Teaching –The Healing of Naaman
Pastor Caspar McCloud – the Upper Room Fellowship
December 11 2011
Papa God we thank you for today and for Jesus and for the Holy Spirit. We thank you for eternal life, our eternal identity and inheritance and that you made us in your image and likeness. We are so grateful and thankful that you allow us to partner with you like this today; that we can be joint heirs with Christ covered by His precious blood and that you love us with an everlasting love.
Thank you that we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a blessed people. We are so grateful you have gathered us together to be of one accord and we can come together each week and learn a more excellent way then we knew before.
Thank you that we can have intimacy with you and can come boldly anytime of day into your throne room to make our request known to you; that you are full of mercy, grace, and love, and forgive us of all our sins through the shed blood of Jesus; that signs and wonders will follow us as we follow after you.
That we can watch and pray always and we may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and we can stand before you Lord before the Son of Man.
We invite you Holy Spirit to come now and teach us and take us over. We invite you Lord to have your way with us now; that you increase as we decrease and that more signs, wonders, miracles, and healing follow us each day. I ask Lord you meet us here just where we are now and that you bring your almighty healing hand to touch each person where their need is. We ask that blessings overtake us and chase us down in Jesus of Nazareth’s name, amen.
One way to tell if your thoughts are lies from the devil or truth from the Lord is to simply add “in Jesus name” after each thought. Taking each thought captive to Christ 2 Corinthians 10:5
For example if were to hear yourself say- I am such a reject no one really cares for me -in Jesus name. Rather obvious which Kingdom a toxic thought like that comes from which needs to be cast it out. If we add in Jesus name after a positive thought it will harmonize with the Word God and within our spirits.
I feel lead to teach from 2 Kings Chapter 5 today
We have learned that Papa God knows everything there is to know about each one of us. That means he knows exactly what you are doing each moment, he also wants the best for you, and has a good plan for you. But again he has given us freedom of deciding to either follow after his good plan for us or follow after the evil plan the devil has devised for our destruction. As the devil’s plan is come for no other reason but to kill, steal, and destroy us if he can deceive us into allowing it. John 10:10 The Lord knows each one of us and our individual needs. He knows where we are and our level of faith at each moment, which may explain why he directs us down certain paths to meet our needs individually. There are patterns and conditions we must meet as believers, but at the same time we can not make them into a formula, because only Papa God really knows the intent of our hearts.
That is why you can take two people with the same problems or issues, or who have been diagnosed with the same disease for example and for one a simple pray of faith works a miracle for them; the other takes much more ministry and understanding.
Let us examine the healing of Naaman, who was struck down with leprosy. Captain Naaman sounds like he was a mighty brave and very seasoned warrior in the Syrian army. He led many successful battles and military campaigns and his career sounded like he was doing rather well, until he is stricken with leprosy. Now you know we consider that a curse like any other disease in the Bible. Because the Lord tells us in Proverbs 26:2 that the curse cannot come without a reason. We are often the ones who give that reason. In our disobedience and rebellion we give the devil who is a legalist the right to do that.
You might guess that a man of Naaman’s stature and prominence would have access to the best medical care of his day.Maybe his doctors brought him a potion of eye of newt and toe of a big toad, mixed in some strange brew of camel urine that looked like maple syrup.
Quite honestly he must have known that leprosy was a death sentence even back then. There was nothing that medical science of his day could do to help him. We are a couple of thousand years down the road now and isn’t strange that there are still many cases of doctors and treatments which offer no real cure; no real hope today. Guess that is why it is called practicing medicine. Thank God for doctors and the medical professionals they help many people. The Apostle Luke was a physician. I think we can learn again from the Word of God which is our only real Hope. You see the Old Testament is for our instruction in righteousness.
The story of Naanman is not just the healing of a man from one of the most dreaded diseases of ancient times. It is a story of salvation; one which illustrates the spiritual salvation man finds only in Jesus Christ and how we can come to find that salvation in Christ. Because Salvation includes healing for our bodies, as well as a promise of eternal life with the Lord. Today scientific research like the study of epigentics is confirming what the Lord told us all along.
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
In Naaman’s healing we see there are a variety of people who play different roles; some good and vital to the salvation and healing of Naaman and others not so good. It is much like our own lives.This is also an illustration of the various good and evil persuasions of people that either aid or hinder bringing us to Christ. I think as an artist this is like seeing a masterpiece painting; a portrait of what great lengths our Lord will go to save and heal us.
As we study this Biblical account as we would a portrait, we are not in the land of Israel. Rather we find ourselves in Syria, to the north, which was a heathen (pagan) nation surrounded in darkness; a place of idolatry and heathen practices. Just like too many places in the world today. The more things change the more they seem the same nothing new under the sun.
Knowing what we know now, there is anticipation as we read in these verses of the gospel message. This would eventually go out from Israel through our Messiah and then out to the ends of the earth carrying the Glorious light of Jesus Christ of Nazareth to all the Gentile nations.
Naaman’s healing was another illustration for us of what our Papa God would later do through the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth and his followers.
John 14:12 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”
Remember pretty much everything that Jesus did already happened in the Old Testament, except one thing that happened on the cross at Calvary. Because in the Old Testament people were healed, food was supernaturally supplied, and even the dead were raised up.
This story in 2 Kings 5 is an example of God’s love for us, of how He reaches out to people even when they are still in darkness. He will even use their afflictions to draw them to himself if they will only respond to him and meet his conditions. This of course is a pre-salvation work of mercy, grace, and love as Papa God seeks to bring All people to repentance then and now. If we would only just confess our sins then He would come and do a mighty work in us.
1st John 1: 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Romans 2:4 “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
Confessing our sins can heal us and Repentance is vital to this. Jesus Christ of Nazareth came and told us to repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand. Most Christians never seem to associate joy with repentance. They want to experience Christianity, and they want results, signs and wonders and another great move of the Spirit. But Repentance as Jesus taught us? That does not seem to be taught much now. The Bible tells us no one can take your joy, or make you feel inferior without your consent. The joy of the Lord is your strength.
Look at this description of Naaman: 2 Kings 5:1 “Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valor, but he was a leper.”
This is an interesting picture of the sinner before he comes to God.Naaman was honorable; he had a heart to do good.The name Naaman comes from the Hebrew verb naem, “meaning delightful, pleasant, beautiful.” Perhaps it’s the same idea of “gracious” or “well formed.”
Because of the significance of names in Scripture, this tells us something about the man. His name suggests he may have been a handsome man, at least before the leprosy over took his body like a cancer eating away at him.
Let us remember we are created in the Lord’s image and likeness.This is an implication that Naaman was perhaps a gracious individual but his name became as a reproach. That is a striking contrast to his appearance and probably also would have affected his emotions and his disposition after this disease of leprosy attacked his body.
To me that seems like a picture of mankind as we were created and designed to live forever; to be physically and spiritually beautiful after Papa God’s image, that is before sin began to take its toll on both our thoughts and imaginations and then affect our emotional state and our physical bodies.
The way Naaman is first described gives us a picture of him as he was seen by people who tend to look mostly on the outward appearance. That old saying “Never judge a book by its cover,” has some very deep truth in it.The fact that Naaman was “captain of the army of the King of Aram” probably means he was the General of the Syrian or the Aramean army, second in command to the King. He was a man of great authority and position. In other words:
Cause he gets up in the morning,
And he goes to work at nine,
And he comes back home at five-thirty,
Gets the same caravan every time.
Cause his world is built round punctuality,
It never fails.
And he’s oh, so good,
And he’s oh, so fine,
And he’s oh, so healthy,
In his body and his mind.
He’s a well respected man about town,
Doing the best things so conservatively.
So Captain Naaman had loads of popularity and prestige. This is noted in the words, “a great man with his master.” The man was apparently highly respected about town.
He was a popular man in his day. He was a national hero as the general who had been victorious over the enemies of the nation of Aram. Naaman probably had all those medals of honor soldiers wear after winning battles. Maybe there were some sort of posters of his day put up of his image wearing the laurel wreaths of victory on his head.
The biblical perspective here is that in regarding the source of victory and valor; it is the sovereign plan and power of God we do not want to overlook that important point. Naaman was a man whom God had used just as he had used the Pharaoh and the Kings of Assyria and Babylon. Here again we see how the Lord uses the saved and unsaved alike to carry out his purposes and plans. But again just being so used of the Lord for his plan and purpose does not save a person. There are too many people who profess to be Christians that entertain unclean spirits like un-forgiveness. Can you be a Christian without forgiving? How many church people will hear the Lord Jesus say to them depart from me I never knew you? Matthew 7 says this is a narrow path. Can you call a person a pilot who never flys anymore then you can call someone a Christian who refuses to forgive? Read Matthew 18 again.
So Naaman is this popular, well respected man who had a very serious problem, which of course was that he was dying as a Leper. In the original Hebrew text we find the word “leprous,” a dreaded disease of leprosy. Again Deuteronomy 28 really covers this. Obey the Lord and be blessed or disobey and rebel and all these curses can come upon you. We also have to look at the generational issues, but that pretty much sums it up.
In Scripture, leprosy is like a portrait of the results of sin and man’s true spiritual condition without Papa God’s mercy, grace, and love.Regardless of how others may see us or how we may see ourselves if we are not truly covered by the precious blood of Jesus, we are simply lost. Without being covered by the blood of Jesus, we are like the leprous; without the righteousness of Christ to cover us through our faith in the person and redeeming work and the amazing grace of our Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
I heard a minister tell how he went into leprous colony in India and hugged on those diseased people and the Lord began to heal them. When someone asked this minister how could you do such a thing as it is so contagious weren’t you concerned you come down with it. I loved his answer he said: I am covered by the all powerful blood of Jesus so any disease has to get through His blood before it can try and attack me.The principle we need to see here today is that many today are perishing from lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. The result of being ignorant of God Word is really like a sort of leprosy of sin.
It’s just like an older motorcar that starts to rust out. You can keep painting over it but underneath that rust is still there. It is stronger than paint and it will surface again and most often at the most inopportune of times.People can get all dressed up and go to a church meeting, but what are they really like inside? Only God sees that! What do they really think? Whose voice do they follow, the Lord or the devil? If you do not get that rust/sin sanded off, get those sin issues dealt with- the end result is death.
Romans 6:23 “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
You can certainly be great on earth, successful, wealthy, honorable, and mighty, a celebrity of sorts but you can still be spiritually lost forever if you do not get right with the Lord Jesus.He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no one gets to God and goes to Heaven, unless you go through Jesus Christ of Nazareth.People need to realize you are totally lost forever if you do not accept and meet the conditions that Papa God has given us to meet.He really makes it as easy as possible for us. Don’t go blaming anyone else, take responsibility before the Lord and deal with your issues now whilst you can.
Captain Naaman makes this discovery. He has the desire to escape from the wages of sin and that is really the first step toward salvation.Let’s talk a little about what leprosy in the Bible teaches us about our sin and its effect in our lives? There is really an amazing insight in here for us if we just look at this honestly.
Proverbs 26:2 tells us the curse can not come without a reason. This story about Naaman and his condition is really showing us the results of some sin issues; which may have been generational or may have been what Naaman fell into out of ignorance or perhaps a combination of both.
I found an interesting explanation of leprosy. In the biblical instructions for leprosy, there was to be separation, isolation, and cleansing of the leper. Isn’t that another picture of what Jesus Christ of Nazareth came to provide for us, to mend our broken hearts, and bring us into fellowship with Him and other believers?
In Leviticus Chapters 13-14 there is much we need to study.
Leviticus 13:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests: 3 And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean.”
The Hebrew word for leprosy, x`r^A^T, was actually used of a wide range of skin diseases as well as what we called leprosy or Hansen’s disease today.It has been traced to something caused by the bacillus mycobacterium leprae which means, “to peel off in scales.”. It appears that there were two main types one that devastated and one that is most often benign.
(1) The Lepromatous Type: As this form begins to spread, portions of the eyebrow may disappear, then spongy tumor like swellings appear on the face and body. The disease is systemic and involves the internal organs as well. It is deep seated in the bones, joints, and marrow of the body resulting in the deterioration of the tissues between the bones.
The results are deformity, loss of feeling in the appendages, and the fingers and toes eventually falling off. This form is considered incurable and lasts until the victim finally dies often by the invasion of other diseases because of the weakened condition. They may live for twenty or thirty years in this miserable condition.
(2) The Tuberculoid Type: This form is less severe and begins much like the lepromatous form with a change in skin colour in one area and then spreading to other areas. This form is limited in its effects and often only lasts from one to three years. The person with this form, unless miraculously healed, could return to the priest and be declared cleansed or healed after observation. Other types of skin diseases were observed and when found not to be true leprosy or they disappeared, the people with these forms were also declared clean. Other than by God’s direct intervention, it appears the Hebrews had no cure for leprosy. In modern times there are very effective medicines available, and leprosy patients are usually not isolated today in many countries as they once were.
One thing is certain, the term leprosy referred to several types of skin diseases which were rooted in the blood stream. Remember the devil wants your blood, as a man thinketh so he is. Your thoughts actually alter your DNA.
If the enemy can get you into toxic negative stinking thinking, someplace where you refuse to forgive so you are walking with a spirit of unforgiveness you will compromise your immune system.If someone received the lepromatous type, they called it incurable and it led to horrible consequences. Of course we have hope beyond hope as we know for certain that all things are possible with the Lord. He can heal anybody of anything.
In Leviticus 13 and 14 there are specific directions.
This was done first as a protection against possible spread in case it was contagious, but there was also a ceremonial and spiritual reason. Leprosy gives us a picture of sin and all its features and effects upon people and upon their relationship with Papa God.
(1) The leper was considered unclean and had to be isolated from society to a certain degree. Wherever he went he was to cry out, “unclean, unclean.” He had to wear black with a hood covering his face and live outside the city walls.
(2) Whenever the Lord Jesus healed a leper, it is interesting to read that he always pronounced the person, not healed, but cleansed.
(3) Leprosy was incurable by man in Bible times just as sin is incurable for man. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
Isaiah 1:5-6 “Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.
6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment.”
What can anyone do by themselves to deal with sin problems in their life? You must get before the Lord your God and come clean before him. He loves you and already knows everything about you. How amazing is that and that he still agape loves you!Sin not dealt with separates you from Papa God and even from having any intimate fellowship with other people.
Jeremiah 5:25 “Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.
God has good things He wants to give you, but you are hindering Him if you won’t confess and repent and let Him do it, and He can’t do it while you stay in your sin.” God can not bless you in your sin, in your bitterness, in your jealousy and envy for example.
2 Corinthians 6:14“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
When the Lord healed a leper, what a powerful moment that was! Everyone should be able to understand this picture; it was so obvious. Jesus Christ’s power to cleanse a leper demonstrated he was the soul solution to man’s sin and defilement. He alone was and is the means of reconciliation and peace with Papa God and man.
Mark 1:40-45 “And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;
44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
45 But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.”
Here this fellow did not obey and follow the instruction Jesus gave him like so many people today. That is a problem when we do not obey the Lord. Too many professing believers do not seem to understand this and so all these pagan ideas have crept into the church with traditions of men which have replaced some commandments of God.
Jeremiah 6:16Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.
The rite of purification in the Old Testament did not cure anyone. It only recognized the fact a leper was now cured. It just said he was clean of the disease, or that he never really had the incurable type of leprosy. He could then be reconciled to society.
Leprosy, just like any other sin, begins within (with what we think about we become) and then erupts on the skin or some other way.It clearly reminds us that we all have fallen short of the glory of God. The main point is the mouth speaks out and body acts as a result of what the heart thinks.
Luke 6:45 “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
Or we find in Matthew 12:33-36 “Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”
With this in mind, when we compare this to what we read in Leviticus 13:1-4 the priest was to look at the slightest blemish in the skin, any swelling like a boil, or a scab, a small tumor, any bright spot, a red or scaly place was to be carefully looked at and observed to see if it was the product of something deeper, was it leprosy?
The priest was the one who was to examine the skin and pronounce the person clean or unclean depending upon his observation of the facts he found.Today, since Jesus Christ of Nazareth has provided the possibility to be cleansed from sin, every believer as the priesthood of believers is to detect sin in their own life and pronounce it sin when it first appears.
1 John 1: 11 He came unto his own,(the Jews) and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Leprosy brought pain and assorted troubles and problems. One thing it did was kill the nerves in the affected area. The victim of this dreaded disease was often restless and quite miserable, besides the frustration they must have felt from the stigma of the disease. They saw portions of their bodies become numb, muscles atrophy or become useless; tendons would not work and cause their hands to be like claws, along with ulceration of the hands, fingers, feet, and toes resulting in their loss bit by bit until the whole hand or foot was gone. I do not want to gross anyone out here, but you need to understand how horrible this disease really was.It is really a picture of what sin is doing in our lives if we do not repent; if we do not turn away from it and get right with our Lord.
The leper was often considered just like a dead person. It was sort of like a living death even though they were physically alive. (I’m not quite dead yet) Just like people walking about who do not really know the Lord they only know about Him. Without Christ we are really nothing more than the living dead; walking about like some horror movie, like some spiritual zombies
Ephesians 2:1-8 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:”
Regardless of one’s station in life, their position, all the honor, medals and power, possessions, and wealth, leprosy, like any sin is no respecter of persons.
Naaman was a man of position and prestige, but he had become leprous. Lepers were excluded from society. That is a picture of sin and its effect on ones life. Papa God used this to remind Israel of His holiness. Cleansing a leper would mean being restored back to a normal healthy life. This is what God wants for each of you.
The term “cure” in 2 Kings 5:3 may literally mean, “to receive back.” That is a picture of our reconciliation to God and to one another. Now look at this.
2 Kings 5:2-3 “And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife.
3 And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria ! for he would recover him of his leprosy.”
That is like some of us here who meet someone who has some disease and we say, “I know a place where you can come and get healed. Would you be interested in a more excellent way?” Some are and some aren’t.
Sin destroys us and what Papa God wants for us, but in Christ we are made new creations and can be transformed into his glorious likeness. Papa God works all things together for good for his kids and he even uses problems in our life to force us to face our deeper problems, the roots issues, those places the devil has built a strong hold in us or trained us in our thinking to be ungodly.
After you cast an evil spirit out, there is still much work to do in renewing your mind to the truth; relearning to think the way the Lord thinks. Stop being so hard on yourselves and give yourself the freedom to take your thoughts captive, to think about what you think about in a godly way.
Captain Naaman really took his problems to Papa God and found the solution which was more than simply the healing of his leprosy.
Matthew 7:7-11 “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?”
This is really an amazing picture of how the Lord brings us into salvation and that means more than just getting a passport to heaven.The Arameans had taken captive a little girl from the land of Israel and she was forced to be a maid who waited on Naaman’s wife.
This young girl sums up the sad situation here and tells Naaman’s wife if only Captain Naaman could meet the prophet back in Israel he would be healed. A number of healings took place in the Old Testament.Isn’t it amazing how the Lord always seems to have someone to bring his Word to the world so their hearts can be prepared to receive?
Here is Papa God using a little slave girl. Seems he can use anyone one of us who are willing to speak his truth. He even used that donkey to speak truth in Numbers 22.
Here was a young girl who was probably very humble, very obedient, and insignificant to powerful men like Captain Naaman. She was most likely living under dire conditions, but she had a godly outlook on life.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
This young lady was using the problems of life as opportunities or as open doors to witness for Papa God. We can all learn from this account.She was willing to risk her own life by pointing others to the Lord her God who alone could cure Naaman’s diseases.
Maybe Naaman listened to her because he ran out of all other options? After all what could a slave know? Maybe her life was living testimony that it gave credibility to her words. Naaman’s about to take a journey to Israel here.
2 Kings 5:4-7 “And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel. 5 And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel . And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. 6 And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. 7 And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.”
Here is the first problem for Captain Naaman; he is like so many people who are trying to sort out and tell the Lord how to heal them. How God should solve their problems their relationships their businesses etc!
First, he is trusting in his power, his position, and riches. Instead of thinking in terms of God’s amazing grace, he was naturally thinking in terms of favoritism, the leverage of power, wealth, and what one can earn or buy. I recall meeting many celebrities who have that outlook and attitude. Not the best way to approach the throne of grace.
Funny to think that Naaman goes to his king and together they thought they could buy the favors of God from the prophet of Yahweh through the king of Israel. Like they can obtain some political clout here, which is the way the world thinks and looks at stuff.The King of Israel is really upset here as you would be if someone came to you and expected you to heal them. The old king must have been entertaining a spirit of fear that if Naaman was not healed he would have a war on his hands. He seems paralyzed with that spirit of fear here thinking the King of Aram was seeking some reason to create an incident to attack Israel and start a war.
Pity the King of Israel did not know enough to just immediately point Naaman to Elisha, the prophet of God. Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to demonstrate the power of the God of Israel he thought only of himself. Maybe he entertain a spirit of self-pity.
That is quite a contrast to the little slave girl who thought of others more then herself. She could have thought, as many probably would have, Naaman was getting just what he deserved. She could have tried to strike a bargain in exchange for her freedom. I know this prophet that God uses and if you give me my freedom I will take you to him.
Most of us have been trained by the enemy to be like the king of Israel, quick to read things into bad situations and expect the worst rather than take life’s situations as opportunities to serve the Lord and to see him work. We think about ourselves more than we consider who our heavenly father is. How can you walk in victory when you are expecting defeat?
Though this little slave girl suffered being uprooted from her home and family she learned to trust in the Lord for all things, and then to think of others and their needs.
The king, on the other hand, considered himself accountable to no one because he was the King. He did not think he had to answer to anyone. He did not see himself as a servant of the people. A good leader is always a good servant. Think about the last supper and Jesus washing the Apostle’s feet.
Then here is Naaman; that which he thought would buy his cure was really just worthless. He was literally left holding the bag of money in his once strong but now leprous hand. We must never trust in the uncertainty of riches, power, or position but only trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding.
Power and great wealth cannot save us and it can not make us spiritual, effective witnesses. Only God’s amazing grace through Jesus Christ of Nazareth can do that.
Let us continue here.
2 Kings 5:8-10 “And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel .
9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.”
Here is Papa God’s loving concern for the sinner. Even though some of his messengers can get goofy and some times fail in their responsibility and ministry, the Lord watches over the seeking soul. In his perfect timing, Papa God sends someone willing to be used with whatever is necessary to take the seeking person another step toward the Lord and salvation.
Naaman is really representing the seeking soul here; someone who desperately needs to find the Lord. The devil put leprosy on Naaman, but God is using it here to bring Naaman to a place of knowledge and a place of salvation.
Elisha as God’s representative said “Let him come to me.” Words which the Lord wants to speak to every unsaved person. It’s like Jesus saying, “Let the little children come to me.”For Naaman to come “to know that there was a prophet in Israel” was to come to know that the God of Israel was his only hope and the only true God. Naaman had no more options. He must have been weary from the diseases and ready to give up, but there was still this little hope, this grain of a muster seed kind of hope he clung to.
Matthew 11:28 “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Here is the simplicity of salvation and of the necessity of humility in finding the Lord. The Lord will resist the proud, but lift up the humble.
2 Kings 5:11-15 “But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel ? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.
13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.”
Captain Naaman was really ticked off here and flew into a rage. His blood was boiling as he does not even get the dignity of a personal greeting from the great prophet.
Of course the other thing is that bathing in the dirty Jordan River certainly was not a legitimate medical treatment for leprosy. In fact I do not even find any other place in all of Scripture to indicate that this procedure will cure anything, especially leprosy.But that is not really the main point. Obedience to God is the main point. If you love him do as he commands.
Papa God knows everything and he saw the spirit of pride in Naaman. He saw Naaman’s distorted perception of Him as well.Naaman thought God’s grace can be earned, or bought. Then he wanted to pay Elisha for his services. This is like he would have done for those pagan gods he used to serve. But Elisha being the great man of God he knew better than to take any payment or any credit for the healing God did for Naaman.
This is really awesome how Papa God designed a specific treatment for Naaman to meet both his physical and his spiritual needs.As a result Naaman was not just healed of leprosy but he became a true believer.
This story tells us something about how we can receive healing in our lives. We need to be willing and truly desire healing enough to do whatever the Lord our God tells us to do.
Elisha did not go to the dirty Jordan River and bathe in place of Captain Naaman for him.Naaman had to humble himself and do it.We are not going to see good physical, mental, and emotional health in our churches until we learn to take responsibility and obey the Lord.
Let us pray
We thank You Papa God for Your mercy, grace and love towards us. We thank You for sending Jesus Christ of Nazareth to come save us a for the Holy Spirit to come teach us and guide and direct us.
We thank You Lord for anointing us with the Holy Ghost and with power that we can go about doing good, and healing all that are being oppressed by the devil, for we know God that You are with us. If You are with us who is able to come against us?
There is no one like You, no one mightier then You Lord.
We are in awe of You all the time. We worship You Lord and want to praise Your Holy name with every breath that we have.
Thank You Lord, Thank You for teaching and grooming us to be more like You that we can go now and do this and greater things as You direct us.
Thank You for giving us opportunities to exercise our faith.
Help us to reject every spirit of fear and that we can continually walk in Christ’s love for one another. Amen
James 5:13 is a good place to start.
James 5:13-20 “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.
14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.
19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”
Caspar McCloud Ministries © 2011