Summary: What led to Gehazi's decision to chase after Naaman for ill-gotten gains.
The background for this morning’s message is the healing of Naaman, the leper. Naaman, a military leader from a nation in conflict with Israel (off and on, anyway) hears of the Prophet Elisha in Israel and comes to him for healing. Elisha doesn’t even leave the house but sends his servant to Naaman with a simple command to go and wash in the Jordan river seven times. Naaman is offended, but his servants persuade him to give the prophet’s instructions a chance and he does so. Naaman is healed and returns to Elisha, offering gifts. Elisha declines the gifts and Naaman takes some soil from Israel back home, vowing never to sacrifice to false gods again—with the exception of bowing down with his king to the false god—but assures Elisha that his heart will not be in it. Elisha tells him to go in peace.
Our message begins as Gehazi begins to contemplate how he can get his hands on some of the gifts that Naaman was offering.
How could this have happen to Gehazi? How did he come to the place where he could act in a manner so contrary to that of his master?
First, he had a lack of respect for Naaman.
In Gehazi’s mind this man was a foreigner—therefore, he was unworthy of respect…. He was an idol worshipper. He allowed his lack of respect to lead him to take an action that would exploit this man. His attitude was that of an enemy.
Second, he had a lack of respect for Elisha
Elisha had chosen not to take a gift from this man in order that the man realize it was GOD that had healed him. Taking a gift might interfere with a further chance to bring the true God to the people of Aramea, where Naaman was from. Gehazi’s lack of respect was because he could not envision the concept of ministering to this foreigner for the purpose of ministry. He felt that Elisha had gone soft.
Third, Gehazi had a misplaced sense of entitlement
Did Gehazi really think by bringing a message from the house to the yard was worth some sort of Gift? Did he think Naaman was healed by his words? A misplaced sense of importance in the gears of God’s work can certainly cause one to puff up and feel more important than he is.
Fourth, He made a conscious decision to take a wrong action
He said to himself—I will go and get something!!!!
How do we know that Gehazi knew his actions were wrong?
He had sort of convinced himself that he was deserving of these goods, hadn’t he?
We know that Gehazi KNEW he was wrong because he began with a cover story. He didn’t approach Naaman and declare that he was deserving of something—he LIED!
Satan has a lot of tools in his woodshed, but a lie is the handle that fits them all.
We know that Gehazi knew his actions were wrong because when he returned home he was unwilling to be honest with Elisha about where he had been and what he had been doing.
Whenever we have to be sneaky or lie about our actions it is a demonstration that we know that we have done wrong! The very act of concealment PROVES that we are aware of our wrongdoing!
Elisha condemned Gehazi’s selfishness. He revealed that his purpose was not monetary gain and it certainly should not have been the Gehazi’s goal. It was time to minister, not a time for get-rich-quick schemes. Gehazi became a leper because of his lack of respect for God’s plan, his master, and those he was to minister to.
1. We must show respect to all who come into God’s House seeking to be ministered to.
2. We must seek to understand how God wants to minister through us.
3. We must never look at people with an eye towards what they can provide for our church—but rather what our church can provide for them
4. We must conduct ourselves in honesty because dishonesty shows we are acting in a wrong manner.