2 Kings 5:1-19
We all need to be restored to God’s direction, for we all wander. A good story that illustrates God’s power of restoration in our lives comes from the account of Naaman found in 2 Kings 5.
Naaman’s Problem (1-3)
The testimony of Scripture is that Naaman was a great man. He was Commander of the King of Aram’s army. His superiors thought him great. The Lord had blessed him and given him victories. He was brave – a valiant solider. In spite of all of this, he was a leper. We sometimes admire people for all of their outward accomplishments. We are often surprised when successful people take a turn for the worse. We are scandalized when someone held in high esteem reveals a problem. Sin lurks in all our hearts. Worse – we often do not make effort to allow God to remove it. We all deal with sin in our lives and we must always yield to God’s Holy Spirit in allowing Him to remove it. Naaman’s wife’s servant knew of a prophet in Samaria. She thought that he could cure Naaman’s leprosy. However, before that could happen, Naaman had another problem that needed attention…
Naaman’s Pride (4-14)
Naaman was important. Naaman went to the King of Israel with a letter from the King of Aram, he was a man of prestige and position. He brought a lot of money, ten sets of clothing, and an entourage that indicated his power. The King of Israel was scared because he couldn’t cure leprosy! The prophet of God came to the rescue of the King, however, and sent for Naaman. However, when Naaman arrived he was not received with pomp and circumstance. Naaman felt disrespected. Elisha himself did not come out – he sent a messenger. Naaman didn’t like the message:”Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” Naaman began to think about his expectations: He will come out to me, He will stand and call out to the Lord, He will wave his hand. He was disappointed. Even more so in the plan that Elisha offered. The waters he is sending me to is muddy … how can it cleanse me? Naaman left in a rage!
Pride is an obstacle most of us have to overcome in order to live for Christ. We can desire to hang on to old sins in spite of God’s will. We can feel that God isn’t active enough to deserve our faith. We can let pride interfere with our relationships in the church / world. Naaman had no room to be angry…after all…was a leper who needed help. A helpless man searching for a hand. But even though he had a lowly problem, he thought his way was superior to God’s! Even the servants could see the obvious. If the prophet had told him to do some great thing, he would have done it. Why not go ahead and at least try it? Well, he did. And that prideful spirit gave way to …
Naaman’s Profession (15)
He did it and his flesh became clean like that of a young boy. “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.” (He went from “I thought” to “I know”). Naaman’s health was restored when he acted in faith upon a word from the Lord.
That same promise is available for you as well. One New Testament example is that of Saul of Tarsus, who sat in his room after an encounter with the Lord. He was visited by a man of God named Ananias. “The God of our fathers has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name.’” (Acts 22:14-16) He could have resisted this simple instruction. Instead, he obeyed in faith and God’s healing took place.
Elisha said, “Go in peace” (19). I also wish for you today to ‘go in peace’. The only way to do that is to act in faith in accord with what you have received from the Lord.
Audio of this message as it was presented can be heard HERE.