My Blessed Son never once charged one red cent to meet a need or perform a miracle. Neither did the prophet Elisha, whose life-style was one of unaffected simplicity. Once I used him to minister My healing to a Syrian army captain who had leprosy. This man was so grateful to Elisha that he offered him a great material reward. Elisha refused to take it, for he knew that it was I Who had healed this man, and he would touch neither the gold nor the glory. He even swore by the Living Lord that he would take no payment for his services. It was his cunning servant Gehazi who wanted payment for this miracle. Through stealth he resolved to filch a small part of what the Syrian would have given Elisha. He caught up with the man, claiming that two of Elisha’s disciples had just arrived, and needed some clothing and silver. Although Naaman was only too happy to give Gehazi these things, this deception reflected upon the integrity of Elisha’s earlier pronouncement, which he had made in My Name.
Naaman’s joy and gratitude toward Me were boundless, but ever after questions nagged at the back of his mind: Just why had Elisha firmly refused any material reward, only to change his mind so quickly? Had his God been unable to foresee the arrival of two needy visitors? Had He been forced to go back on His Word and depend on Naaman’s resources to meet their needs, because He had no other options? Were there, after all, limits on the power of the God of Israel, just like the gods of the Syrians? Or was this change of heart really Elisha’s idea, and a mere resort to situational ethics? Did the Word of the Almighty change like the wind? Because of greedy Gehazi, Elisha’s testimony was unjustly tarnished and My Glory was diminished in the eyes of the heathen.
Gehazi considered none of these things, as he hauled his treasures back to a hiding place, grinning so proudly. He thought all his bases were covered. He hadn’t really been greedy, he thought. He had filched only a small part of the Syrian’s silver, and none of his gold. Even if his master discovered his deed, surely he wouldn’t crack down on him too hard for such a minor league foible.
But I had already given Elisha divine revelation about Gehazi’s sin. When questioned, Gehazi lied to his master, saying he hadn’t gone anywhere. But Elijah wasn’t fooled.
The culprit never got to enjoy his illicit booty. My judgment fell upon this man because of his greed and deception. That same leprosy which had been lifted from Naaman fell upon Gehazi and all his descendants.
If, in that age of lesser light, I executed fearful judgment upon a man who made a one-time bid for a comparatively paltry sum; how much more will I take to task modern charlatans who, having been shown a far more glorious revelation, pillage My people again and again and again?