2 Kings describes the transition from God’s prophet, Elijah, to his successor, Elisha. Elisha performed many miracles by God’s power. We have so much to learn about God by how He worked through Elisha.
However, in this discussion I’m most interested in Elisha’s servant, Gehazi. We first meet Gehazi in 2 Kings 4:11. This is during Elisha’s initial time with the Shunammite woman. Gehazi witnessed Elisha’s prophecy that the barren woman would bear a son. He saw the boy, saw the boy dead, saw the boy raised to life.
He witnessed other examples of God’s power. Then Naaman arrived. Naaman was commander of the Aramean army (2 Kings 5). He was a great man… with leprosy. This was a big deal in the culture. For most, it marked you as a social outcast. Naaman had a female Israelite slave who told him about Elisha. Naaman loaded up gifts and treasure and promptly visited the King of Israel, who directed him to Elisha.
Elisha healed Naaman (it’s an interesting story and a great learning opportunity for Naaman – you should read chapter 5). But Elisha wouldn’t accept any payment. Here we see Gehazi again. Gehazi says 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.” 2 Kings 5:20
Gehazi collects his bounty and then lies about what he did to Elisha. For his deception, Elisha repays him with Naaman’s leprosy, forever.
This was so depressing to me when I read it the first time. Gehazi made a mistake, concealed it, and was cast aside. If I put myself in this story, if I’m honest. I’m Gehazi. I’ve made mistakes, I’ve sinned, I’ve lied. If a mistake is the end, I’m in big trouble.
Thank God this is not His way. God believes in second chances. God loves me. God loves you. The great news is that God has provided a path to forgiveness through belief in the death and resurrection of His son, Jesus.
Let’s now read 2 Kings 6. Aram is at war with Israel. Elisha aids the king of Israel. The enraged king of Aram sends a formidable force of men, horses, and chariots to surround the city where Elisha is staying. Verse 15 says:
When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.
It wasn’t a great morning for Gehazi; he was terrified. However, he was there! I was so happy to read this. Gehazi was still there. He was not cast aside. Not only that, but Elisha prays for his eyes to be opened so that Gehazi, too, could see the surrounding protection of chariots of fire. Gehazi was included in the miracle!
We see Gehazi again in 2 Kings 8:4 when the Shunammite woman returns from living in the land of the Philistines for seven years. He had come full circle. He began with Elisha and the Shunammite woman and, years later, saw the evidence of all that God had done through Elisha, for the woman, for many, for him.
Praise God. I, Gehazi.