Friday, December 2, 2016

Not Like Gehazi

This morning I am reading 2 Kings chapter 5 again and again. Four people stand out.

Here are the first two...

"Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, 'Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.' So Naaman went in and told his lord, 'Thus and so spoke the girl from the land of Israel.' " - 2 Kings 5:1-4 ESV

Naaman is a great but leprous man and then there is this little girl.

"And the king of Syria said, 'Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.' So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, 'When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Naaman my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy.' And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, 'Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me.' But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, 'Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.' " - 2 Kings 5:5-8 ESV

The third person is Elisha. He is a great man also but in a different way. Naaman saw opportunity to be healed and acted on it. Elisha saw opportunity for God and acted on it.

Then we have the fourth person. He is the one we don't want to be.

God heals Naaman...

"Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and he came and stood before him. And he said, 'Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant.' But he said, 'As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none.' And he urged him to take it, but he refused... He said to him, 'Go in peace.' But when Naaman had gone from him a short distance, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, 'See, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not accepting from his hand what he brought. As the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him.' So Gehazi followed Naaman. And when Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and said, 'Is all well?' " - 2 Kings 5:15-16, 19-21 ESV

Each of the four saw opportunity and that is what made them noteworthy people.

If you keep reading the account Gehazi ends up with Naanam's leprosy because of what he did with what he saw.

Can't we contrast the little girl with Gehazi? Gehazi was a great failure. The little girl was a great success.

God is at work today. Do you see it? What will you do with that knowledge? Will you be healed or infected from touching what you shouldn't have touched?

I get something from all four people. I can be a catalyst like that little girl. I also see myself in Naaman. I desire to be heroic in faith like Elisha who has no fear but sees God doing something where other men have given up hope. I can also be a small minded and selfish as Gehazi who sees the work of God as an avenue to feed his ambition.

Oh God! Let grace frame our thinking today. You are here. If we wallow in our limitations and remain isolated in our thinking we will live an anonymous mundane existence that is not even noteworthy enough to be recorded. Billions live that way. But greatness is right here before us if we discern Your work in expectation. Let these four people frame our thinking and guide us.

Thank You God. Praise You Lord.


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