Day 33 (3/26)

Jbrandt   -  

Day 33 (3/26)

Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 5:20-27
Written by Bo Blumenshine

20 Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.”

21 So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. “Is everything all right?” he asked.

22 “Everything is all right,” Gehazi answered. “My master sent me to say, ‘Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent[a] of silver and two sets of clothing.’”

23 “By all means, take two talents,” said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left.

25 When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?”

“Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered.

26 But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? 27 Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.

2 Kings 5 is neatly bookended by Naaman’s servant girl and Elisha’s servant, Gehazi. I love the symmetry at play here. The little Israelite girl in the service of an idol-worshiper teaches us faithfulness. While Gehazi, who is close to God’s prophet, reminds us how easily we can be led astray.

Greed is at the heart of Gehazi’s fall. When Elisha refused Naaman’s gift, Gehazi seized the opportunity for personal gain. This led him to committing even more sins.

Gehazi’s deception of Naaman is most egregious. Naaman, as a new believer, was eager to show his gratefulness and Gehazi represented the faith Naaman had adopted. Here is yet another story of how deceivers and false-prophets worm their way into the Church.

I am reminded of Jesus’ warning In Matthew 7:15-16, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits.” Words as true today as they were in Naaman’s day.

How are we guarding against wolves who mean to divide and destroy? Are we looking for the fruit or listening to deceitful words?