Greed is Good?

After Naaman had traveled some distance, 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."

So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. "Is everything all right?" he asked.

"Everything is all right," Gehazi answered. "My master sent me to say, 'Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.' "

"By all means, take two talents," said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left. Then he went in and stood before his master Elisha.
   "Where have you been, Gehazi?" Elisha asked.
   "Your servant didn't go anywhere," Gehazi answered.

But Elisha said to him, "Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money, or to accept clothes, olive groves, vineyards, flocks, herds, or menservants and maidservants? Naaman's leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever." Then Gehazi went from Elisha's presence and he was leprous, as white as snow. 2 Kings 5:19-27

“Greed is good.” Nowadays you hear the phrase a lot. But more often than not, greed will get you into a lot of trouble and excessive greed will put you into jail.

In the story above, the Prophet Elisha had just told Naaman to dip himself into the Jordan seven times to be healed. He did and was healed. Naaman offered to pay for that service. Elisha refused. Now we see Gehazi looking to make a little cash on the side. Obviously it doesn't do us any good to question the wisdom of trying to put something over on a man who is very very close to God and prophesies with accuracy on God's behalf. Gehazi's greed gets the best of him, because not only was he greedy, but he tried to cover up his sin. The coverup in most instances is much worse than the sin.

Gehazi’s greed was obvious. Wikipedia defines greed as the “self-serving desire for the pursuit of money, wealth, power, food, or other possessions, especially when this denies the same goods to others.” It’s painful to see that definition because we can relate more than we care to admit.

Leave a Reply