Hey Naaman…Wait a Minute!!
Posted on January 16, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 (ESV)
John Stott wrote this concerning the verses I am using today from Matthew, “It ought to be easy to decide which to collect, He (Jesus) implies, because treasures on earth are corruptible and therefore insecure, whereas treasures in heaven are incorruptible and therefore secure.” I would venture to think that you, like me, are under the impression that the stuff we work hard for should last as long as we live. There are some who would go even further to think that they will be able to pass this stuff to their next generations. HA HA!! The 2nd law of thermodynamics is even getting a giggle outta that one. (This law pretty much states that everything will decay)
Jesus wants us to understand that the treasures we covet (yeah, that’s the right word there) corrodes and erodes, gets eaten by bugs and can be stolen by someone who covets more than you do. In our modern-day we try to use insecticides, mouse traps, rust-proof paint, powder-coating, and burglar alarms to protect our stuff. It wasn’t like that for the ancients, everything they had was fair game for everyone…nothing was, and still is, safe. That’s why Jesus wants us to keep our hearts heavenly minded and that’s what Pastor John Mol was explaining to us during our Wednesday night Bible study. So open your Bibles to 2Kings 5:15-27 and let’s talk about Gehazi.
His story really starts with the leprosy of Naaman the Syrian and through an imprisoned girl from Israel, Naaman meets a prophet named Elisha. Naaman washes in the dirty Jordan as Elisha prescribes, seven times, and is healed. Naaman wants to reward Elisha but he refuses the gift…enter Gehazi. Gehazi says, “See, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not accepting from his hand what he brought. As the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him.” Basically saying…” well if Elisha won’t take the reward and Naaman wants to give it away, I think I’ll go get myself some reward.” So after a good gallop, Gehazi decides to tell Naaman some lie so that he can justify getting himself some stuff…not good to have done!!
Naaman didn’t understand the grace and mercy of a mighty God, after all in his land they were idolaters. But through Elisha, Naaman, with his two trailer loads of dirt, understood who YHVH was! And it should have stayed there, but the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked, so off goes Gehazi to go get himself treasures that rot! And because of this exposure of heart condition, Gehazi inherits Naaman’s leprosy for generations to come. I can’t help to wonder how many times I went off to go after something, only to have the disease of it cling to me long after getting it. What a wretched man I am, who can save me from this body of death? Can someone say “Jesus can”…I can!!
I remember a chaplain from The Colony of Mercy (Jim Freed) telling me the story of Naaman and his cure in the dirty Jordan. Now that I’ve gone back into that story and looked at Gehazi it has helped me understand what Jesus shared on the Mount that day. If we keep investing our heart into the things of this world, we will become spiritually leprous…that’s a certainty!! Keeping our focus on the prize that calls us heaven-bound gives us a hope that can’t be explained by any law of thermodynamics or scientific reasoning. The bottom line is explained by Jesus quite simply, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” In this there is treasure…Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This: “So treasure in heaven is secure. Precautionary measures to protect it are unnecessary. It needs no insurance cover. It is indestructible. There, Jesus seems to be saying to us, “If it’s a safe investment you’re after, nothing could be safer than this; it’s the only gilt-edged security whose gilt will never tarnish”—John Stott
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness [a]was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. -Genesis 1:1-2
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.