Although God commands against idolatry, idolatry is one of the worst curses a person could get involved with. Look at the first three Commandments that are actually linked together … and remember that God saved the believer out of the bondage of evil and the devil’s clutches.
Ex 20:2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
(1) No other gods, (2) No idols and (3) No using God’s name in vain. There is one God who must not be substituted by some idol because that is taking God’s name in vain. Apart from God saying He is jealous in verse 5, we read that God’s name is Jealous:
Ex 24:14 Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
My point today is that we need to be extremely careful as Christian people by substituting God for an idol … one unknown to others. It is a hidden idol, a silent god … but not unseen by God. God is jealous by nature and God is Jealous by name. He has the right because He owns all things and He owns His people too. We need to understand how serious idolatry is
Col 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.
Greed which is idolatry is part of the earthly nature and is idolatry. Now we continue with the story of Naaman …
1) The scheming idolater.
2Ki 5:19 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.”
Naaman and his servants are on their way back to their land and king. Gehazi, servant to Elisha displays his greed, which is idolatry. To understand what the Bible is saying means to grasp that although Gehazi served the Man of God, he did not serve God. He knew of God. He even took His name in vain saying … As surely as the LORD lives. Now see where the self, greed and idolatry come in … I will run after him and get something from him. That statement means he will secure some of the gifting Elisha refused. Idolatry is in his heart because he knew why his master refused it … but he wanted it! As the children of God we need to be careful that we don’t entertain sinful scheming. We need to trust God, praying for His guidance and provision and not take matters into our own hands.
2) The lying idolater.
2Ki 5:21 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.’”
Gehazi pursues Naaman who sees and stops. He is cordial and friendly, enquiring if there is a problem. What follows is the lie. He uses Elisha’s name in vain as he lies. This is also using God’s name in vain because the Prophet represented God. Gehazi fabricates a story that sounds so plausible. My master sent me to say. How foolish! If Elisha could tell Naaman to wash in the Jordon to be healed surely he would know Gehazi lied! But then idolatry will do just about anything … in this case, greed is greed! What he asks for is far less than Naaman had brought because he needed to make it look as though Elisha, who refuse the gifts, had changed his mind but remained conservative. However conservative, one bag of silver and two sets of clothing is an extremely valuable gift. Remember how the serpent deceived the woman in the Garden of Eden? Do you know what actually happened there?
(1) The serpent is the devil.
Rev 12:9 The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray.
(2) The devil is the father of lies.
(3) Liars belong to the devil.
Joh 8:44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Gehazi is a child of the devil.
Each time you want to lie or start telling a lies remember who the father of lies is. If you belong to Jesus you will do your utmost to tell the truth and live in the Truth.
3) The satisfied idolater.
2Ki 5:23 “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.
He is given more than he asked for … two bags of silver plus clothing, this would make him a wealthy man. It’s always amazing to me to see how the greedy tend to satisfy their lusts. May I encourage you to protect yourself through much prayer to prevent greed which is idolatry in your life? Once it grabs you it is like any addiction. It controls and dominates and brings you into that sphere where you a slave in bondage to your idol … and the devil, who being the father of lies tells you that you are okay, God wants you to be rich and enjoy wealth. Allow me to add quickly that wealth is not the sin, greed is idolatry.
Pe 13:11 Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.
Dear Lord our providing God, help us Your people to trust and depend upon You for our every need. Protect us from being deceived by the evil one because we ask is Jesus name. Amen.