Daily Thought for: 19th June

GEHAZI

2 Kings 5. 20-27

Abuse of privilege would be the modern description of this man’s action. Privilege it was to be associated with God’s prophet. On earth at this time no man was seeing so much evidence of God’s power at work as Elisha, and Gehazi was his servant. He could observe at close quarters the great things that were happening and have some involvement in them. 

Indeed, the promise of a child to the great woman at Shunem was given at Gehazi’s suggestion. When that treasured boy died, Gehazi was on the scene to witness the distress of the mother and then later to see her delight at the restoration of her boy. Was he not also present when the poisonous broth was made safe and the loaves were multiplied to satisfy the hunger of all present? As witness to, and participant in, such unique events this man must have a great future. We ask, Will he be successor to Elisha, as Elisha was to Elijah? It seems likely but his promising career is completely spoiled by one foolish act of deception. 

The sight of Naaman’s gold and gifts lingered in his mind and captured his heart. His master’s refusal of such largesse had appeared to him a sad miss. Being a servant of the prophet Elisha at times, probably, meant some poverty and Gehazi saw this as too good a chance to let pass. But there were more important considerations. What about his master’s honour? What about the impression his act will have upon those heathen visitors? How will this reflect upon the free grace of the God of Israel? These are all penetrating questions, to be sure, but for Gehazi the glitter of the gold has blinded his vision to all other light. To his lust he adds a lie. For his lust and lies he becomes a leper. He cannot have Naaman’s lucre without his leprosy. What potential ruined! What service lost! 

The sin is called ‘covetousness’ and its victims are many. May we have the right priorities and hear the penetrating questions of Elisha to the guilty Gehazi, ‘Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?’ The prophet and his servant had two different priorities; two different agendas. Where does your preference lie, today? 

 

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