What are you willing to do for $10,000,000? Two-thirds of Americans polled would agree to at least one, some to several of the following:
- Would abandon their entire family (25%)
- Would abandon their church (25%)
- Would become prostitutes for a week or more (23%)
- Would give up their American citizenship (16%)
- Would leave their spouses (16%)
- Would withhold testimony and let a murderer go free (10%)
- Would kill a stranger (7%)
- Would put their children up for adoption (3%)
James Patterson and Peter Kim, The Day America Told the Truth, 1991
What would your answer be if you were asked the question?
2 Kings 5:20-21 (NKJV)
20 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.” 21 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?”
How many of us this morning, have desired something so much, that we would do anything even things that could potentially destroy our future, to get it.
In the book of 2nd Kings, we are introduced to a man by the name of Gehazi, he was the servant of the prophet Elisha, he was what we would call, Elisha’s right-hand man.
He saw the miracles that Elisha performed, he was part of what God was doing, but in all this there was something about Gehazi, a character flaw a defect that would cause him to be found wanting and to be found running after a lover that was so captivating, that he could not get her out of his mind.
You see being side-tracked from what was really important, was not something new for Gehazi. In the book of 2nd Kings 4, the bible speaks about the Shunamite woman, who Elisha prophesied would have a son, and the bible goes on to say that the son died. And so, this woman comes to Elisha.
She is desperate, she is looking for answers, and if you have lost someone close to you through death this morning, you would know what she is going through.
2 Kings 4:27 (a)
27 Now when she came to the man of God at the hill, she caught him by the feet,
That is the desperation of the women she caught Elisha’s feet, probably trying to hang on for dear life, pleading with him to do something.
But then check this out, what Gehazi does, in the same verse:
but Gehazi came near to push her away. We see no compassion, he has not got the heart of the father, the heart of Elisha. And Elisha had to step in and he tells Gehazi:
But the man of God said, “Let her alone; for her soul is in deep distress, and the Lord has hidden it from me, and has not told me.”
Here we see Gehazi, how easily he got side-tracked from what was actually important, what was happening.
Many times, we think that God is not at work, or he is not moving, but sometimes we need to look at the person, we need to look at the heart of the person, the attitude, the character.
When Elisha sends Gehazi with his staff to lay on the boy, we find that nothing happens, but in steps Elisha, prays to God, stretches his body over the boys and the boy is brought back to life.
The staff in Gehazi’s hand was of no use church, because Gehazi, was side-tracked, it was about himself and how good he would look, and no glory for the one who actually performed the miracle and that is God.
The second instance that Gehazi is side-tracked we find in our text for today, 2 Kings 5, we find the leprous Naaman coming to Elisha to be healed.
Elisha gives him instructions through a messenger, on what to do and Naaman is furious, because Elisha does not come out himself and heal him.
But nevertheless, he does what he is told, and he is healed. He comes back to Elisha bearing gifts. But Elisha refuses, to accept anything from Naaman.
And in steps our liar, Gehazi, 2 Kings 5:20
20 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;
Gehazi has once again lost the plot, he is being side-tracked from what should be of more importance.
Elisha refused to accept Naaman’s gift, because if he had, then the thinking would be that the gift of healing, or anything for that matter that we get from God, can be bought, and that is not what the gospel is about this morning.
Gehazi, when he saw the gifts that Naaman wanted to give to Elisha, became filled with greed, he forgot the big picture. Greed was drawing him in, it was seducing him, his eyes grew big, he was taken in with lust and he longed for all that he should not have.
This morning folks, has greed become your lover, is the pursuit of wealth and material possessions, calling out to you, can you hear it in your sleep, in your thoughts, everywhere around you.
A lover that you cannot get out of your mind, a lover that’s immoral, goes against the Gods commandment, a lover that’s taking you away from your destiny.
James 1:14 (GW)
Everyone is tempted by his own desires as they lure him away and trap him.
Ephesians 5:3 (GW)
3 Don’t let sexual sin, perversion of any kind, or greed even be mentioned among you. This is not appropriate behaviour for God’s holy people.
2.Chasing after your lover
When is enough, enough? When will we be satisfied with what we have? In our text this morning, we find Gehazi making an insane decision, he makes a decision that seems bizarre, that seems ridiculous. When we read this, this morning ask yourself this question, will I do that?
but as the Lord lives, I will run after him and take something from him.” 21 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?”
Gehazi, started to run after Naaman, he started to pursue and chase after his lover, who was calling out to him. All Gehazi could see was the money, the clothes, the riches, he was so overcome with lust for this, that it started to control his mind.
Gehazi became so greedy by what he saw, he wanted to have it. No matter what the cost. It’s as though the gifts that Naaman brought was calling out to him, “Oh Gehazi, oh my wonderful Gehazi, please take me, we can be so good together, think of all the wonderful things I could do for you.”
It was like a love spell was cast upon him, and he could not allow his lover to go away, he had to have her.
We must understand this morning that when we become filled with greed and the need to accumulate wealth and possession’s, it doesn’t end there, that is only the beginning, but it’s the beginning of the end if we don’t come to our senses and turn around from the spirit of greed and run towards the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
Gehazi’s obsession with wealth and greed, led him to another problem, he now had to cover up his obsession, he had to cover up his sin. You see this morning church, when we sin and it’s not just greed this morning, we start to cover up so that no one can see our “dirty laundry” so that no one can find us out.
And watch how one lie leads to the next, he had to keep up the charade, this lie
Gehazi’s lies started with Naaman, when he lied to him that Elisha had sent him to get a talent of silver and two changes of garments.
He then took this and hid it – that’s what happens when we sin – we want to hide it, so that no one sees it.
He then comes to Elisha and when asked where he went, he replies “Your servant did not go anywhere” – another lie!!!
Colossians 3:5 (NIV)
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Someone once said, if we are never satisfied with what we have, then we are stuck between greed and her twin sister materialism.
1 Timothy 6:10 (NKJV)
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
In the book of Acts, we find a couple filled with greed, that decided in their hearts that it was ok to lie to God.
Acts 5:1-11 (GW)
A man named Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold some property. 2 They agreed to hold back some of the money they had pledged and turned only part of it over to the apostles.
3 Peter asked, “Ananias, why did you let Satan fill you with the idea that you could deceive the Holy Spirit? You’ve held back some of the money you received for the land. 4 While you had the land, it was your own. After it was sold, you could have done as you pleased with the money. So how could you do a thing like this? You didn’t lie to people but to God!”
5 When Ananias heard Peter say this, he dropped dead. Everyone who heard about his death was terrified. 6 Some young men got up, wrapped his body in a sheet, carried him outside, and buried him.
7 About three hours later Ananias’ wife arrived. She didn’t know what had happened. 8 So Peter asked her, “Tell me, did you sell the land for that price?” She answered, “Yes, that was the price.”
9 Then Peter said to her, “How could you and your husband agree to test the Lord’s Spirit? Those who buried your husband are standing at the door, and they will carry you outside for burial.” 10 Immediately, she dropped dead in front of Peter. When the young men came back, they found Sapphira dead. So they carried her outside and buried her next to her husband.
11 The whole church and everyone else who heard about what had happened were terrified.
You see this morning church, we can be Christians and be filled with greed, but we can never be born again, filled with the Holy Ghost and be in love with material things.
We can fall in love with money and the pursuit of wealth because of what money can give us in the flesh. Greed and the love of material things is the result of hanging on to the satisfaction and the pleasures of this world. Money and materialism, is a lover that we should get rid of.
When Paul writes to Timothy, he talks about the love of money. The reality is that we cannot serve both God and money, when he says the love of money, he is telling us you either love money or you love God.
You cannot love the both. Many times, we think that we can love God, but we can have an affair with money and materialism. God will understand that I need money to survive.
How many of us this morning, are having an affair with money and materialism, we are chasing greedily after the pursuit of wealth. We are chasing after our lover, wanting to cling on to that affair, forgetting that we should be married to God.
We move towns, moving to the big cities, chasing after that big break, that huge pay rise, but what does it do to us. We move away from the will of God, the will of God for our lives, our destiny in Christ is forever altered because we have found a lover that replaces Christ in our lives, and we chase after her day in and day out and the result this morning church is that we end up being nothing more than spiritual lepers.
3.Free yourself from the curse of Gehazi
Gehazi’s punishment as pronounced by Elisha in vs 27 & 28 of 2nd Kings 5:
27 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.
The result of disobedience, of falling in love with money and the pursuit of wealth and making it our idol, this morning is that we can end up compromising and cutting short our destiny in Christ.
Gehazi, would have been next in line as a successor to Elisha, the double portion anointing that would have been for him, was lost due to greed and the love of the pleasures of the world.
You and I this morning, need to be careful that we don’t fall into the same trap of the love of money and forget about where and who our love should be directed to.
We must understand this morning that greed is not just restricted to money and possession’s it’s also about:
a) the desire to have more than others, at whatever the cost. Greed causes us t walk over people, not bothered about people’s feelings or how we hurt others. No one else matters except us.
b) competing with the jones’s – no one can have something better than me. I must have what they have.
c) greed causes us to get into debt, by trying to live a life that is more than what we can afford. We raise our standard of living instead of raising our standard of obedience.
d) greed causes us to be self-seeking, attention seekers, wanting fame and fortune.
Luke 12:15 (GW)
He told the people, “Be careful to guard yourselves from every kind of greed. Life is not about having a lot of material possessions.”
There are some things that we need to consider this morning as we look at setting ourselves free from the curse of Gehazi:
a) God knows all things
This morning, no matter how much we conceal who we are or what’s in our hearts, it is useless. We might think we are smart, that we can hide things from man, but you cannot and never will be able to outsmart and hide things from a God who sees all and knows all.
Elisha tells Gehazi in vs 26:
“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?
The Spirit of God that was in the man of God, knew exactly what was happening, nothing can be hidden from God this morning.
Luke 8:7 (NKJV)
17 For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.
b)We should be desperate
We need to understand this morning, that we are lost, without Christ. We should come before God, convinced that we are nothing without him, and that we are desperately lost and in need of his salvation.
In order for us to be saved, there needs to be confession, if we are to full of ourselves convinced that we can make heaven our own on our own merits and with God, then we are deceiving ourselves.
When we come before God in repentance, we should come clean, no hidden agendas, no secrets, no lies, everything laid out before God.
Proverbs 28:13 (NKJV)
He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
This is the choice we have to make today, right here this morning to confess our sins before God, or have someone confront you on your sin. We need to humbly come before God and repent this morning.
You know, when we come before God in repentance and out of desperation, the power sin has over us starts to fade away. Its enticing and attractive and seductive ways in which it draws you in, no longer has any power over you.
But this can only happen when we surrender our ways to God, allow him to be God, allow his will to be done in your life.
Feel free to comment or share a testimony