In Today's Scripture Reading:
Widow's oil; Elisha and the Shunammite woman; Elisha's miracles; Elisha feeds 100 men; Naaman cured of leprosy; Gehazi's leprosy
Desperate to be healed of his leprosy, Naaman appeared before King Jehoram in Israel with ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. And . . . the letter (from King Ben-hadad of Syria that read) . . . I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover (cure) him of his leprosy (II Kings 5:2-6). Jehoram had no faith in God and thought that King Ben-hadad was seeking an excuse to declare war. And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard . . . that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel (5:8). When Naaman obeyed the words of the prophet, he was miraculously healed. Elisha refused the huge reward that Naaman offered him. But his greedy servant Gehazi persuaded himself that God had blessed him with the opportunity to be wealthy. He probably did not think it was much of a sin to gain wealth that he didn't deserve from someone who was ungodly and didn't need it.
When Naaman saw him running after him, he . . . said, Is all well? (5:21). Gehazi then told him this lie: My master hath sent me, saying . . . there be come to me . . . two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments (5:22). The schemer thought he could rush back before Elisha discovered he was missing. After Gehazi's return, Elisha asked: Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither. And he said unto him . . . Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow (5:25-27).
Gehazi forfeited his opportunity to be the next honored prophet of God. Instead, he became a leper! When Gehazi was tested, he exposed his true character as a covetous hypocrite.
Ask yourself the question Elisha asked Gehazi: Is it a time to receive money? — meaning: "What is your goal in life?" How will you respond to Christ, who said: Seek ye first the Kingdom of God? (Matthew 6:33).
By the meal that took the poison out of the pot (II Kings 4:40-41). Meal, made of crushed corn, speaks of Christ, who was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5) thereby removing the poison of our sin.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in honor of Reverend Jeff Brooks, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Pigeon Forge TN Assistant to the Ex. Dir. of the IBRA: Terry Hall Country: Philippines (76 million) in Southeast Asia Major languages: Filipino and English Religious persecution in some areas 80% Catholic; 9% Protestant; 8% Muslim (mostly Sunni); 3% Other (Buddhist, Animist, Nonreligious) Prayer Suggestion: Pray that Christians would be united as Christ and God are one (John 17:11,21).
Optional Reading: Romans 5
Memory Verse for the Week: I John 2:5