But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “Look, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian, while not receiving from his hands what he brought; but as the LORD lives, I will run after him and take something from him.” So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw him running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him, and said, “Is all well?” And he said, “All is well. My master has sent me, saying, ‘Indeed, just now two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from the mountains of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of garments.’ “So Naaman said, “Please, take two talents.” And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and handed them to two of his servants; and they carried them on ahead of him. When he came to the citadel, he took them from their hand, and stored them away in the house; then he let the men go, and they departed. Now he went in and stood before his master. Elisha said to him, “Where did you go, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant did not go anywhere.” Then he said to him, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants? Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.” And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow. (2 Kings 5:20-27)
Please Make Me A Leper
Leprosy is one of the most horrific diseases known to man. The character of the disease is a slow death as the body decays piece by piece. Throughout the Bible story leprosy is portrayed in its vicious nature of isolation and degradation. No one wanted to be inflicted by it. But then there is Gehazi. Not the brightest marble in the bag. He lives with a prophet. Not only does he live with a prophet he lives with the prophet Elisha. This is the man who received the mantle from one of the greatest of prophets named Elijah. The same mantle that divided the waters of Jordan. Gehazi was a servant of Elisha.
One day Gehazi looks out and sees a band of Syrian soldiers approaching the home of his master. It was the commanding general of the Syrian army who had come to Elisha seeking a most impossible wish. The officer was a leper and he asked the prophet to heal him of his leprosy. There were a lot of lepers in his day and no one had been healed of leprosy. Even with a prophet in the land no leper had been healed because no one had come and asked until this day when a foreigner came. Elisha tells Naaman to go dip seven times in the Jordan River. The commander turns in a rage and drives away. Gehazi must have thought that was the end of the story. It was not.
Sometime later the band of soldiers return and Gehazi sees that Naaman is different. He no longer wears the clothes of a leper but he looks as young as a child. There is a huge smile on his face and he offers Elisha a great reward for taking away his leprosy. The prophet refuses. Naaman insists. The prophet refuses. Gehazi cannot believe what he is hearing. Elisha needs to take this reward. Naaman begs the prophet but the man of God refuses. Finally the commander asks if he may take two mule-loads of dirt back with him and the prophet agrees. Shovels are produced and two mules are loaded with dirt from the house of Elisha. Gehazi cannot believe his eyes. Naaman and his company ride away with dirt and all that reward. Gehazi is dumbfounded.
The servant of Elisha cannot contain himself. He runs after Naaman and tells him a lie to get some of the reward money. Gladly Naaman (a more righteous man than Gehazi) gives the servant two talents of silver in two bags with two garments. The servant is ecstatic as he returns to the citadel. Quickly hiding his bounty the servant returns to Elisha. “Where have you been Gehazi?” Elisha asks. “Your servant did not go anywhere,” Gehazi replies. He lives with a prophet remember. A man who can part water and heal leprosy. Do you think Gehazi thought he could pull a ‘fast one’ over his boss? What made him think he could get away with hiding something from a prophet like Elisha? Not only did Gehazi live with leprosy but all his descendants. Why? Because he was greedy and really not very smart.
The real story is that we try the same thing with God. We think we can fool the Lord. Really? There could be people living today with leprosy that are descendants of Gehazi. God only knows. But then that is the point isn’t it. God does know. And that should be our lesson for today. Don’t run after things that will cause us pain because we can hide nothing from Him who sees all and knows all. Praise His name for His wonderful knowledge about us.