The story related in 2 Kings 5 presents two opposing characters, two religious backgrounds, and two final destinies.
First, Naaman had no knowledge about God and true religion. When he was told about the possibility of being healed by the prophet of God, he exercised his faith and took the risk of a long trip to Israel. After experiencing complete healing from his leprosy, he wanted to express his gratitude through generous gifts and especially by his commitment to worship the God of Israel.
Second, Gehazi was Elisha’s assistant who, as his spiritual mentor, was serving under Elijah’s leadership. He had the privilege to witness or to be part of numerous miracles and other ministry-related activities. He could have been the next prophet of Israel. But, as the biblical narrative mentions, he left Elisha’s presence with leprosy because of his greed, dishonesty, and unconverted heart.
We can see how one is healed, how the other is cursed. One goes home with joy, happiness, and a spirit of generosity, while the other leaves the scene with condemnation, shame, and leprosy. Both had an encounter with the same God, the same prophet, in the same place, at the same time.
What happens to us when we usually attend worship services? What is our real motivation when we come in God’s presence and listen to His prophetic messages? What are the results of being exposed to the same spiritual atmosphere of communal worship?
For an unconverted heart, spiritual privileges can degenerate into a curse. Someone can leave a church service with the same sins or consequences another was happy to give up. Let’s continue to follow Naaman’s example and experience forgiveness and joy of salvation in our hearts.
Titus Naftanaila, President