Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday - II Kings 5 - Expensive Garments

A gentile captain named Naaman was diagnosed with leprosy. It was an absolutely devastating physical disease in those days. Amazingly, there was a little Jewish girl in his house who felt compassion for this man. She expressed her wish that Naaman could go visit Elisha... believing that Elisha could heal him.

Perhaps it was Hazael of Syria who mistakenly sent Naaman to king Jehoram of Israel for healing. And, when the king of Israel reacted publically to what he considered to be an asinine proposal, Elisha volunteered his services.

When Naaman came to Elisha's house, Elisha didn't even come out to meet him. He sent him to the Jordan River to baptize himself 7 times.  This bothered Naaman.  Being a man of influence and power, he expected some kind of bombastic display. But, in the end, he set aside his pride and did wash in the Jordan to be healed.

When he returned to pay Elisha for his services, Elisha refused. However, Elisha's personal servant, Gehazi) was overcome with greed and coveted Naaman's wealth, particularly a couple of suits of clothing (II Kings 5:22 - 23). Gehazi's greed was strong enough that he lied to obtain a little wardrobe enhancement. But, while the healing of Naaman was free, the lust of Gehazi was not. He was cursed with the leprosy of Naaman because he had sought for a reward that wasn't rightfully his.  It was a high price to pay.

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