Rotten Gotten Gains
Father, help me to set my sights on eternal gain and to turn from what will take my heart away from You.
Read 2 Kings 5:15-27
 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”  The prophet answered, “As surely as the LORD lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.  “If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the LORD.  But may the LORD forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also-when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the LORD forgive your servant for this.”  “Go in peace,” Elisha said. After Naaman had traveled some distance,  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.”  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.  “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 of silver and two sets of clothing.'”  “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.  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.  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.  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?  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. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat was motivating Gehazi?
As we saw in the last reading, Naaman was cured of his leprosy, and this cure also brought revelation about the God who had cured him (15). When Naaman offered a gift to Elisha, the prophet saw the danger of being corrupted and distracted by wealth. Naaman’s intent was not bad, but Elisha politely refused (16). Gehazi is a shadowy figure. Maybe Gehazi was drawn to Elisha’s service because of the prophet’s fame. But it seems that fame isn’t enough. Gehazi loves the trappings of honor too, so much so that he pursues Naaman (21) and dupes him into giving him a substantial sum of money and fine clothes (22). Gehazi has two servants carry his booty back home, but since he can’t risk being seen, he dismisses the servants before hiding his greedy gain himself (24). Elisha’s rebuke speaks to what has happened to Gehazi’s heart (26). The punishment on Gehazi is ironic. Naaman has gone away cured both inside and out; Gehazi becomes corrupted both inside and out (27).
Do an inventory of your own life. What really matters to you? Ask God to help you align your priorities to his purposes.
King of Majesty, You know how easily we can become awed by the stuff of this world. Ruin us for everything but You.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.