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The Bridge to Naaman’s Conversion (Part 5)

I heard some horrific news today that shocked me terribly. As I thought through what I had heard I recalled:

Jer 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.

It made me think of two prisoners I visited in a prison many years ago in the Free State. The first had embezzled, was found guilty for fraud and released on a suspended sentence. Whilst on this suspended sentence, the person was found guilty for the same crime. The second was one ran an investment business and fraudulently used huge sums of peoples’ investments for himself. He was found guilty and imprisoned for a few years. Due to good behaviour he was released on early parole. After a few years he started a similar business and repeated the same crime only to land up in prison again.

Jer 13:23 Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.

Some people are so habitual and pathological in their crimes that they can disguise these from most people. But as the wheel turns, because the leopard can’t change its spots, so they cannot change. It’s just a matter of time before they get caught out … you see … the Bible says:

Nu 32:23 you may be sure that your sin will find you out. This is true in every case … and especially in the case of monetary fraud.

Although it was more than money (silver), the issue I have explained above related directly to Gehazi, the servant of the prophet Elisha.

1) The confident idolater.

2Ki 5:24 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. Naaman’s servants helped him carry the bags of silver and clothing to his house. He placed these things in the house. He hid it away from anyone’s eyes, especially that of Elisha. He oozed confidence like any criminal. “I got away with the perfect crime”. Naaman and his servants have left. By this time they were well on their way back home to their land. No witnesses … Picture how smug Gehazi was. For a servant he was quite wealthy! The picture that comes to mind is fudging the books, doing under the counter business or fiddling with the till. Where there might not be witnesses and auditors might not find the fudging … there is an eye that sees. It is the terrible, x-ray vision eye of God that sees!

2 Chrn 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

If His eyes range throughout the earth … those eyes see everything without exception! May I plead with you that if you are into something like this, come clean because if you don’t, rest assured you will be caught out … and if not here on earth, certainly on Judgment Day where the shame will be terrible because then all will hear!

2) The pathological idolatrous liar.

2Ki 5:25 Then he went in and stood before his master Elisha. “Where have you been, Gehazi?” Elisha asked. “Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered.

He returns to his master who inquires where he has been. He lies again because he serves his true master the devil. He is pathological. His father the devil is a liar and so is he. Here we find a real fact coming out. Just because a person serves in a church or as a pastor does not necessary mean he or she is a genuine child of God. If their words become twisted and their stories change, if they tell one person one story and another a different story, if they select what they say to one and include other information to others and if they tend to tell lies … beware … they are hiding the truth and cannot be trusted.

3) The idolater gets caught. It is not by accident that some men of God were called “seers”. If God revealed huge matters to Elisha, would He not reveal small matters such as Gehazi’s lies and deceit to him?

2Ki 5:26 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, olive groves, vineyards, flocks, herds, or menservants and maidservants?”

Maybe there was far more to Gehazi’s idolatry (greed and lust for money and possession) because the prophet mentions things not known to us before. Had he been accumulating “olive groves, vineyards, flocks, herds, or menservants and maidservants”? It seems like it and if he did he is a “Judas” as are those today who are engaging in Gehazi like behaviour. The Truth always wins.

4) The idolater’s punishment. Sometimes the punishment for unconfessed sin takes time … in Gehazi’s case it was immediate.

2Ki 5:27 “Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.”

Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and he was leprous, as white as snow. The pathological lying idolater’s punishment for his wickedness was at least fivefold.

(1) Naaman’s disease became his immediately.

(2) Naaman’s disease became Gehazi’s family’s immediately. This might not be mentioned but it’s covered under the word “descendants”.

(3) Gehazi’s descendants will also have the disease … forever!

(4) His disease was far worse than Naaman … he was leprous, as white as snow.

(5) He lost his employment … Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence.

Not only did he become an outcaste that would need to live in a leper colony … everyone who saw him realized that his amassed wealth that he could no longer use, was gathered through deceit and lies.

Don’t for a minute think you can escape the punishment of similar sins. You might not become diseased, lose your career or land up banished to prison … but unless you repent, come clean, surrender to Jesus, stopping your wickedness, God will deal with you in ways that will affect your life, livelihood, family, relationships, image in society … and long term relationship with God. Friend, if in any way you have been convicted in these Notes on Naaman and Gehazi, please deal with it before you reach the point of no return. Tomorrow we will look at a solution and a prevention to greed which is idolatry.

O Lord God, thank You for every account provided in the Bible. Help us to search our hearts to ensure holiness as we pray in Jesus name. Amen.

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