The Temptation of Gehazi Bible Lesson {2 Kings 5}

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Have you ever been tempted to do something wrong? Have you ever tried to hide something you did? This Bible lesson focusing on Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, will help our children understand that relying on God to help us conquer temptation is a step in the right direction on the narrow path of godliness. {Deuteronomy 5:32}

temptation 2 Kings 5

Scripture Focus: 2 King 5:14-27

Materials: download the Intermedia Youtube video, The Marshmallow Test; bag of marshmallows  

Free Poster:  Click on the image below and print.

Temptation image

The Temptation of Gehazi:

Elisha was a prophet. He was beloved by the people of Israel and God used Elisha in mighty ways. Once there was a commander of the army of the nation of Syria. They were enemies of Israel. But this man, Naaman, had a servant girl who was from Israel. Naaman ended up contracting leprosy, which is awful. Not only is leprosy a bad disease, but in Bible times, and even today, it brings about great fear because of how it spreads. People would be told to leave their families and towns and they would go live in the wilderness in leper colonies.

This little girl didn’t want that to happen to her master, so she told him about Elisha, the prophet of Israel. This is not the story of Naaman, although he is a part of this story. Naaman is healed through Elisha’s leadership. But this temptation lesson begins as Naaman is about to leave.

{Pull out a marshmallow.} What is this? Do you like marshmallows? [Allow for answers.] What would you do if you were put in an empty room and given a marshmallow? Would you eat it? [Allow for answers.] What if you were put in an empty room and when you were given the marshmallow you were told this: “Here is a marshmallow. I am going to leave the room for a little while. You can either eat this marshmallow, OR don’t eat the marshmallow while I’m gone, and when I return, I’ll give you another one. Then you’ll have two.” What would you do? [Allow for answers.]

{Show the video of the Marshmallow Test.}

That marshmallow was a temptation to those kids! What did most of them do? [Waited for the second marshmallow.] They knew that something better was coming and they wanted to wait for it instead of eating the one marshmallow right away.

So through Elisha, God healed Naaman. After he was healed, Naaman wanted to thank Elisha and offered him all kinds of money, clothes, and treasures. Elisha told Naaman that he would take nothing. Naaman urged him, but Elisha refused.

Elisha’s servant, Gehazi, thought differently. He wanted some of that good treasure. He became tempted by it. But instead of turning away and moving on, he stepped into sin.

Neeman’s caravan had already left. Gehazi started running and he caught up to Naaman. Naaman stopped and asked if everything was ok.

The problem with sin is that once you begin with one sin, it usually snowballs into more sin and more sin. Gehazi told Naaman that everything was fine, but that Elisha had sent him to ask for just a few things because 2 young men from the sons of the prophets had arrived. Would Naaman be willing to give one talent and 2 changes of clothes?

Naaman agreed. In fact, Naaman gave two talents instead of only one. He also sent two servants back with Gehazi so he would have to carry anything. Once Gehazi and the servants reached Elisha’s home, the servants left and Gehazi hid the money and clothes. (Does this sound like another story???) Gehazi then went to see Elisha.

Elisha asked, “Where did you go, Gehazi?” Gehazi responded by saying that he did not go anywhere. Elisha then stated, Do you not understand that my heart went with you? Do we really need all of those riches? Now the leprosy of Naaman will be upon you and your descendants.”

Gehazi had to leave the house, the town, his family, and live in the wilderness because of that awful disease.

Life Application for The Temptation of Gehazi:

Does God take sin seriously? [Yes] Have you ever heard a person say, “God never gives us more than we can handle?” [Allow answers.] This saying is false. God always gives us more than we can handle because he wants us to totally rely upon him and not ourselves.

{Hold up and read the poster.}

Here is what the Bible really says: God will not allow for you to be TEMPTED beyond what you can handle. Think of Gehazi. What should he have done when Naaman left? [go back to what he was doing and not run after him] What could Gehazu have done when he stopped for a breath while running after Naaman? [turn around and gone back home] What could Gehazi have done when he caught up with Naaman? [Said, “I’m sorry. I made a mistake,” and go back home.] What could Gehazi have done when Naaman gave him the money and clothes? [Give them back and go home.] What could Gehazi have done when the servants turned to walk back to their master? [Given the stuff back] What could Gehazi have done instead of hiding the treasure? [Given it to Elisha and confessed.] What could Gehazi have done instead of lie to Elisha? [Confessed what he did.] Did God give Gehazi ways of escape throughout this experience? [Yes!]

But he didn’t choose any of them and was given leprosy as a consequence.

God will ALWAYS give you a way to escape temptation. He will not allow more temptation than you can handle. You can never say that you had no choice but to sin. God always asks us to do hard things that we cannot do in our own power. When you are being tempted you need to start talking to God, asking him to oprn your eyes to see the way of escape.

It’ll be there.

What can we learn from Gehazi? If we want to be godly, then we must remember that God wants us to rely upon him and to trust that he will provide an escape when we are being tempted to sin.

{Display the poster in the room throughout this series and read it each week.}

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