Elisha or Gehazi?
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." 2 Kings 5:20 NIV
Some people are always looking out for themselves. Have you known people like this? They are usually marked people. They are known as takers, not givers. These people violate the tenth commandment of God, because they covet the property of others. Please, dear Christian friend, don’t be found among the takers!
Gehazi had watched in awe as the prophet Elisha advised Naaman how to cure his leprosy. Naaman had rejected the advice at first, because he felt it was beneath his dignity to dump himself in the muddy river. But, at the wise counsel of those traveling with Naaman, he was healed and made whole again. He was eternally grateful to Elisha and wanted to repay him for the blessing of his health. Elisha refused payment, since he was acting according to God’s commands and not on his own. Gehazi felt that Elisha had passed up a pot of gold.
Keep in mind that prophets in this day were servants of God. They weren’t wealthy. They were quite often poor. Gehazi probably suffered from poverty along with Elisha. He saw the riches of Naaman and they looked enticing. The “grass looked greener on the other side”. “If only we had that…, we wouldn’t need for anything else”, Gehazi probably thought.
Ever feel like Gehazi? You serve God, seemingly doing without while you watch others, who don’t know God like you do, seem to have all the goods? It doesn’t seem fair sometimes, does it? If the God we serve owns the cattle on a thousand hills, then why are we doing without beef? “Where’s the beef, God”, we are tempted to reverently ask.
Elisha knew a principle that Gehazi had not yet learned. God does supply, but not always on our time or in the method we would choose. Elisha had learned, as Paul said in the New Testament, the “secret of being content”. He knew what it was like to have plenty and he knew what it was like to have to wait on God. And, he had found that he could have satisfaction in either situation.
What about you (and me)? Are we more like Elisha, or are we more like Gehazi? When we are experiencing great blessings of God, it is easy to trust Him. Is the same true when it appears we are doing without; when it even sometimes appears that God is nowhere to be found? Can we trust Him even in the hard times that He will once again bring about the good?