Oops – wow – a story I didn’t read until now – there is a “B-side” second half of the story after the fabulous story of Naaman being healed of his leprosy. The prophet proposed the way to healing, the people around Naaman urged him to go all the way to fully accept the Lord’s healing. It reminds us to not whine and God’s movements are not always instant and on OUR schedule (which I also appreciate as a theme in my journey with the Lord). The “B-side” is the story of Gehazi. The story of asking for too much. The story of not whining… the story of coverup by lying… the story of letting something go…
In 2nd Kings, chapter 5, Gehazi saw the advice his master, the prophet Elisha, had given Naaman, and Naaman (after a little while) took the advice and got the healing of leprosy from God. Naaman wanted to give a gift to Elisha but Elisha refused. His gift was seeing God’s healing and Elisha probably knew that He was simply giving the advice that God gave. Gehazi the servant to Elisha took it upon himself to ask for more from Naaman even beyond what was agreed upon. Gehazi whined that he thought it was not enough and he took it upon himself to avenge what was not necessary – and he hunted down Naaman to ask for more. Well, what did he come away with? not only the money etc, but he got more – not from Naaman but from his own greed HE GOT his own LEPROSY… oops… (That is the B-side of the story that we rarely flip over like a record to listen to – but a gem of advice! easy to hear and hard always to take – for me too!). if the prophet was fine with accepting forgiveness – the servant should be fine accepting that forgiveness is given – even to those who he deems does not deserve it – wow that IS a story of Jesus and God’s mercy too – of prodigal sons jealousy and of our lack of giving forgiveness.
Why do we whine (me too) and why do we expect more than is necessary and why do we want what we want NOW!!!??? If this is not a lesson for today’s times, then I don’t know what would be. See – we have gotten much in blessings – we have gotten forgiveness – and we have gotten a path forward – YET we want more – or we want to avenge the past. Don’t go there. Don’t worry about avenging what someone already said they didn’t need in reparations. Let bygones be bygone and go on…
Read about Gehazi in verses 20-27 and just appreciate today – appreciate there IS a calling upon your life to listen to what God is saying – and especially as we see blessing after blessing of guidance thru and out of a pandemic, we must not whine. Appreciate trials and tribulations – appreciate the rain or the sun, the work or rest. Know the world brokenness will make us be jealous and distracted and yet please know our oblivious bliss and our hedges of protection…. In all, just be happy with what you have. Don’t begrudge what is not ours to have in the first place.
Live humbly appreciative.
Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”
The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.
“Go in peace,” Elisha said.
After Naaman had traveled some distance, 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.”
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.
“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.’”
“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. 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.
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.
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? 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.