Elisha traveled on foot all over the country, encouraging the people to worship the True God. He came upon some Sons of the Prophets in an area where food was scarce. Elisha told his servant to make a pot of soup for everyone to eat. The fellows went looking for anything to add to the pot. They gathered all kinds of herbs and roots but there was very little. Then one fellow came upon a wild vine that held lots of fat little gourds! Wow! That would add to the pottage! He gathered a lapful of them and slipped back to camp and shredded them into the pot.
Finally everyone had dropped their offerings into the stew. They sat down to eat. Suddenly someone cried out, “Oh, Rabbi, there is death in this pot! Poison gourds in the soup!”
Elisha said, “Bring me some barley meal.” Elisha stirred the barley into the soup. “Okay, you can eat it now.”
But they were still hungry. Then a man came from another county with food, twenty loaves of barley bread and bags of corn on the cob. Elisha told his servant to hand out the food. The servant said. “There has to be at least a hundred men to feed!”
Elisha said, “Give it to them to eat. God says that there will be enough and some left over.” So he started passing it around. Everybody ate hearty and sure enough there was food left over, as God had promised.
In the country of Syria lived a General of the army. He was rich and powerful but he had contracted the horrible disease of Leprosy. His wife was so upset but a little Israeli house-maid slave told her that there was a Man of God in her homeland who could heal General Naaman. So Naaman went to Israel. He rode his chariot up in front of Elisha’s little room. He wouldn’t come in so Elisha sent Gehazi, his servant, out to tell Naaman, “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River and you will be healed.”
Naaman got mad! He said, “I thought sure he would come out and call on his God and ‘Shazaam!’ I would be healed. I should be able to wash in one of our nice clean rivers in Syria instead of that muddy old Jordan!” and he drove off in his chariot. His servants ran up to him and said, “Master, if he told you to do some great thing you would do it. Please try what he said.”
So Naaman went to the Jordan. He dipped himself into the water six times and nothing happened. Then he dipped the seventh time and came up all healed!
He went back to Elisha and gratefully asked him what he could pay him? Elisha refused to take anything. Gehazi, the servant, decided that, if Elisha wouldn’t accept anything from Naaman, then he would. So he went running after Naaman. When he caught up with him, he told the General, “After you left a couple of poor students showed up so my master wants you to give him some money and suits for them.” (Lies!)
Naaman said, “Here, take twice as much money and two fine new suits,” and he gave them to Gehazi. On the way back to Elisha’s little room, Gehazi stashed the gifts under a watch tower at the border. When he got back he went in to see Elisha. The old man asked, “Where have you been while I was napping?” “I didn’t go anyplace,” Gehazi lied again.
Elisha said, “I saw everything you did in a vision. Are we going to start taking money and clothes and farms and livestock and servants? Okay, you want the things that Naaman has? So be it. You can have his leprosy!” Gehazi left the room broken out with the disease.
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