He’s like a sponge

“He’s like a sponge” ever hear someone say that about somebody? It makes me cringe every time I hear it. I have some experience with that phrase.
Many years ago when I was studying drafting I was one of 2 shop foremen in our class. I was over the students working with the drafting tables while the other fellow, we’ll call Jim, was over the computer aspect. Our teacher trusted us to help out the other students since we showed a desire to actually work.
Well Jim had a kid who he was working 1 on 1 with and after a few weeks he remarked to me that this kid is like a sponge. A few days later Jim was absent and the teacher wanted an update on their project. The kid didn’t even know how to turn on the computer, the file name, or what to do once the teacher had did all that for him. So the teacher was mad as a hornet, the kid was embarrassed, Jim was in trouble, and I felt a little ashamed because I had thought to challenge Jim on his declaration but chose not to.
My experiences with actual sponges tend to be the same. While they are in the water they soak it all in but when you remove them from the water to use most of the water they had soaked up easily drains away. Sponges are not meant to hold on to what they have taken in.
There is a man in the Bible who I am sure many thought was a sponge. He had to be, after all he was the servant of Elisha and the heir apparent to him just as Elisha was to Elijah. Gehazi was a sponge, just not like the saying goes.
Gehazi had his moments, times of true service but he wasn’t going to fill Elisha’s shoes when the time came.
I believe Elisha was testing him to find this out when we read in 2 Kings 4:29 how he instructed Gehazi to place Elisha’s staff on the dead child. While Gehazi followed the instructions the power of God was not present with him. As such when the events of chapter 5 took place it wasn’t to prove to Elisha that Gehazi wasn’t the next man of God it was Gehazi proving to himself that he wasn’t. He may have sat there soaking in the prophets teachings and observing his service to God but he retained far too little of it for himself.
I feel bad for Elisha, he probably thought at one point that Gehazi would make a fine spiritual son and top student. But instead he was just a sponge, all wet, and washed out.

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