God’s Word Is Alive
A Man Ruined by Greed
NAAMAN is grateful for being healed of his leprosy. He shows his gratitude by trying to give Elisha a gift of thousands of pieces of gold and silver, as well as ten changes of fine clothes. But Elisha refuses the gift. Jehovah actually performed the miraculous healing, and Elisha refuses to take any credit by accepting a gift.
But what of Elisha’s servant Gehazi? He greedily looks at those beautiful clothes and all that money. What will happen if Gehazi keeps wishing he could have some of these things? The improper desire could lead to his being drawn out and enticed so that he does what is bad.—James 1:13-15.
Well, eventually Naaman and his servants say good-bye and start off for their homes in Syria. But Gehazi does not stop thinking about those beautiful clothes and all that money. Look there! Gehazi is running off. Where is he going?
Gehazi chases after Naaman and catches up with him. Naaman greets Gehazi, asking: ‘Is everything all right?’
‘Yes,’ Gehazi replies. ‘But Elisha sent me to tell you that two visitors just came. And Elisha would like you to give them two changes of clothes and some silver.’ But this is a lie. Gehazi wants these things for himself. Naaman, however, does not know this, and so he is delighted to provide this gift. He even insists that Gehazi take more money than he asks for.
When Gehazi arrives back home, Elisha inquires: ‘Where have you been?’
‘Oh, nowhere,’ he replies. However, Jehovah has revealed to Elisha the bad thing Gehazi has done. So Elisha says: ‘This is no time to accept money and clothes! Now Naaman’s disease will come upon you and your offspring.’ Immediately Gehazi is struck with leprosy, and this terrible disease sticks to him for the rest of his life. What happened to Gehazi shows how greed can lead to ruin.—2 Kings 5:5, 15-27.