Saturday, September 26, 2015

Gehazi The Servant of the Man of God

We met Gehazi yesterday in the story of the Shunammite woman. He was described there as servant to Elisha. We see him again in the next chapter, not doing so well in the Story of Naaman, a leper who came to Elisha for healing. It’s much better told in 2 Kings 5:1-19, but what happens next has to do with Gehazi:

But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him. So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well? And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments. (2 Kings 5:20-22 KJV)

Elisha had turned down gifts for the healing, but Gehazi thought there wouldn’t be a problem in accepting just a little bit. He was wrong.

And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow. (2 Kings 5:26-27 KJV)

But – we hear of him again. In Chapter 8, Elisha warns the Shunammite woman of coming famine and she leaves her home. By the time of her return, it appears it is only she and her son came home to regain their property. To do that meant coming before the king. He heard many petitioners – but for her, he turned to another for verification:

And the king talked with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me, I pray thee, all the great things that Elisha hath done. And it came to pass, as he was telling the king how he had restored a dead body to life, that, behold, the woman, whose son he had restored to life, cried to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son, whom Elisha restored to life. (2 Kings 8:4-5 KJV)

The king compared their stories and her land was restored:

And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed unto her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land, even until now. (2 Kings 8:6 KJV)

What we do has consequences. When we follow instructions, the consequences have a much greater opportunity of turning out better for us. When we make decisions based on our own desires rather than the instructions we’ve been given, we lose opportunities, one right after another.

Gehazi was a servant to a man who chose to serve God. He witnessed miracles and knew that what Elisha did was within God’s instructions. So did the Shunammite woman. She followed Elisha’s instructions – Gehazi did not. She was a woman of wealth before the famine, she regained her property. Gehazi was a servant before Naaman’s healing, afterward he suffered Naaman’s disease.

What choice is before any one of us right now? To follow God’s instructions? Where are they? In His word – the inspired words written by men who lived as men of God, obedient to this word. That’s a choice we face daily.

How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. . . . . Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments. (Psalms 119:103-106 KJV)

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