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Gehazi’s Greed
Posted: Feb 1, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

In many things, I seem to find myself liking exactly the opposite of things that most others do. For example, most people like music….I like talk radio. Most people like salad dressing, I can’t stand it. Most people when it comes to Bible reading prefer to spend most of their time in the New Testament; I am an Old Testament guy. Don’t get me wrong, I love the New Testament. I am all for grace and the redemption story of Christ and the tales of the growth of the early church. I guess one of the reasons I find myself reading through the Old Testament is that I have always been a history guy and the Old Testament is FULL of incredible history. Another reason I like it is because it helps put into perspective exactly how amazing it truly was that Jesus died for us. Reading through the Old Testament helps me to realize that if Jesus would have never come and died on the cross, we would have all been in a lot of trouble with no hope of redemption. Enter Jesus. The rest is history.

One of my favorite books in the Old Testament is 2 Kings. I love the story of the nation of Israel and the interaction between the kings and the prophets that God sent. Elisha was a very interesting man. His mentor, Elijah, was taken away in a chariot of fire before his very eyes. Most people in his land can’t stand him because he always seems to be prophesying doom over them. (Which God instructed him to do so) Even his assistant Gehazi was an interesting guy. Gehazi was loyal to Elisha and I truly believe cared deeply for him. Gehazi’s story is told mostly in II Kings chapter 5 and unfortunately for him, it doesn’t make him come off very well. A foreign military leader named Naaman had heard about Elisha and his God Jehovah. Being that Naaman didn’t live in Israel, he was not a follower of God. He had, however heard of the incredible miracles that His prophet Elisha had performed. Naaman had a physical problem. Actually, he had a major physical problem called leprosy. Leprosy in Biblical times was the aids of today. Nothing short of a death sentence. Naaman was desperate and decided to go and see Elisha and he brought with him loads of gifts hoping that he could possibly buy his healing. When he sees Elisha, Elisha instructs him to go and dip 7 times in the Jordan river, (which was disgusting) and after a bit of protest from Naaman, he follows his orders. After he came out of the water the 7th time, the leprosy was completely gone! After being healed, Naaman borderline begs Elisha to take the gifts that he brought but Elisha refuses. Naaman goes on his way back to his homeland. Meanwhile, Gehazi, watches all of this happen and is infuriated! He thinks to himself, wait a minute. “We” worked hard for that. “We” deserve to be paid for the service that “we” provided to Naaman. Verse 20 of II Samuel 5 tells us what was going on inside the head of Gehazi specifically.

“But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, the man of God, said to himself, “My master should not have let this Aramean get away without accepting any of his gifts. As surely as the Lord lives, I will chase after him and get something from him.” So Gehazi set off after Naaman.”

Gehazi makes up a story to Naaman about how Elisha changed his mind about the gifts and wanted them so that he could bless some other people. Naaman gives the gifts to Gehazi with no questions asked. Upon receiving the gifts, Gehazi does not take them back to Elisha, instead he goes home to his house and buries it all in a hole. Elisha finds out about the whole ordeal and because of the greed of Gehazi, he has him stricken with leprosy! This whole story I think hammers home one very key point. Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that you deserve to be blessed. Gehazi didn’t heal Naaman…..Elisha didn’t even heal Naaman. God did. When we start telling ourselves that we deserve the blessings of God in our life, we are opening up a crack for the deception of greed to make it’s way into our life. God does bless us. But not because we deserve it. He blesses us because He is good.

With Expectancy!

Corey
corey@firstassemblywest.com

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