We left off studying this topic on January 29th of this year (Understanding Curses, Part III). In that study, we briefly touched upon the curse which was “pronounced” on Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, who sinned by coveting gold, silver, etc. in his heart. The curse went like this: “Therefore, the leprosy of Naaman shall cleave to you and to your descendants forever” (see 2 Kings 5:25-27). What troubles me — and should trouble you, as well — about this passage, the word of God — is that, not only was Gehazi cursed because of his sin, but his descendants were cursed, as well. I want to get a handle on this, and I am not saying by any means that I have “the final word” on this. But I would like to “put a few things out on the table” for your consideration. I have thought a lot about these — in light of all the curses I have seen, and experienced. Let’s think about them, together, and pray about them, together, as well.
The man Gehazi fell under a curse. The curse itself is reasonable. After all, Gehazi sinned. Now the point of the curse is redemptive — for the purpose of bringing to repentance, or a change of ways in that person on whom it has fallen. I don’t think God “curses” for vindictive (selfish) reasons, like we do. For example, if someone were to “steal my watch,” I might (if I were selfish, and fleshly), “curse him” in my heart, by saying unkind things about him. I don’t think God does that. He is not “vindictive,” or “desiring to execute vengeance” in the sense of being selfish about it. No, no, no. Look at the Scriptures again. “The Lord … is patient … not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9). So what happens, happens for ultimate good, so that we might “come to repentance.” This is what 2 Peter 3:9 is teaching (we need to add that to many other verses as well, which I will not go into here, for lack of time).
So let’s get that one clear. In the midst of Gehazi being cursed that day, God was not gloating over the whole deal. The pronouncement “the leprosy of Naaman shall cleave to you and to your descendants forever” was drastic and yet true. God had “done it,” i.e. had “said it,” though Elisha (those words were not of Elisha but of God, that we can be sure of). But it was not designed to be vindictive. Rather, it was designed to be redemptive. Gehazi had “fallen” and God, really, wanted to “bring him back.” The extent of his fall was GREAT (Gehazi knew so much about God, yet did sinned openly). The curse, therefore, was GREAT. The greater the sin, and the greater we know about God’s ways, the greater the curse will be. I think Scripture bears this out quite well. Again, I will not go into details here for lack of time.
Through Elisha, God cursed Gehazi, because (1) He is holy, and (2) He is just. He will not let us “get away” with sin. There is a cost to sin. God is just — we should be glad for that. One day, we can be sure that justice will be done. We see it all throughout the Scriptures that OUR GOD is a JUST GOD. We must not trifle with Him. We must not also “desire justice on others,” but instead “desire mercy” (compare Micah 6:8: We are to DO justly [in our own lives] and LOVE [having] mercy [on others]” — get the order straight!). If we desire justice on others, rather than desiring mercy, then what we are really saying is that we are desiring the SAME THING on ourselves.