Gehazi was the servant of Elisha who got greedy and took gifts from Naaman when Elisha already declined them.
Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “See, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not accepting from his hand what he brought. As the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him.” 2 KINGS 5:20 ESV
When Paul warned his protégé Timothy that “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10), he may well have been thinking of Gehazi. This relatively minor character from the Old Testament demonstrates that greed can get the best of anyone, even a servant of one of God’s greatest prophets.
Gehazi was the servant of Elisha and had assisted him in some of the most amazing miracles of the Old Testament, including raising a young boy from the dead. Yet even after witnessing all these great acts of God, Gehazi allowed himself to be seduced by greed and even tried to deceive Elisha to hide his guilt.
It all started when an Aramean commander named Naaman came to
Elisha for healing from his leprosy. After Naaman was healed, he offered a gift to Elisha to show his gratefulness, but Elisha declined. Gehazi, however, must have seen the incredible treasure that Naaman was
offering Elisha, because he immediately schemed to collect some for himself. He ran back to Naaman and told him that Elisha changed his mind and requested 150 pounds of silver (about $24,000 today) and two sets of clothing for some other prophets! Gehazi then hid the items, returned to Elisha, and lied to cover up his sin. Elisha knew better, however, and told Gehazi that Naaman’s leprosy would now cling to him and his descendants forever.
From Achan (Joshua 7) to Gehazi (2 Kings 5) to Judas (Matthew 26:14–16), greed has always been a temptation for God’s people, even for those who work closely with godly leaders. Be careful not to fall into the sin of greed, which is really idolatry at its core (Colossians 3:5).