a. Temptation begins with a momentary lustful thought. Gehazi saw the treasures refused by Elisha. He coveted the treasure. He justified his lustful thoughts. The devil assured him that he would not be caught. He devised a plan. (James 1:14-15) “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.“
b. He did not think of how he could ever use those treasures. He did not think about the spiritual consequences. Yielding to temptation never satisfies. The pleasures of sin are only for a season (Heb 11:24-25).
c. He should have ran to God’s way of escape (1Co 10:13).
d. Remember, how you respond to the first moment of temptation could cost you dearly.
2. He Yielded to Temptation (v.21)
a. Gehazi followed Naaman.
b. The passion of lust pushed aside his guilty conscience as he jogged down the road. He was drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Sin was just moments away. Lustful emotions were at a peak. They deaden the conscience and blur his clear thinking.
c. This is a critical phase of any temptation. The choice has been made but the sin has not yet been committed. It is as the young man who lusted after the sensual woman in Proverbs 7:22. “He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks;“
d. During this stage of his temptation, he still had time to turn around.
3. His lust conceived and he lied (v.22-23)
a. His lie was not logical, but it served its purpose.
b. His lie probably caused Naaman to think that Elisha was not sincere when he refused to take the reward from him (v.16). This also put the LORD in a bad light because Elisha was a servant of the LORD.
c. Whether Naaman suspected that he was lying or not, we cannot say, but God knew.
d. Have you noticed that one sin always leads to another and another? If you lie, you will soon need another lie to cover the first lie. If you yield to sensual lust, it will soon lead to more lust. Porn addicts all started with a first lustful look. Anger leads to more anger. Gossip leads to more gossip. Bitterness leads to hate and hate leads to revenge. One drink of alcohol leads to another. Few drunks ever intended to become a drunk.
4. He then hid his sinful treasures (v.24)
a. Two of Naaman’s servants carried the treasures for Gehazi to the entrance tower of the city. He then had to find a way to carry the heavy load stealthy into the city to his house where he stored them.
b. Lust focusses on momentary pleasure not on the future problems that will follow. Could he wear the fancy clothing? Could he use the large amount of sliver without suspicion?
5. He lied again to cover his sin (v.25-26)
a. Here is where he really begins to sweat. He had to act calm and normal in front of Elisha his master.
b. God had revealed the whole lustful greed, theft and cover-up to Elisha. Again, Gehazi had to lie to cover his sin (v.25).
c. Elisha rebuked his sin of greed. Remember, the gifts of Naaman really belonged to God because God had healed him not Elisha. Gehazi was really taking something that belonged to God. That is often true of our lustful greed as well.
6. His greed cost him a life of shame and suffering (v.27)
a. Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, and cost you more than you want to pay.
b. That certainly was true for Gehazi. He got to keep the two garments and two talents of silver, but he also got the dreaded disease of leprosy. For the remainder of his life, he was Gehazi the leper.
7. Reminders for us
a. God knows the thoughts and intents of our hearts (Heb 4:12).
b. Coveting is a sin that grows and spreads like cancer. It is wanting more than God has given to you. It is not being content.
c. The safest time to flee temptation is the moment it enters your mind.
d. If you are pondering a temptation and thinking that it won’t hurt you, you are like the mouse examining the tempting bait on the trap thinking it is harmless. Do not be a fool. Run!
e. The consequences of sin are always worse than the devil wants you to think they are. One preacher wisely described Samson’s sin as binding, blinding, and grinding. For Gehazi sin was dulling, decaying and deadly.