When God walked through the Garden of Eden, the hiding Adam and Eve
behaved like guilty people. They were! Their shame betrayed their
I am certainly not a criminal investigator, nor a forensic
psychologist, but I have listened to experts explain the benefits of a
polygraph test. While it is not admissible as evidence in a criminal
trial in many instances, it remains a valuable investigative tool. Why?
Because when a guilty person is questioned, he often lies. When
questioned extensively, he is often inconsistent. During this process
of deceit and denial, there are physiological responses by the guilty
party, like elevated blood pressure, increased breathing rate, and
spontaneous sweating. In other words, when one gets “busted” (i.e.,
caught unexpectedly), it is nearly impossible to hide it.
When Naaman finally submitted to the prescription of Elisha, he was
blessed with a miraculous cleansing. He wanted to pay the prophet, but
Elisha refused. The man of God demonstrated the inability for anyone to
buy the grace of the Lord.
Gehazi (i.e., the servant of Elisha) saw an opportunity. He caught up
with Naaman with this bit of fiction. He claimed that Elisha sent him.
He said that two young prophets had come from the hill country of
Ephraim. He asked that money be donated for these needy prophets.
Naaman responded with money and clothes, and Gehazi gladly accepted the
Afterwards, Gehazi resumed his prophetic station, and Elisha checked
his pulse. He inquired, “Where have you been?” Gehazi replied, “Your
servant went nowhere.” Assuming that Gehazi was neither a psychopath nor
sociopath, he probably looked as guilty as sin. Regardless, Elisha did
not have to rely on “investigative techniques.” Elisha knew that Gehazi
sinned: “Did not my heart go when the man turned from his chariot to
meet you?” (2 Kings 5:26). Elisha rehearsed the truth, unappreciated by
Gehazi, that it was not the time to accept money for the miracle.
“Therefore,” said the prophet of God, “the leprosy of Naaman shall
cling to you and to your descendants forever” (2 Kings 5:27).
Since the Garden of Eden, men and women have believed that they could
fly under the radar when it comes to sin. Achan thought he could hide
the devoted things in his tent. David impregnated Bathsheba in secret
and killed Uriah her husband. Jonah tried to flee from the presence of
the Lord. Ananias and Sapphira agreed to lie about their giving — all
supposing they could avoid the consequences of sin.
Children think that parents will not discover their rebellion. Spouses
believe their mates will not learn of their infidelity. Christians
think their brothers in Christ aren’t aware of their reproaches, and
all-the-above behave as if impenitent sinners can hide from the face of
Such reckless conduct hurts such a one even more than leprosy. It
disgraces one’s family. It maligns the church. It grieves all those who
are spiritually concerned about the sinner, in as much as Elisha was
distressed at Gehazi’s sin. And it presumptuously tests the long
suffering of God, who awaits the prodigals’ return.
Folly. She calls to those who pass by and says, “Bread eaten in secret
is pleasant” (Proverbs 9:17). But the dumb fool who thinks he can avoid
the consequences of sin, “He does not know that the dead are there,
that her guests are in the depths of Sheol” (v. 18).
Tragedy! Sometimes the fool doesn’t get exposed. He becomes
desensitized by habitual sin and no longer cares who sees, who knows,
and who hurts. Such depravity is pitiable. Let us remember that it
would be better to be confronted, embarrassed, and penitent, than to be
calloused now and “busted” in judgment.
May the people of God never become so weak that they allow blatant
immorality to infect their ranks with only minimal resistance.
“Deliver,” Paul commanded, “such a one unto Satan for the destruction
of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord
Jesus” (1 Corinthians 5:5).