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May 31, 2012

This blog is about two servants; one becomes a leader, and the other becomes a leper.  Their names are Elisha and Gehazi.

The books of Kings give an account of the life of Elisha, who was a servant of the prophet Elijah for approximately eight years. When Elijah was taken from this earth, Elisha was granted a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. The Bible records Elisha doing twice the miracles done by his predecessor. Apparently, his time spent with Elijah was inspirational and instructive. He was impressed with the qualities of Elijah and wanted to be like him but on a grander scale. The words of Paul in Philippians 4:9 can be seen portrayed in Elisha’s life,  “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

Gehazi unfortunately, was different; he had the same opportunity to learn from his master; however, he failed miserably. When Gehazi is first mentioned in 2 Kings 4, which tells the story of the Shunammite woman, he is already in the position of a servant to Elisha. At first, he appears sensitive to the desire of the Shunammite woman and can share this insight with his master. Years later, when this woman’s son dies, he is unable to perceive her grief and is stopped from manhandling her by Elisha.  Elisha sent Gehazi with his staff to place it upon the face of the dead child, but the child did not respond. Lacking the anointing for the task Gehazi returns to Elisha, and Elisha comes and does what he expected Gehazi to accomplish.

In 2 Kings 5, the narrative of the healing of Naaman, the leper and the duplicity of Gehazi is told. After Elisha heals Naaman, Gehazi lies to Naaman, and receives monies and clothing for himself and then lies to Elisha about his actions.  Consequently, Gehazi’s covetousness, merchandising the gift of God, and deception causes Elisha to curse him and his future generations with leprosy.

At first in his role of a servant, Gehazi appears attentive and sensitive, but as the years pass, he becomes callous and manipulative. Gehazi failed to understand the divine connection and the spirit of transference. He failed in performances and missed his opportunity to advance in ministry. All the years Gehazi traveled with Elisha he should have been mindful of Elisha’s feelings, teachings, lifestyle, and character. He did not take advantage of the positive things that he could have learned to advance his future. He did not realize Elisha was sowing seeds into his life.

It would be a wonderful thing if all believers had the heart of a servant and felt that the ministry in which they belong was divinely ordered by God. It would be a wonderful thing if all believers continually partook of the spiritual reservoir offered to them by their pastor and church. It would be a wonderful thing if we heard pastors complaining because their congregation was spiritually draining them of all they had to offer and they needed to replenish themselves for the hungry flock. It would be a wonderful thing if we saw pastors beaming over a member’s accomplishments in the work of the ministry. It would be a wonderful thing if we were like Elisha and not Gehazi. It would be a wonderful thing if we did not miss our opportunities to emulate the great qualities and spiritual gifts of our leaders.

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