|설교본문||2 Kings 5:20-27|
|설교 한 주일||September 11, 2011|
2 Kings 5:20-27
Nobody wants to be questioned. The students don’t like to be examined or tested, so do I? But these questions are not “what is this” or “what is correct”. The questions are in the last part of Chapter 5 of 2 Kings. There are three questions; actually, the man of God, Elisha, questioned to his servant, Gehazi.
(Reading of 2 Kings 5:20-27 – NIV)
20Gehazi, 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.” 21So 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. 22“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.’” 23“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. 24When 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. 25Then he went in and stood before his master Elisha.
“Where have you been, Gehazi?” Elisha asked.
“Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered. 26But 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? 27Naaman’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.
Elisha was working for the Lord. He has one point of view so also he had one goal in his life which is serving the Lord. Unfortunately, Elisha had one servant named Gehazi; actually, what he has done before is now to be floated up above the water so everybody can see; which means, what kind of man he used to be. Sometimes, we don’t know what kind of man I am or what kind of man he is in the sight of God or in the sight of the master. In contrast, you see the name of Naaman, one general of the enemy country of Syria. When you see 2 Kings 5:2 it says that Naaman was highly respected by his king. Naaman the General, the soldier of the enemy country was respected in the sight of that king. One man named Gehazi, servant of Elisha, was he really respectful in the sight of his master Elisha and the Master of the masters, our God? In addition to this, I would like to pull out your interest into this topic – are you really respectable in the sight of God, your Master?
There are always many questions. When you open your gate, it seems like mails delivered. When you open the gate of your daily life, you are facing with many questions. Sometimes, the question that you are struggling to solve (that problem) is because you don’t know what to do. Nobody wants to have difficult questions. Whether you like it or not, when you open the gate of your life, your daily life, in front of your door without ringing the bell, there were always questions that are being stocked or put in front of your gate. You don’t like those questions. We want to go the easy way. We want to go as we like. Suppose or consider ourselves that we are okay which means that “I’m okay. I’m always being fully respected by our master because I’m in the church for how many years. I’m doing this…I’m doing that…I’m serving the Lord…I am serving the Lord as a missionary…as a pastor…as leaders…teachers and praise and worship…etc…I know, because when I’m doing this, I have energy. I believe that energy comes from the Lord so I think I am really being respected by the Lord.” Sure or not? I want you to check it by yourselves.
Gehazi was thinking why his master, Elisha, never get any present from General Naaman. Why? It is not guilty. It is not stealing. Nothing is bad getting that present from the general. “Why, my Master Elisha refused to accept it? I am only servant. I have no house. I just get board inside the house of my Master Elisha. I have no salary. I have no pension. I have no SSS. I have no pag-asa (hope). I have no PAG-IBIG… If only my master could have received those things from the general, he can do many things. That’s not against with our moral or ethic in our contextualized ethic…” Many people say this even in our churches in Christianity.
There is paradox or dilemma I just got from one article in 1987 which one pastor wrote that there was one man who came to his office asking for counseling. The pastor said in that article, that man is struggling because want to live as a Christian, following the way that most Christian should do. One problem he has in that article was that man had one wife but his wife doesn’t like her husband having a real good Christian life. The man wants to be a real Christian but his wife wants to be real non-Christian because his wife, even on Saturday night, she wants to drink over the night… “Life is very short…let’s drink until morning…” and so his wife. “Otherwise if you’re going to the church, if you live just like a real Christian I’m going to leave you…” his wife said. “Another problem I have in my business because we have like a joint venture in a small business, my partner wants the business like a little tricky so that he can pull out some more profit.” I don’t know in detail. “So, that situation always stops me. Pastor, what can I do?” That is his question. If you were him, what is your question and what is your answer will be? “Pastor, I never think about that because I have no problem. In the Philippines, everything is okay – we have very good system; we have very good government; we have very good barangay; we have very good church; we have no problem.” Maybe yes, praise the Lord!
Gehazi has same problem, “Why my Master? I know he is not even rich. If he is not rich, I am also because I’m getting something from him.” So, according to the Bible in verse 20, “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.” He knows everything what Naaman brought from Samaria into Israel. It was really big things. According to the Bible, the amount he could bring by himself was full of sacks so that two men could barely move and carry on that amount of silver.
What is the position of Gehazi? He was thinking, “Those were the things my Master refused. I’ll just ask small thing like 10 percent only…” so he followed and looked after that general. And then he asked, “Can you give me some more because I have two young boy from Ephraim…can you give me just one talent of silver and one set of garment or cloth?” Do you know how much is the meaning of silver and cloth? That’s everything at that time. And then the general said, “Only one? I have ten talents, you ask just only one? No problem. Never mind, you’ll have two talents. This is the garment and this is the two talents for you.” “Oh, I asked one, it’s double portion of blessing! Thank you Lord!”
When he came back to his Master Elisha, there’s one question: “Where have you been? Gehazi’s life in this scene started with a lying. Lie followed by lies; lying followed by speaking another story and excuse and lying; full of lie in his life because once he started. The question number one – maybe this question would be the question asked to us – ‘where have you been, Gehazi?’ My wife often asks me, “Where have you been?” Maybe your husband often asks you, “Where have you been?” Maybe your parents often ask you, “Where have you been?” Where have you been which means in that place, in that space what did you do? If God ask you today, “Where have you been?” what is your answer? Brothers and sisters, there is the space where we, as Christian, must go and the place where Christian must not go and should not go.
“Where have you been?” “I met my friend…” “Over the night?” “Where have you been?” “I have alumni meeting…” “For the whole month?” “Where have you been?” “I don’t know…” That is the problem. When God ask you ‘where we’ve been’, our answer should be very clear and crispy. “God, you know I’ve been there! I was working this…very clear and spring sounds!” without thinking because everything is very clear and honest. The space where I was, the space where you were is the space that God is also there.
Second question, verse 26, “Was not my Spirit with you? When you get things from that general, was not my spirit with you?” which means, “You never think what, because you are my servant, you are my disciple! What you are doing that time when you receive that one which means it is very hard to control your mind.” Something happened, such great things, “Oh, I want to have that!” “But when you received that one, was my spirit touched your spirit?” That is the question number two. That’s the question Elisha asked his people – beloved disciple and servant, family member. At the same time, Jesus is asking, “My disciples in SFCF, when you are doing this, was not my Spirit with you? How come you did receive it? How come you touch, how come you pick it? Was not my Spirit with you? That’s how I pray! That’s how I taught you! That’s how I discipline!” That is question number two to us. First is the space; this is one dimension. It’s another dimension now; I’m talking about the Spirit. You cannot see the Spirit because the Spirit comes from the Spirit to the Spirit. There’s no any medium so that no one interrupt. Was not the Spirit of God with you? When your time is around you, the time you have to say yes or not, was not His Spirit with you? “Pastor Bang, I didn’t know…” You knew it, you just close your eyes or you just shut the door or gate of your heart. “Pastor Bang, because of my circumstances it made me does this…” Brothers and sisters, let’s don’t listen to the word from that whispering around your ears, “Hey, everybody understand because of your situation, its okay…” Brothers and sisters, it’s not okay. People says, “It’s okay, your master never get…that’s not stealing…that’s not killing. I don’t know what makes sense to me because your master never get. Why not? That’s because he want to give it to him. He wants to give these things to him! I really don’t understand my Master.” Brothers and sisters, many cases we think about that. “I don’t understand what my God is doing in my life! What makes so different getting this? What makes so different to go this place? What makes so different to have this? What makes so different to pick this one? Because without this I’m dying!” “Oh, you are dying, at last!”
Question number three is the question of time. Elisha asked Gehazi, “Is this the time for you to accept, to receive, to get things from him? Is this the right time, is this the good time, is this really the important time only your time, just right now that you will receive that things from him?” That’s how Elisha asked, “Is it the time you missed the train? Where have you been so consequently you missed the train? Where have you been so consequently you missed the blessing? Where have you been? When you are doing in that space, was my Spirit with you or not? And he said, “This is the time you receive that. Is this the only time you have in your life? Otherwise, you’re going to die so you thought that way.”
Three questions are now being asked to ourselves as real voice of God. Brothers and sisters, why God asked these questions to us today? Because He loves us, He trains us; He refines us putting inside the blazing fire to refine us asking, “Was not my Spirit with you?” In these three questions, what will be your answer? When the Spirit says, “Oh, my master never receive this one, but I need that. That’s not really big deal. I just get small. I just get one, not million.” In the computer, in the Central Processing Unit (CPU), there’s something inside – all the circuits, all the lines and whatever. If somebody cut one line, the whole CPU is not working. If the CPU is not working, the whole computer unit is out of order. Furthermore, “I am very small, I am nobody!” Nope. Who said you are nobody? Who said you are small? God paid the price because of you and me so that I am great, so that you are great. Because of that, God is questioning all the time where you’ve been to correct our course, our place and our altitude. He is always asking, “Did you get it? You know what I’m talking to you through my Spirit. Do you understand? Do you remember what I did in these circumstances? I never received. Did you see I refused to accept? So, you do the same.” When God is asking your spirit where you’ve been, “I’m on my mission getting something from the general which you had been refused…”
Brothers and sisters, why we are very weak in spirit? Because we have nothing to say to God. That is the strategy of Satan. Not because of your greatness, not because of your holiness, but because of the pure and grace of the blood of Jesus Christ, we are now remolded as great one. Speak to Him. Speak to God if He asks, “Where have you been? I’ve been here for you.” God never ask how much you get. God never ask how come you did not catch. But, God will ask why you are not in that space, the space where I was. Sin comes from your heart. Everybody commits sin. Think when you see great. “I want to get this, because I am hungry…because I am poor…because I have nothing…” You compromise. “It’s okay, I must get because he would give…” Brothers and sisters, let’s not compromise to be put yourself out of focus when you are really in need to die. I suggest and challenge you, cleave to God. Hang around Him because God would die for you whenever we are in His space, whenever we have a relation in Spirit, whenever doing in His time, His chronological time as well. May God bless you.
Rev. David Bang