FROM THE PREACHER'S LENSES
|Sunday, May 7, 2023
here was at a time, a prophet of God by the name Elisha. He lived in Samaria, Israel.
God used him a lot to perform many miracles including a dead boy, the only son of his parents who he brought back to life.
You may read some of the stories in the book of 2Kings 4.
The stories of God in his life had spread to the neighboring countries such that the king of Syria sent his Army General by the name Naaman, to him for healing.
General Naaman had won many wars for Syria but he had a reproach. He was a leper.
General Naaman eventually approached Prophet Elisha for help.
The prophet did not even come out of his house to meet the General, he only sent message to him to go and wash in an unpopular river called Jordan.
The General was unhappy with the choice of the river but with the persuasion of his staff, he did and he was cleansed of his reproach.
General Naaman, in appreciation to the prophet flaunted many expensive gifts; gold, silver, clothes etc but the prophet couldn't be persuaded to accept any. However, his servant Gehaz, went behind his boss, pursued the General and collected equivalent of $4k worth of silver plus other things and the prophet strike the leprosy of Naaman on him and his generation.
So the topic of my sermon today is Prophet Elisha, the spirit of Gehazi and Today's Ministers of God.
Let us pray.
Again, I am preaching on "Prophet Elisha, the spirit of Gehazi and Today's Ministers of God"
Apostle Paul warned whoever wants to assume the position of a Pastor not to love money. Priesthood job, whether Christianity or Islam and love of money do not go together if the Priest or Imam should be effective in his calling.
The Apostle Paul wrote in 1Timothy 3 that it is a good ambition for anyone to desire to be a Pastor and he listed the conditions, which such a person must have among which is that "he must not be one who loves money"
Apostle Paul warned his spiritual son, Timothy that ---the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, which some people, craving for it, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows (1Tim.6:10).
Elisha was effective in his calling because he did not love money. Let anyone read the book of 2kings 5: 5 to learn what the General flashed to the prophet Elisha, which he refused to accept; $20,000 in silver, $60,000 in gold, and ten suits of clothing.
The prophet Elisha was so dedicated to God's duty such that God honored his dead body. A corpse thrown accidentally on his tomb, soon as it touched Elisha's bone came alive and jumped on his feet (2Kings 13:20-21).
But his servant Gehazi loved money. He couldn't understand how his boss would allow Naaman to go away with such heavy loads of gifts, so he pursued the General and lied to him that his boss, the prophet, has just got some visitors and needed some items to entertain them and he collected equivalent of $4k worth of silver plus other things (2Kings 5:21-23).
The prophet of God later questioned where he had been but he denied going anywhere. But could anything be hidden to such a man of God? Elisha challenged him "Is this the time to receive money and clothing and olive farms and vineyards and sheep and oxen and servants? 27 Because you have done this, Naaman's leprosy shall hang on you and upon your children and your children's children forever." (2Kings 5: 26-27)
Our nation, Nigeria is in the pitiful state where we are today because we have few Elishas and uncountable numbers of Gehaz who all claim to be in the service of God.
The spirit of Gehaz has entered and its ruling the hearts of those who call themselves "Men of God" on both sides of the isles" The nation is bereft of people who in the past are called "conscience of the nation" The nation is rudderless because people who are dedicated to the progress and pride of the nation are no more.
The nation is bereft of people who should give Godly directive in the running of the affairs of the nation because the love of money has overtaken them. Many actually went into priesthood work because of money.
The prophet Elisha did not pursue the Syrian army General to pray for his healing. It was the sick General who pursued the man of God and even after getting to the door of the man of God, the prophet did not even go out to meet the army General. He only sent instructions of how to get healed to him.
This is unlike what is happening with many of our so men of God in Nigeria on both sides of the isles today who their major desire is to gain the attention of the people in government, with the expectant of monetary reward.
They are on the TVs and Radios, predicting all sorts of nonsenses at a time when they ought to concentrate attention on how to get the nation back onto the path of glory, which we had lost, when people in the government were dedicated to moving the nation forward, when budgets were not diverted to private pockets, when righteousness reigned, when all citizens had good life and there was hope for a greater future.
Their selfishness, greed and love for high life will not allow these so called men of God on both sides of the isles to do the needful. And when offered with gifts by Politicians cannot say "No" like Elisha did but will call it a blessing. So they prophesy things, which God did not say, but only their imaginations and wishes. They fake miracles and cajoled their congregations.
If such healing of leprosy of Naaman happened today through them, Oh mine, they will make themselves 'demi god" granting TV and Radio interviews on daily basis till eternity.
But like Prophet Elisha asked Gehazi his servant, I also asked you Priests on the pulpits and mats "Is this the time to receive money and clothing etc from the people in government?
With all the collapsed infrastructures, lack of job for young people, lack of medical facilities wherein people are dying like goats etc, I also ask "Is this the time for you men of God on both sides of the isles to ask for personal vehicles from government? Is this the time to ask the Government to sponsor us to Holy lands?
We all want to live in the US, UK etc, Had those nations not been frugal with their money but sponsoring people to Holy lands and purchasing vehicles for religious leaders, how will they have got good roads, enviable medical services and provide good environment etc?
Were the cities of Mecca, Medina & Israel like our cities, who will go there for any religious obligation?
The spirit of Gehazi in operation in the hearts of Priests on both sides of the isles makes them available to struggle to pray and fast for people in government and people seeking political posts for a great reward. They call black, white for the sake of money.
The retirement package of Salary Pastors is patterned a bit similar to that of the political office holders, who we criticize. A mansion is built for them in the city of their choice at retirement. They, their wives and children are chauffer driven.
They do not have decorum in their dictionary. They take envelopes for officiating even at the funeral of their seniors who built and raised them up. Appreciation service is organized for them from time to time, accompanied by heavy gifts.
The several plans of evangelism in the past, wherein stickers mounted on vehicles point people to the savior Jesus Christ now point to their place of worship. Stickers on vehicles today is only to identify their place of worship.
With this spirit of Gehazi in them, why will anyone expect that they will be bothered about the state of the nation? Why will they respond to a call for the plan of restoration of Nigeria so long as they are comfortable? Yet Jesus expects them to be the salt of the earth!! Yet, Jesus expects them to work and make their world livable.
The situation is similar to the time of Jesus. The Priests and the Assistant Priests ate all the meat and fat of the animal sacrifices, which the people brought, yet Jesus found them wanting in the performance of their duties and had to pray for true laborers in God's vineyard (Matt. 9: 25-38).
It is my prayer that the leprosy of Naaman will not stick permanently on these so men of God on both sides of the isles but stand up to do the duty of making the nation livable.
Let us pray.