In the account of the miraculous healing of Namaan the Syrian at the hands of Elisha at Samaria, we see an example of something that is all too common today in the churches. Elisha had a servant named Gehazi and this is what happened after Namaan was healed and after Elisha had declined to take payment from him:
2Ki 5:19-27 He said to him, “Go in peace.” But when Naaman had gone from him a short distance, (20) 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.” (21) So Gehazi followed Naaman. And when Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and said, “Is all well?” (22) And he said, “All is well. My master has sent me to say, ‘There have just now come to me from the hill country of Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothing.’”
(23) And Naaman said, “Be pleased to accept two talents.” And he urged him and tied up two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of clothing, and laid them on two of his servants. And they carried them before Gehazi. (24) And when he came to the hill, he took them from their hand and put them in the house, and he sent the men away, and they departed.
(25) He went in and stood before his master, and Elisha said to him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant went nowhere.” (26) But he said to him, “Did not my heart go when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Was it a time to accept money and garments, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male servants and female servants? (27) Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever.” So he went out from his presence a leper, like snow.
Continue reading “Gehazi is Still Among us – and often he is in charge!”
You shall have no other gods before me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. (Exodus 20:3-6)
The sum of the Law of God is the two greatest commandments: love God, love your neighbor. Jesus said so. No doubt about it.
Now, this is a rather strange thing. This means then that when we give our entire being, heart, mind, and soul, to the Lord, we are enabled to do the same to our neighbor. Love God. Love others. It is strange, I say, because it would seem that logically if you give all of yourself to the Lord there will be nothing left to give to your neighbor. But it isn’t so. The more we love the God of the Bible, the living and true God, the more love flows from us to others.
Continue reading “Idolatry Will Never Produce Love for Others”
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Mat 7:1-5)
We have all had the “do not judge” card pulled on us when we pointed out some wickedness in an abuser who is pretending to be a Christian. “Now, don’t judge. We are all sinners, you know.” That nonsense. And let me show you that it is indeed nonsense by asking and answering just one simply question that should be quite obvious in this Scripture passage:
Who is Jesus speaking to here?
Continue reading “Let’s Get “Do Not Judge” Right and Stop Using it to Justify the Wicked”