Summary: Every Biblical character is a unique personality and has been written for us to learn something. We will be warned of Gehazi's downward pull due to the sin of GREED. We will learn lessons from the life of Elisha on how he maintained his INTEGRITY.
The dictionary defines GREED as the desire to possess wealth, goods or objects with the intention to keep it for one's self, far beyond the dictates of basic survival and comfort.
That means, a person who is greedy will covet something even if he does not really need it.
He will hide it for some future use.
Someday, he will forget about this and covet for others things as well.
The cycle goes on and on.
The clutter grew and grew.
I Timothy 6:10 (NIV) says: "For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."
This verse tells us that it is NOT money that is the root of all evil.
It is the LOVE of money that is a root of all kinds of evil.
There is a big difference.
Money should not be loved.
God should be loved more.
Once you love money, greed will creep in and destroy you slowly.
Once you love God more, greed will die down.
People who have been faithful to God before have wandered in their faith because they love money than God.
We know that Gehazi was a faithful servant of the prophet Elisha for many years.
One day, what looked like an ordinary ministry opportunity became his downfall.
He was overtaken by greed and was not able to recover from it.
Along the way, he made a detour and lost his way.
We must remember that all forms of sin can destroy us slowly if we do not detect it early and overcome it.
Sometimes, we are not aware of it, but it had already penetrated our entire system.
How can a small sin grew so large?
Why is it that in spite of all his past experiences with the prophet Elisha, yet Gehazi was still defeated?
What went wrong in his life so that we can learn from this?
We will analyze this in our message for today.
I hope and pray that you have the desire to learn today.
Let me start with a story:
Russian author Leo Tolstoy tells the story of a rich man who was never satisfied.
He always wanted more, more and more.
One day this rich man heard of a wonderful chance to get more land.
For a thousand rubbles he could have all the territory he could walk around in a day.
But he had to make it back to the starting point by sundown or he would lose it all.
This wealthy man arose early and set out.
He walked on and on, thinking he could get just a little more land if he kept going further and further.
But he went so far, he realized he must walk very fast if he were to get back in time to claim the land.
As the sun got lower in the sky, he quickened his pace.
Then he began to run.
Finally he came within sight of the starting place, so he exerted his last energies, plunged over the finish line, fell to the ground and collapsed.
A stream of blood poured out of his mouth, and he lay dead.
His servant took a spade and dug a grave.
He made it just long enough and just wide enough and buried the avaricious man.
The title of Tolstoy’s story is: “How much land does a man need?”
He concluded by saying, “Six feet from his head to his heels was all he needed.”
You can’t get it all or keep it all.
That is how greed grows: just a little bit more...
First, we will discuss...
WHY WE NEED TO OVERCOME GREED:
WARNINGS FROM THE LIFE OF GEHAZI
1. GREED CORRUPTS OUR MINDS. 2 Kings 5:20 "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.”
The story starts with Naaman, the commander of the army of King of Aram, a valiant soldier, but stricken with leprosy.
Then, a young girl taken captive from Israel served Naaman's wife.
The young girl told Naaman's wife of the prophet in Israel who could cure him of leprosy.
Naaman went to his master King of Aram and told him what the girl from Israel had said.
“By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.”
Naaman fought a lot of battles for the king.
He wanted Naaman to be healed.
So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing.