Gehazi And The Results Of His Greed

Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, the man of God, said to himself, “My master should not have let this Aramean get away without accepting any of his gifts. As surely as the Lord lives, I will chase after him and get something from him.” 2 Kings 5:20

The Bible speaks about Gahazi right at the end of the story of Elisha and Naaman. If you remember, Elisha sent Naaman, a man with leprosy, to the Jordan River for a healing.

Naaman, the commander of the Aramean army, didn’t think too much of the idea, but he went anyway. Amazingly, he came out completely healed after his seventh dip in the river.

At this point in the story, he had never even seen the prophet Elisha. He had only received a message the prophet sent by his servant. This man must have been Gehazi.

But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.” 2 Kings 5:10

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Elated by his healing, Naaman returned to the man of God to show him his gratitude. This time, the Bible says that Naaman and everyone with him stood before Elisha.

Then Naaman and his entire party went back to find the man of God. They stood before him, and Naaman said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.” 2 Kings 5:15

After a short conversation, Elisha blessed Naaman and sent him on his way. That should have ended the story, but it didn’t. Gehazi had something else in mind, so he set off after Naaman.


Gehazi Decided to Take Naaman Up on his Offer

Most of the Old Testament prophets lived in poverty. Therefore, Gehazi couldn’t resist taking Naaman up on his generous offer, especially since Elisha had turned it down.

Gehazi said, “but my master has sent me to tell you that two young prophets from the hill country of Ephraim have just arrived. He would like 75 pounds of silver and two sets of clothing to give to them.” 2 Kings 5:22

Naaman was more than happy to not only give him what he asked for, but he gave him more.

By all means, take twice as much silver,” Naaman insisted. He gave him two sets of clothing, tied up the money in two bags, and sent two of his servants to carry the gifts for Gehazi.  2 Kings 5:23

He took 150 pounds of silver. He walked away with more than $60,000 in today’s market. No wonder he needed help carrying back to the house.

When they got to the fort on the hill, Gehazi took the gifts and sent the servants back. Then he hid the gifts inside the house. I guess he forgot that his master had an in with the Lord.

Because Elisha asked him where he had been. When a person lies, their first lie always sprouts new ones. Gehazi first lied to Naaman, then lied again, saying, “I haven’t been anywhere.”


The Worst is Yet to Come

I know this incident occurred centuries ago, but I still feel sorry for Gehazi. Even today, I feel bad for people who think they can get one over on God. Look at what Ekisha told him next.

But Elisha asked him, “Don’t you realize that I was there in spirit when Naaman stepped down from his chariot to meet you? 2 Kings 5:26

He could have gone into much more detail, and maybe he did. One thing for sure, Gehazi, without a shadow of a doubt, knew he had been caught. Elisha followed up with another question.

Is this the time to receive money and clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and cattle, and male and female servants? 2 Kings 5:27

I think this question pointed towards Gehazi’s priorities and the motives of his heart. Sometimes, we must examine our hearts’ motives as well. Elisha could depend on the Lord for his needs.

On the other hand, Gehazi used his wit to scheme instead of trusting the Lord. Sadly, we haven’t even come to the worst part of this story yet. Elisha told him what to expect.

Because you have done this, you and your descendants will suffer from Naaman’s leprosy forever.” 2 Kings 5:28

Gehazi didn’t have to wonder very long when his punishment would begin. The next verse says when he left the room, leprosy overtook him, making his skin as white as snow.

Leprosy reminds me of sin. Once you have it, you can’t get rid of the effects of it. Unless… the Lord intervenes. We don’t hear much about leprosy today, but we certainly have a sin problem.


The Consequences of Sin

Gehazi physically suffered for the rest of his life. The consequences of sin, however, last for all eternity. We don’t need to enter eternity in a sinful state, though. God made redemption available.

So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. Ephesians 1:6-7

Instead of enjoying the wealth he received from Naaman, Gehazi ended up paying dearly for his greed. People of the world don’t realize the consequences of enjoying their sins.

We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. Romans 6:22-24

Lord, thank you for making a way for us to spend eternity with you.

Check out these related posts about sin.

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