Summary: The sin of Coveteousness is deceitful and dangerous, therefore, we must be aware of its presence.
Context: II Kings 5:20 - 27
Text: II Kings 5:20 – “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.”
This scripture story has been on my heart for a few days. I believe that God has given it to me as a message for us.
We are living in a time of dissatisfaction. It is a major disease in America. People are not happy, regardless of their place or condition.
We know this is true by the:
Large amount of “consumer debt”
Percentage of marriage, divorces, and unfaithfulness of husbands and wives
Dissatisfaction causes job changes, life changes, and physical changes in our bodies.
America spends millions of dollars on cosmetics, weight loss remedies, and clothes, mostly, because they are dissatisfied with the way they look, feel, or think.
The old adage “Keep Up With The Jones’” is more appropriate today than ever before.
Dissatisfaction breeds covetousness.
The sin of Gehazi was coveting the things that belonged to Naaman.
God gave Israel ten commandments.
1. Thou shalt have none other gods before me
2. Thou shalt not make thee any graven image
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Keep the Sabbath day to sanctify it (holy)
5. Honor thy father and thy mother
6. Thou shalt not kill
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery
8. Thou shalt not steal
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
10. Thou shalt not covet (desire)
Coveting is a sin against God and others. It is defined as “to desire that which belongs to another and to desire to take away that which belongs to another”.
It has been called the “Power of evil”.
Why? Because to covet breeds the desire and mind-set of selfishness, pride, deceit, and trusting in one’s own self.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.´ Hebrews 13:5
Covetousness is a form of idolatry.
“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:…” Colossians 3:5
“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Ephesians 5:5
The very idea of idolatry is to “give to something else the which rightfully belongs to God”
“The giving away of our commitment, faithfulness, and worship to an ‘unworthy’ thing or desire. It is the deceitful stealing or desiring to steal the glory of God and give it to an ‘unworthy’ item.”
Covetousness means “allowing our desire to become our god (idol)”
The story of Gehazi’s sin is an illustration of the power of evil in the life of a servant of the Lord.
Notice, the issues of Gehazi’s sin.
The issue of Concealment
The issue of Contempt
The issue of Control
The issue of Corruption
I. The Issue of Concealment
Our desires lie hidden in the recesses of our heart. These desires are an enemy to the integrity of the individual.
It is out of our desire that often we make fatal spiritual mistakes.
The concealment of the thoughts and intents of the heart is a major activity of some. It is trying to be something we aren’t.
Notice, that Gehazi’s covetousness caused him to ‘secretly’ follow after Naaman. His desire was to obtain or to take away from Naaman something that belonged to Naaman.
It was attitude of selfishness that made him go and the idea of hiding truth that made him do it behind the back of the Prophet Elisha.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (Jeremiah 17:9-10)
“And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mark 7:20-23)
Gehazi had the idea of hiding his ill-gotten gains. It spoke of deceit, dishonesty, and the covering of his tracks. It was actually character/suicide for him.
God knows the heart. Be sure that your sins may be hid from the eyes of the world, but they are not hid from the eyes of God.
II. The Issue of Contempt