Summary: As I read Gehazi’s story I was struck by the tragic consequences of an unrepentant heart. And behind this truth was a question that formed in my mind: I wonder what would have happened if the person, when confronted, had responded with a truly repentant
The Tragic Consequences of an Unrepentant Heart
Two weeks ago when I was studying the story of Gehazi I was struck by a particular truth and it caused me to look through the Bible for other situations where this truth is seen. Let me state the truth for you and then we will observe how it played itself out in these different examples from God’s Word. And I pray God will cause these examples to stay in your mind as a warning against following these examples.
Here is the truth: As I read Gehazi’s story I was struck by the tragic consequences of an unrepentant heart. And behind this truth was a question that formed in my mind: I wonder, in each of these examples we will look at – I wonder what would have happened if the person, when confronted, had responded with a truly repentant heart? What would have happened if when the person was confronted they responded with confession and repentance instead of concealing and/or refusing to repent of their sin? I was just struck with that question: What would have happened?
The point being, if they had responded with confession and repentance their whole story would have been vastly different and not just their story but also the stories of many other people, especially their family, family including future generations. The rest of their story would have been vastly different because there are tragic consequences that come from an unrepentant heart. Now we really can’t say how it would have been different, but I think it is safe to say that their lives would have been radically different.
So let’s look at these examples and you might want to take some notes for while this may not apply to you today, you may would want to use these examples when you have to confront someone who has sinned.
• Gehazi – Let’s begin with Gehazi since he is still fresh in our minds. Now let me qualify this by saying that there is a good possibility that Gehazi did repent later on, as I brought out last week, but he did not initially respond with repentance, did he? 2 Kings 5:25-27...
Proverbs 28:13 tells us, “He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion.”
Elisha gave Gehazi an opportunity to do this when he asked him where he had been. But Gehazi hardened his heart and attempted to conceal his sin by further sin [and by the way isn’t that the way it usually goes – we try to conceal our sin by committing more sin]; he concealed his sin by further sin - lying – and so Elisha was left with no other choice but to confront, expose and God’s pronounce judgment on Gehazi’s actions.
Here’s the question we want to ask with each of these examples: What were the consequences of his unrepentant heart? As we noted last week it cost him his reputation, his position and his health. In addition, his unrepentant heart led to his descendants having leprosy as well.
My question though as I pondered this story was: I wonder what Elisha’s response would have been if at the very beginning, when first asked “where he had been,” Gehazi had openly confessed and repented of his sin. I don’t know what Elisha’s response would have been, but the Scripture declares he who confesses and forsakes his sin finds compassion & mercy.
• Adam & Eve – Genesis 3:8-19, 23-24...
We know the story so well. Eve and then Adam chose to disobey God. They chose to do THE one and only thing they were told they could not do. And they both knew they were disobeying God by eating of the fruit. God only had 1 rule and they could not keep it. Up to this point in human history, I am not sure the word “sin” had ever been spoken or if Adam and Eve knew of the word. But they soon were going to become fully aware of what it was and the tremendous power and ramifications of it.
Sin will make you stupid, excuse the bluntness. It is amazing the stupid and foolish things people do after they have sinned. Here were Adam and Eve – they knew who God was. They knew He had simply spoken the word and the universe had come into being. He had spoken the word and the oceans, fish and birds had come into being. He had spoken the word and all the variety of trees, plants, and flowers had appeared. He had spoken the word and all the animals were created. And yet, somehow they thought they could hide from Him.
Psalm 139:7 – “Where can I go from Thy Spirit? Or where can I flee from Thy presence?”