Great and lasting consequences!
Remember Pinocchio … the children's story of the little wooden puppet who nose great when he lied? Well I am reminded of Pinocchio whenever I think of Gehazi – one of the incredible bible characters and the consequences he suffered for lying. Gehazi was the servant of Elisha, a prophet in Israel, who was himself the successor to the great prophet, Elijah. Naaman was an important man in Syria. He was the captain of the host of the King but he suffered a great sickness; he was a leper. He had heard of the prophet Elisha from his wife's little maidservant [a girl of the captivity who had informed her mistress of the power that attended the prophet] and had traveled with the king's blessing and a letter of introduction to the King of Israel seek his recovery from his leprosy. He had come in grand style with horses and chariot and standing at Elisha's door seeking an audience. But Elisha did not receive Naaman personally and instead dispatched Gehazi, his servant to give some simple instructions to Naaman regarding his condition. Now Naaman was a mighty man in valor, highly valued by his master and honorable. He felt that owed to his stature he was due a much grander reception that he received; that at least he would have seen a performance of some ritual on the prophet's part. Disappointed, Naaman being wroth at the impersonal treatment he received from Elisha, the prophet, went away from him enraged thinking he had been slighted. But his own servants impressed upon him the folly of his response and he turned again and submitted to Elisha's instructions.
After he was healed he returned again to the prophet professing there is no God in all the earth but in Israel and urging him to accept compensation at his hand. But Elisha refused to accept anything from him.
Can not you just hear the wheels turning in Gehazi's head?
Observing this exchange Gehazi thought he would take advantage of the situation and followed after the Syrian to take of him that which he had offered Elisha thereby entertaining his deception. What followed were four lies. Three made to Naaman and finally one told to his master, Elisha.
Lie # 1: "My master hath sent me …
Lie # 2: there came to me from mount Ephraim two young prophets …
Lie # 3: give them a talent of silver and two changes of garments "…
Naaman not only granted his request butave him two talents of silver and two changes of garments and also an escort of two servants that bore the gifts before Gehazi. When the servants departed and he had hidden the "loot" in the house, Elisha asked him "… from where are you coming ?"
Lie # 4: "Thy servant went nowhere." to which Elisha replied, " Is it a time to receive money and garments, etc …?" then he cursed Gehazi with the leprosy of Naaman.
What's the lesson here?
We know that in Pinocchio's story he became a real boy but Gehazi and his seed after him had to live with the leprosy that clung to his body. [2Kings 5: 22-27]
It is unfortunate when we fall victim in areas that we should overcome. The stories of these bible characters are complete with examples for our learning and lest we heed we too will suffer needless consequences.
Till next time. God willing!
© 2014 Karen Hodge