Gehazi’s Greed And Punishment


Naaman returned from the Jordan to Elisha’s house in Israel (about 25 miles). With a deep sense of gratitude and hands full of gifts, he attempted to pay Elisha, but the prophet refused to accept anything for his ministry (vv. 15-16). Naaman’s urging did not budge Elisha. The man of God had not performed his healing of Naaman for pay. The false prophets could easily be bought, but not Elisha. Naaman then requested the amount of two mule loads of earth to take back to Syria (vv. 17-19). He intended to use this in making an altar to the Lord. It appeared that he believed that no god could be worshiped except in its own land or on an altar built with the dirt of that land.

Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, became greedy for what Naaman had offered to give Elisha. He pursued Naaman on foot and when he overtook the caravan, Naaman stopped and asked if anything was wrong. Gehazi lied when he said his master had received unexpected guests and needed the silver and clothing that he had refused earlier (vv. 20-22). Naaman was happy to make this provision and even urged Gahazi to take twice as much silver and clothing that he had offered before (vv. 23-24). He even provided two servants to carry these gifts back to Elisha. When Gehazi returned to Elisha, he did not realize it, but Elisha already knew what had happened (vv. 25-26). He was judged by God with the transfer of Naaman’s leprosy to himself (v. 27).


I must never allow greed to enter into my life or be deceitful in order to get things I may want. If I do everything for pay on this earth there will be no rewards when I get to heaven.


II Kings 5:15-27 (English Standard Version)

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