Leaving his desires, needs and comfort aside. Getting completely involved in his master’s life. Helping his master with his plans, desires and activities. Being a messenger. Accompanying someone. Acting in someone’s place. Carrying out humble but necessary tasks. Managing finances. Managing housework. Never act in his benefit, but his master’s. How did all those tasks prepare Elisha and Gehazi to be good prophets?
Carrying out their tasks as servants correctly helped them to develop these virtues: Humbleness. Self-control. Concern about the necessities of others. Development of their faith. Trust in God. Leaving the self aside and serving others. … Every believer must be a servant. Jesus, as our Master, became a servant to be a model.
Gehazi was a faithful servant to Elisha for years. He learnt through his preaching and miracles during that time. Do we use correctly the teachings of our Master while we are faithful servants of our Lord? He drank of the bitter spring of Jericho which was sweeten by Elisha (2 Kings, 2: 19-22) He learnt about respect to prophets when some mocking lads died (2 Kings, 2: 23-24) He helped in the schools of prophets (2 Kings, 4: 38) He saw the fulfilment of Elisha’s prophecies about Moab (2 Kings, 3: 4-37) He witnessed how the oil of the widow multiplied (2 Kings, 4: 1-7) He was an active part in the born and resurrection of the Shunammite’s son (2 Kings, 4: 8-37) He ate the poisoned meal that Elisha made edible (2 Kings, 4: 38-41) He helped to feed 100 men with 20 loaves of barley bread and some ears of new corn (2 Kings, 4: 42-44)
FIRST MEETING WITH THE SHUNAMMITE He was sensitive to the woman’s feelings. He looked for a solution to her necessities. SECOND MEETING WITH THE SHUNAMMITE He was insensitive to the woman’s feelings. He was unable to solve her necessities. In the years between the two meetings, Gehazi stopped worrying about his mission and started to put himself and his necessities in the centre of his thoughts.
“Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, had had opportunity during the years to develop the spirit of self-denial characterizing his master’s lifework. It had been his privilege to become a noble standard-bearer in the army of the Lord. The best gifts of Heaven had long been within his reach; yet, turning from these, he had coveted instead the base alloy of worldly wealth. And now the hidden longings of his avaricious spirit led him to yield to an overmastering temptation” E.G.W. (Prophets and Kings, cp. 20, pg. 250)
GEHAZI: AN UNFAITHFUL SERVANT NAAMAN He despised Elisha’s order “Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel?” He obeyed the prophet He bathed seven times in Jordan River He was healed His skin was healthy the seventh time He converted to God “Your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord” GEHAZI He despised Elisha’s attitude “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought” He disobeyed the prophet He asked Naaman for money and clothes and hid them He contracted leprosy He received Naaman’s leprosy He rejected God He exchanged God’s servitude for wealth’s servitude
He could have been the next prophet of Israel, becoming co-protagonist in the divine history. Instead of that, he lived telling the great exploits of the man he served. Despite everything, he was used by God to do one more miracle: giving the Shunammite’s possessions back to her. Remember what God did for you in the past, but never forget that He will do greater things for you in the future. Live always as a faithful servant, because the Lord you serve will never disappoint you.
Christian ministers, physicians, teachers, have a broader work than many have recognized. They are not only to minister to the people, but to teach them to minister. They should not only give instruction in right principles, but educate their hearers to impart these principles. Truth that is not lived, that is not imparted, loses its life-giving power, its healing virtue. Its blessing can be retained only as it is shared” E.G.W. (The ministry of healing, cp. 9, “Teaching health principles”, pg. 148) “The church of Christ is organized for service. Its watchword is ministry. Its members are soldiers, to be trained for conflict under the Captain of their salvation.
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