Read: 2 Kings 5:19-27
19 “Go in peace,” Elisha said. After Naaman had traveled some distance, 20 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.” 21 So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. “Is everything all right?” he asked. 22 “Everything is all right,” Gehazi answered. “My master sent me to say, ‘Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.’” 23 “By all means, take two talents,” said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left. 25 When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” “Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered. 26 But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? 27 Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow. ” (NIV 2 Kings 5:19-27)
Study: When Naaman sees that he as been healed, he returns to Elisha with joy and tries to give him some money and gifts out of gratitude. Elisha refuses payment and sends him on his way back to Syria. But Elisha’s servant, Gahazi, a man who had been with Elisha for a long time and had seen many wondrous works by the hand of Elisha, sees an opportunity. He doesn’t think Elisha is right for sending Naaman on his way without accepting any of the gifts and he gets greedy as he comes up with a plan to take some of the gifts for himself. And when he does, he is stricken with leaprosy. What a consequence for his sin! One that would last for generations. But really, was what Gahazi did actually that bad? He just told a little lie and took some money that Naaman wanted to give to Elisha anyway. It’s not like he was hurting anyone. That’s how we rationalize sin. We say “Oh, but it really isn’t that bad,” “I’m not doing this out of bad intentions,” or “this is something that will help me or someone else.” Gahazi justified his actions. And then when he was confronted about it, he lied again to cover his tracks. Now if this doesn’t sound like a conversation taken straight out of the 21st century, I don’t know what does. “Where have you been, Gahazi?” “Uhh, nowhere…” I’m sure you’ve heard this type of conversation before, or perhaps even been a part of it. I have. But Elisha knew where he had been. He was a prophet, after all. So Gahazi was faced with dire consequences for his sin. I am not saying you will stricken with leprosy for lying but, I think this should make us think twice before we consider something being a “little” sin.
Pray: God, I am sorry for the little sins I commit. I will strive to be more like you today. Amen.