Friday – November 1, 2019 – Don’t Miss Out

2 Kings 5:19-27 (NIV) “Go in peace,” Elisha said.

After Naaman had traveled some distance, 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.” 21 So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. “Is everything all right?” he asked. 22 “Everything is all right,” Gehazi answered. “My master sent me to say, ‘Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.’” 23 “By all means, take two talents,” said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left. 25 When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” “Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered. 26 But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? 27 Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.

There was another man in this drama; his name was Gehazi. He was Elisha’s servant and was next in line to receive the mantle left by Elisha. It is tragic the way that he missed out. In contrast, Naaman was healed of his leprosy while because of his actions fueled by greed and prejudice, Gehazi was plagued for the rest of his life with leprosy.

The contrast is drastic. Naaman had a life changing experience with God. He knew that he now had a mission from God, but did not know how to go about it. He knew that he was to go home and as he did, that he was to bring his testimony along with him. His plan was brilliant, but could be easily misunderstood. Some might mistake it as idolatry rather than testimony. He planned to pack dirt from Israel to take home with him so that when he entered the idolatrous temple, he could testify that he was a servant of the only God. He knew that there was no other God than the God of Israel. Whenever he would spread the dirt, he knelt to worship the only God, and all would know exactly what he was doing and why he was doing it. He had experienced the grace of God and he would never be the same.

Gehazi, however, had an opposite experience. He thought he was clever and concocted a story that would coerce the hated Aramean into paying for his healing. He was determined to receive a reward for something he had nothing to do with. He was so determined that he not only lied to Naaman, he also lied to Elisha when he said he had not gone anywhere, so couldn’t have done anything wrong. When he spoke to Naaman, he led him to believe that he was participating in some noble venture, helping those in need with an opportunity for advancement. When he spoke to Elisha, he was participating in a cover-up. As far as Naaman was concerned it was all about God and as far as Gehazi was concerned, it was all about him. Worst of all, Gehazi was doing all of this in the name of the Lord.

The lesson from this is that it can go both ways. Elisha and Naaman were greatly blessed and Gehazi was not. We all have choices to either receive the grace of God or reject it.

Prayer: Thank You Lord that we can all receive the grace of God and provide blessings for not only our generation, but also for the generations to come.