Gehazi? or Elisha?
by Ronald W Robey

2 Kings 5:20-22 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him. So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well? And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments.

Acts 20:33-35 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, had witnessed a miracle performed on Naaman the Syrian. Naaman was full of leprosy and sought the man of God that he might be restored to health and reunited with his people. Elisha gave Naaman a strange order, to wash seven times in the muddy waters of the Jordan river.

Naaman was bewildered. How could an unclean man wash himself clean by washing in waters that also were unclean? Wouldn’t water that was much purer do what was needed? No, it had to be the filthy waters of the Jordan river. Naaman, a man of great wealth, known and respected by many before the disease of leprosy had come upon him had to humble himself to the point that he would do that which to most men of nobility would seem degrading and humiliating… he had to humble himself to the point that he would actuully bathe in filth.

And when he obeyed, Naaman’s health was restored. The leprosy was gone!! What could be done for the man of God for such a miracle? Elisha offered to pay Elisha, but Elisha would not have anything to do with it. God’s work cannot be bought with silver or gold. Elisha knew full well that it was not his hand that had healed the leper, but the hand of Almighty God. God deserved the glory and praise, not man.

And so, Elisha returned to Samaria. But Gehazi, with greed in his heart, turned and followed after Naaman. When he caught up with him, he lied to Naaman and told him that his master Elisha had changed his mind and wanted payment for the healing.

When Elisha knew what Gehazi had done, Elisha decreed that Gehazi would be plagued with the same disease that had once been upon Naaman. Gehazi became the leper and outcast that Naaman once was.

Sadly, today there are many preachers who want to fashion their lives after both Elisha and Gehazi. They will stand behind pulpits, preaching the Word of God, while expecting the gain of man. Granted, not all preachers are out there for filthy lucre, but many are.

Pastors should be leading by example. They are to feed the Church of God, expecting nothing of man for that work. Elisha did not expect pay. Jesus commanded the the seventy disciples whom He sent out in Luke 10 not to accept pay.  He told them, “Freely ye have received, freely give.” The Apostle Paul, in Acts 20, told the Elders of the Church that he accepted no pay for his preaching of the Gospel. Paul said that he worked with his own hands to support himself and that they should follow his example.

Does this mean we cannot give a love offering once in a while? Not at all. I encourage love offerings for the pastor. But it is clear when reading God’s Word that the man of God was not to be paid for work he was doing for the Lord.

Too many pastors expect their flock to take care of them financially, when the Word of God reveals that the pastor should be working to meet his own financial needs. It is not the congregations responsibility to pay the preacher a weekly salary.

Pastors, follow the examples of Elisha and Paul. Don’t be a Gehazi.