These “Beaver Tale” homilies that you get from me are an “iron sharpening iron” exercise … inviting your input to enlighten my contemplations. One of my ongoing delights is discovering, contemplating and communicating two things:
- practical and applicable blessings
- unobserved nuggets of inspiration in scripture
I have the special opportunity of being part of a Discussion Group that instigates some fabulous stimulations … and my fingers bubble over to share them with others. Hope you don’t mind? (I try to keep them to two minutes, or less, to read.)
Blessing: May you be enthused at realizing that you have a spiritual treasure chest of generational blessings with your name on it. They are being released to you incrementally over the course of your life at appointed, appropriate times.
Nugget: Gehazi, the personal servant of Elisha, reveals himself as a total lame brain. The record in II Kings 5 indicates that he had a very small perspective of what Elisha did, or even of who God was. He had no idea of the vision or values of Elisha. He was a bald faced liar who deliberately and outrageously sold out to his own premeditated badness. And he was obnoxious enough that he did it in the name of God and of Elisha. People who do blatant, inexcusable, intentional, wickedness don’t do it as a onetime event. They are perpetrators of ‘brain rot’ spiraling down into a morass of deeper sin beginning from one innocuous decision that lead to another. It boggles my mind attempting to evaluate why Elisha kept him in his employ, or why he even brought him on in the first place. (I have similar questions of why Jesus prayed about and selected Judas to be a close disciple.)
The story of Gehazi’s deceit unravels quickly as he acted and lied his way through a whole series of events. The record here started with Naaman’s visit and Elisha’s underlying reasons for not seeing him or of accepting payment. Gehazi’s thoughts on the matter were radically different and short sighted. He deceitfully pursued Naaman, secretly carried out his plans and told a bald faced lie to Elisha declaring that he’d not been doing anything. It’s interesting that Elisha’s question included an elaborate list of extras beyond the clothes and silver Gehazi had acquired. “Is this the time to take money, or to accept clothes, olive groves, vineyards, flocks, herds, or menservants and maidservants?” Gehazi had obviously formulated some elaborate plans.
There is no ambiguity in this story of Gehazi’s deliberate violation; of Elisha’s desire to uphold God’s reputation; or of God’s judgment on both Gehazi and the generations after him, forever, to be plagued with leprosy. He was completely written off by God for his intentional sin with an endless judgment to all his generations.
But then we go on to II Kings 8. Gehazi shows up again, this time making a report to the King of Israel about the miracle that Elisha had accomplished with the Shunamite woman and her son. That is an interesting story in itself, but the point I want to focus on is the fact that Gehazi was now a Court Reporter. It was absolutely illegal for a leper to come into the King’s presence. There was also a moral law that lepers were to be totally excluded from society. So what was he doing in the highest circles of officialdom?
Obviously he wasn’t a leper anymore. Somewhere in the few years between chapters five and eight he had repented of his monumental sin and God had healed him. There was no excuse for his former, intentionally wicked lifestyle. There was no ambiguity in God’s severe judgment on his sin … but it is also obvious that God’s judgment was not final. When Gehazi initiated repentance, God forgave him and restored him from social brokenness and set him to be honoured by the King.
How bad or wicked have you been? God is still on the throne and can rule a decisive overriding factor of forgiveness!
May you be blessed with being partnered with God for His purposes, using problems as a platform to see Him work in ways that are unmistakably Him. (Colossians 2:15)
(original post July 27 2014)