Naaman has got healed after his 7th Dip and then now he's returned to Elisha to give him gifts of clothing and riches, but Elisha refuses. Hence, Naaman, asks for some mud from the land so he can go back and build an altar for the Living God in his place. Later Gehazi chases Naaman and asks for the gifts that Naaman was planning to give Elisha, without Elisha's consent.
17 "If you will not," said Naaman, "please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the LORD. 18 But may the LORD forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the LORD forgive your servant for this." 19 "Go in peace," Elisha said.
After Naaman had traveled some distance, 20 Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, "My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him."
I couldn't help but notice the stark difference in the way Naaman and Gehazi behaved at this situation. This man Naaman, came to know the Lord for the first time in his life and is awestruck and worshipful towards God, on the other hand Gehazi has gone to make better of this opportunity. Gehazi wants to make some money. I wondered, what just happened here? Wasn't Gehazi right by the side of Elisha himself, every time there was a miracle being performed. Isn't this the 1st time something so miraculous has happened in Naaman's life. Why then did Gehazi run for money, where Naaman was so overwhelmed by God's power and decided to follow him. I think it has something to do with "complacency" or "leaving the first love". Here are a few questions I asked myself, well before I go ahead I wanted to make clear , I judge myself, so that no one will judge me...so these lessons from the lives of people in the Bible, help me keep myself on track.
What am I serving God for?-For a house, for money, for health...or whatever we might need, in exchange of our service??? Well thats a very powerful question. If we are coming to Jesus ONLY for these things, we might as well be behaving like Gehazi. How many times I have said, I know, God if you do this/that for me, I will never leave you.
But the question is, how many times have I said like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did "16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. 18 But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."
At the end of our time here on earth, will God say..
3You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. (Revelation 2:3-5 )
I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first. Revelation 2:18-20
The only way we can know for sure is to let the Word of God do what it does best,
"For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow;
it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.Hebrews 4:11-13"
prune us and make us all the more powerful in knowing our Lord, in the way that Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego did, so we'd be sooooooo sure that our God is for us and no one can be against us, and we will follow God not because of that carrot on the stick principle, but because we WANT to follow God because we love Him for His love for us, because He's the One who loved us first.