Bible in a Year – Day 112: Seemed Like A Good Idea
There is a way that appears to be right,
but in the end it leads to death. (Proverbs 14:12)
The old proverb warns us about the results of relying on our own reason and wisdom when making decisions. Sure, we tap into our experience and knowledge every day, but ultimately, we must tap into a greater source of wisdom when faced with difficult decisions. Sometimes God has a way that doesn’t appear to be right – that seems to be “less than” – but which leads to life.
Naaman didn’t get it. He was being offered a chance to be cured from his dreaded skin disease, but the way in which he was told he would be cured didn’t seem right to him. If all it took was a dip in the nasty Jordan River, why wasn’t the river full of people seeking to be cleansed? He wanted a great big God miracle! He wanted fire from heaven! Instead, he was told to go wash in the river. Of course, when he did that, he received his great big God miracle.
Gehazi didn’t get it either. To him, it only made sense that if someone is offering you riches, you accept them. After all, God had blessed Elisha with many things, but he wasn’t raining down silver and gold on his prophet. Surely, the gifts being offered by Naaman were God’s way of saying thank you for Elisha’s loyal service.
But Elisha saw things differently. He knew that there is a way that seems right, but in the end leads to death. Elisha knew that accepting financial reward in return for his prophetic and healing gifts was the equivalent of taking credit for the work that only God was capable of doing. He also understood that accepting these kinds of gifts was the beginning of a slippery slope that could easily lead to a “prophet for profit” mentality that had tripped up so many before him.
In the end, Naaman and Gehazi both learned the difference between our ways and God’s ways. Naaman followed the path of God and was cured of his leprosy. Gehazi stuck to his own path and found himself stricken with the disease. A way that seemed right to him, but would ultimately lead to death.
- TED Talk Tuesday: In Search of the Man Who Broke My Neck
- Bible in a Year – Day 313: A Matter of Life & Death
- Bible in a Year – Day 310: Going Where People Are
- Bible in a Year – Day 309: Taboo
- Bible in a Year – Day 289: Gadarenes Part 2
- Bible in a Year – Day 288: Healing Time*
- Bible in a Year – Day 280: Jesus Interrupted
- Bible in a Year – Day 185: Making Headlines
- Bible in a Year – Day 184: A Big, Loving, Faithful God
- Bible in a Year – Day 178: Hope from the Past