Naaman. Gehazi is more concerned about himself than the spiritual health of Naaman.)
2 Kings 5:21-22 So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw him running after him he got down from the chariot to meet him, and said, “Is it well?” And he said, “All is well. My master has sent me, saying, ‘Indeed, just now two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from the mountains of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of garments.'”
Lies, none of this is the truth – Elisha did not send Gehazi to Naaman. Naaman will begin to think the gift of healing from God comes with a price. So Gehazi lied on God and He lied on Elisha. This lie tarnishes the purity of Elisha’s message, corrupts it for filthy lucre. It is stealing God’s glory in this situation.
2 Kings 5:23-24 So Naaman said, “Please take two talents.” And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and handed them to two of his servants; and they carried them on ahead of him. When he came to the citadel, he took them from their hand, and stored them away in the house; then he let the men go, and they departed.
Now He tries to hide the stuff. He makes a mistake many of us make when we try to hide things, we can’t hide anything from God.
2 Kings 5:25 Now he went in and stood before his master, Elisha said to him, “Where did you go, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant did not go anywhere.”
2 Kings 5:26 Then he said to him, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants?”
Busted! The Spirit of the Prophet knew what Gehazi did, Gehazi did not pull the wool over Elisha’s eyes. And not only that, but Elisha knew what Gehazi had in mind to do with the money – clothing, olive groves, vineyards, sheep, oxen and servants. It also is pointing to what Gehazi might have done had the prophetic mantle been passed to him. (Heather’s note, I am sorry that Naaman got the wrong message, but glad that Gehazi was found out before he had gone any further in the training with Elisha.) We saw hints of Gehazi’s true colors when he showed such a lack of compassion for the woman whose son had died. He did not care about the sufferings of others.
2 Kings 5:27 Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.” And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow.
Someone commented that it did not seem fair that this would continue on through the descendants, but the truth is that fathers teach their children by their example.
Pastor Don continued to share that we need discernment. Gehazi walked the walk and talked the talk, but His heart was not pure. We are all at different levels spiritually, but we will not know know what we are made up of until the testing comes, and the testing always comes. Gehazi failed his test with Naaman, Baalam failed the test of delivering God’s message.
We will be tested. Jimmy Swaggert was tested with porn, Benny Hinn spent too much money on himself, far more than necessary. People will use those who fail a test to criticize the church, to say “The church is full of hypocrites.” and use that as a reason to not go to church. But there is a difference between the people of God (church) and God Himself. If we scratch the surface of us, there is hypocrisy in everyone at some point. And it is not who were are in our public persona, but who we are at night, or when no one else can see us. Until the testing comes we will not know exactly who we are or what we are made of.
Where will we draw the line? Do we cross over that line when the pressure is put on us, when our job is on the line, when we are financially strapped, when we are in a hostile country?
Elisha did not properly discern about Gehazi, Elisha is good, but lacked discernment in this instance.
If Gehazi had repented, told the truth, the outcome might have been different. But God knew the heart of Gehazi, and since Gehazi was the servant of Elisha, God made sure that the mantle of Elisha would not pass to Gehazi.
Elisha was dependant on Elijah for his resources, as a servant of the prophet Elijah took care of Elisha and met his needs. Had Gehazi obeyed Elisha, Elisha would have continued meeting Gehazi’s needs as they walked together and Gehazi was discipled by Elisha.
Elisha is the same as us when we work with a disciple.
Had Elisha not acted on this new information about Gehazi, had he not spoken and caused the repercussions to come onto Gehazi, then Elisha would have met the fate of Eli, who ignored the sins of his sons (Gehazi was a spiritual son to Elisha), and Eli’s (the High Priest) sons stole from the people, burned wrong fire on the altar of incense and did much evil in God’s eyes, so God had Samuel the prophet predict the death of the sons and the death of Eli, and they ended up dying.
It was Elisha’s responsibility to make sure that when the mantle is passed it is passed to someone worthy of serving God.
Praying you have a blessed day.
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