The Bible gives us so many figures to learn from. Some of them are great men of God, while some of them are unnamed people whose lives bring very precious lessons to us.
One such person we can learn from is a man named Gehazi. This man appears for a short time in the Bible, but his appearance brings important lessons to all Christians the world over.
Who is Gehazi and what can we learn from him? Let's talk about that.
A servant who saw great things happen
Gehazi is the servant of the prophet Elisha. He was first mentioned in 2 Kings 4:12, where Elisha would command him to do something.
Gehazi saw many miracles take place. He witnessed a childless woman (and her old husband) have a child (verse 17). When the woman's child, a boy, died, he saw him live again (verses 35-37).
Gehazi saw miracles other than that. He saw a poisonous pot of stew be purified and made safe to eat (verses 38-41). He also a hundred people satisfy themselves with but a few portions of food, with much leftover (see verses 42-44).
These accounts would make us think that Gehazi was very fortunate to have witnessed with his own eyes things that no normal man can do without God. It must have been very exciting and hair-raising to see a dead boy back to life, something poisonous become edible, and a hundred people have their fill from a little amount of food.
2 Kings 5, however, would reveal to us something wrong in his heart: greed.
No place for greed
In 2 Kings 5, we read how a leper was healed of his leprosy. Naaman, the Syrian commander considered as a mighty man of valor despite his being a leper, went to Israel in search for healing. He was later directed towards Elisha, who would give him instructions that he needed to follow for his healing.
Naaman was healed after following Elisha's instructions. In his happiness, he urged Elisha to receive the gifts he had brought, but Elisha did not budge in his refusal.
Gehazi, however, had something else in mind: he wanted to receive Naaman's gifts.
We read from verses 20 to 25 how Gehazi hatched a devious plan of action to acquire Naaman's gifts. Upon returning home, he even lied to Elisha in an attempt to keep the silver and garments he had acquired through deceit.
In verses 26 and 27, we read the consequences of his deceit: he was rebuked by Elisha, and he had Naaman's leprosy cling to him (and his descendants).
What we can learn from Gehazi
And so, dear friends, what can we learn from Gehazi? Here are a few things that we need to keep in mind.
1) We can see God move and yet no humility in the life of the individual
Truth be told, spiritual gifts and character are not one and the same. We can see miracles and move in anointings, but if we are not careful our hearts could grow corrupted.
Gehazi saw amazing miracles happen before his eyes, but instead of being humbled by them he grew more corrupted.
2) Serving God has its benefits - and challenges
While serving God surely has its benefits, it also brings many challenges to us. Some of these challenges come in the form of doubt, unbelief, and temptations.
Gehazi failed to wake up the dead child (2 Kings 4:31). He probably didn't believe that such a small amount of food would satisfy a hundred men (or perhaps wanted the food for himself; see 2 Kings 4:43). He was tempted by silver and clothing and gave in to his greed (see 2 Kings 20-25).
As such, we must be careful with our hearts and minds. Just because we're serving God doesn't mean we're safe from such things.
3) Consequences follow our every choice, even if we serve God
Gehazi's greed was met with unpleasant consequences. We cannot expect to be exempted from the consequences of our sin, even if we spend all that we are to serve ministers or the church. Sin is sin, and must be repented of and renounced.
Service to the church will not atone for our sins. Only Christ does that.