The other day, I was heading home and got stuck in traffic. At some point, I was bored so I decided to look around from inside the car. There were stores and shops to my right and as I started to check them out one after the other, my eyes rested on the name of one of the stores. I tell you, the name was quite catchy, “Get Something Else Super Store.”
“Really! Get something else? What could that mean?” I thought to myself. Is it that when you come in to make a purchase, you get an ‘extra lil’ something’ as a come back incentive or is it that when you enter the store to buy a particular thing, you get something better or worse than what you came for? I wish I had an idea…..
“Come to think of it,” I said to myself, “this is exactly what happens to those folks we see in African movies….those folks who visit witch doctors for one thing or the other. Don’t they always come back with bigger problems than what they sought help for in the first place?” Yes, they mostly do! They get/contract something else!
As that picture settled in my mind, I remembered someone from Bible times who got SOMETHING ELSE in addition to what he went after – yes, I’m talking about the man, GEHAZI. His story is quite a familiar one from 2Kings 5:20-27. He went after gifts, he got what he wanted, but he also got something else – LEPROSY!
Well, was Gehazi wrong to have wanted good things? Is it wrong for someone to desire gifts, money, or other pleasurable things of life? No, it is never wrong. So where did Gehazi go wrong? Why was he punished? He only wanted some good things of life for crying out loud, so why did he have to be saddled with something else…..something he did not bargain for…..something that altered his destiny and that of generations after him? The answer lies in these words, “Thou Shall Not Covet…”
Exodus 20:17 – “You MUST NOT COVET your neighbour’s house. You must not covet your neighbour’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or ANYTHING ELSE that belongs to your neighbour.” (NLT – emphasis mine)
“NO LUSTING after your neighbour’s house – or wife or servant or maid or ox or donkey. Don’t SET YOUR HEART on ANYTHING that is your neighbour’s.” (MSG – emphasis mine)
Hear! Hear!! In simple terms, “Don’t covet or lust after anything that isn’t yours.” PERIOD! Covetousness was Gehazi’s undoing. He just couldn’t let Namaan go with the goodies, just like that, he had to have some of the treat, and he dubiously went after it. First, he lied to Naaman and afterwards, he carefully hid the items he had secretly acquired – or so he thought!
Unfortunately, in these times, covetousness is widely spread. It’s now the order of the day. People longing for what isn’t theirs and going through every crooked means to obtain their object(s) of fantasy. When you begin to do shady stuff to get something you don’t have but think you should, know that you’re already toeing Gehazi’s path.
Lying to acquire that property or whatever it is? Swindling/Defrauding people without pity? Hiking the price of that item so you could double your gain or profit? Adding additional zeros to that quotation so you could get some extra cut from the money? Chasing after another’s husband or wifey and trying to cover your tracks while at it? Paying mercenary to write that exam for you or buying the answer to make the qualified list? Playing dirty politics/games just to take the top seat? The list is endless…
Remember, the end result of being covetous was catastrophic for Gehazi, and even now, in times where iniquity seems to be norm, nemesis still catches up! Don’t be deceived….don’t be caught unawares….don’t “get something else”….it might be too heavy a burden to bear. It’s time to repent and desist from Gehazi’s path.
Jesus is LORD!