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Lessons Learned from the Miracles of Elisha:  Lesson One

Lessons Learned from The Miracles of Elisha:  A Series. (Lesson One)

The Story of Gehazi, the Servant of Elisha Who Lost Everything Because of Greed:

(2 Kings 4:12, 31; 5:20; 8:4).

Gehazi was a man who was the personal servant of the Prophet Elisha.  He traveled with him, and the Prophet relied upon him.  Gehazi was even received as an honored guest in the home of a rich woman, the Shunammite, simply because he was with the holy man of God.  When the Shunammite provided food and a place to stay when Elisha passed near her, Elisha said to the Shunamite: 13Behold, thou hast been careful for us with all this care; what is to be done for thee? (2 Kings 4:13).  So, the respect for the man of God was not only for him but for Gehazi as well.

Gehazi served as a mouthpiece for Elisha when directed to do so.  For example, when Elisha wanted to bless the Shunamite in 2 Kings 4:12, he told Gehazi to speak to her.  12Call this Shunamite.  When the Shunammite declined all offers from Elisha as a reward for her hospitality, Gehazi suggested that she be given a child.  (Have you noticed that when God wants to bless your life, He gives you people?). Elisha trusted Gehazi’s judgment because he asked his opinion concerning what might be an appropriate gift.  And Gehazi must have been wise because he observed that the woman’s husband was old and that the Shunammite was childless.  Elisha considered Gehazi’s suggestion perfect because he called the Shunammite a second time and prophesied that she would have a child within nine months.  Also, note that God honored the prophet’s words.  

That prophecy came to pass, and a child was born, as Elisha stated.  Unfortunately, years later, the child died.  The Shunammite dashed to Elisha to tell him of her predicament.  When Elisha saw her approaching him hastily, he sent Gehazi ahead to ask her if all was well. When the Shunammite reached Elisha, she fell to the ground and grabbed him by the feet.  It was Gehazi who removed her hands from Elisha’s feet.   Elisha trusted Gehazi so well that when he discovered that the Shunammite’s child was dead, he sent him with his staff to attempt to resurrect him.   It was not until Elisha went himself that the child was raised from the dead.  

On another occasion, in the 8th chapter of 2 Kings, Gehazi is sitting and talking with King Jehoram about the miracles of Elisha.  (He must have been viewed as an upstanding man because not everyone gets to sit and talk to Kings.)  While Gehazi spoke to the King, the Shunammite woman suddenly appeared.  Elisha had advised her to go to another country due to an upcoming seven years of drought.  She obeyed Elisha, went away for the famine, and was now returning to reclaim her land.  As a result of Gehazi’s testimony, the Shunammite was able to reclaim her land with profit from rental for the time that she was gone.  (This story is not told until the 8th chapter, but the event, some feel, actually occurred earlier in the Book.)

And then the downturn in events for Gehazi occurred.  He was riding high for a long stretch, but he messed up and missed.  In the 5th chapter of 2 Kings, we learn of Naaman’s man. Naaman was Captain of the host of the King of Syria.  Leprosy afflicted Naaman.  When he learned that a Prophet named Elisha could cause him to be healed, he took the equivalent of $77,370 in money and goods to pay his “doctor bill.”  Elisha, being the true man of God, refused to take any money for God’s miracle.  Elisha blessed Naaman and sent him on his way.  Naaman was genuinely grateful, and his attitude toward the almighty God was changed for the good.  The story should have ended at this point, except for the greed of Gehazi.  

Despite a long-standing relationship with the Holy man of God, seeing and being involved in many of Elisha’s miracles, and showing faithfulness towards the Holy man Gehazi forgot who Elisha was.  

Gehazi ran after Naaman and lied, claiming to Naaman that Elisha had changed his mind.  He collected the equivalent of $3840 and two outfits and went home and hid them.  But that same prophet saw what Gehazi did and “bestowed” Elisha’s 14th miracle upon Gehazi.  The Leprosy of Naaman jumped upon Gehazi.  (You see, not all miracles are positive and to be desired).  In the 27th verse of the fifth chapter, we learn that not only did Gehazi get this awful disease, he passed it to his seed, but he also lost his job for lying and, of course, his good standing in the community.  (This explains why some feel that Gehazi’s sitting with King Jehoram presented in the eighth chapter when the Shunammite arrived asking to reclaim her land must have happened before he received the curse of leprosy.  It is unlikely that he would have been able to be in the presence of the King if cursed with Leprosy.)

So, there we have it.  Elisha’s miracles Number 8, Barrenness healed; Number 9, Resurrection of a Boy; Number 12, Leprosy in Naaman healed; Number 13 Discernment of Gehazi and Number 14 Leprosy of Naaman given to Gehazi were all fulfilled during Gehazi’s lifetime and in his presence.  Gehazi was directly involved in at least these five great miracles, yet he allowed the devil to overtake him and cause him to be destroyed.  

Let’s look at some of the lessons that can be learned from this story related to Gehazi’s life.  1.  Lying, cheating and covetousness will take you down, no matter who you are.  

2.  Being around holy men of God does not necessarily make a person holy.  (This also means that your father or mother is saved doesn’t mean that you are saved.)    

3.  When the consequences of your actions hit home, you are not the only one affected.  Your loved ones can be negatively affected as well.

4.  Be sure your sins will find you out (Numbers 32:23). 

Let us pray:  Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for the opportunities and privileges that you bestow upon us.  Please help us to never forget who You are and who the people are that You have placed over us.  Help us to remain faithful and holy throughout our lives.  In the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.