Sunday, March 02, 2014

Naaman

Dipping into the Jordan
Photo courtesy Peta Hopkins (License)
Second Kings 5:1-15

Naaman – means Pleasant!

He was a highly successful Commander-in-chief of the Syrian army under King Benhadad, King of Damascus, and a sworn enemy of Israel. He was a great man with his master, and honourable and mighty in valour. But Naaman had a number of problems:

Naaman was in a very High Position

You might ask how is that a problem? Yes, sometimes your position turns out to be a problem to you. You have to live up to that position. Moreover, your position brings you in contact with people; for Naaman, one of such people is an unnamed Jewish slave girl who served as his house maid. Some of us here have such girls in our homes. How often do we listen to their kitchen talks about us? That kitchen talk led to one of the greatest miracles in the Old Testament.


Naaman was not an Israelite!

Again must all people be Israelites? Yes, in his own case, he would soon discover that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel (v.15) Apart from that, sometimes your Nationality can be a source of problem to you. Some of us who travelled outside this country can testify to that. Most of us here are not Israelites but God still saves non-Israelites. 


Naaman was a leper. 

His most embarrassing problem was his disease. A disease that would, if in Israel, condemn him to a life of perpetual solitude and isolation, but in Syria, it appears they did not regard it as such, hence he could rise to become a Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian army. This disease is nearly incurable and Naaman would give anything to get himself cured of this disease. This is why when he heard of a prophet in Israel who would cure him; he carried with him the sum of $20,000 in Silver, $60,000 in Gold and 10 suits of clothing. His disease was also a problem to his king; who would willingly give him a letter to the King of Israel. You know, we all here have our various embarrassing diseases some worse than leprosy. One of these is the most deadly one - SIN.


Naaman was a proud man.

This made him prejudge people and try to estimate their action. He assessed himself to be a great man and every other person in Israel should recognize his greatness and give him due honour. That was why he got angry when Elisha showed him an apparent disregard and indignity. He was also furious when he was told to go to River Jordan and bath seven times. He was a Very Important Person (VIP) and expected a royal treatment. In a way we all here are like him. We have our own estimate of our positions and the one of others. We do not like to be treated the way Elisha treated him.


Naaman “thought”.

This is man’s greatest problem. We all, like Naaman think and give expression to our thoughts. We think "... if we had done our best ... God would have ..." But God levels all men when He said “My ways are not your ways and My thoughts are not your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8) Like Naaman we want that things should go the way we think makes more sense. Take the issue of salvation for instance; we think that there should be something tangible to do in order to be saved. The current plan of just believing seems a bit too simplistic.


However,

Naaman had very good loving servants.

The servants cared very much about his welfare and pried rather too much into his private life. The servant in verse 13 – “wash and be clean” urged him to be sensible. The servant gave the greatest theology of the Old Testament and a fitting summary of the whole plan of salvation. It is like the summary when Moses urged his people in the wilderness to “Look and live” at the raised serpent molded on the pole. The servant urged Naaman to give the word of God a chance. That again is the problem of most people including some of us here. Most of us want the word of God to fit into our way of life and not we into it. Hear Naaman’s servant summarize what I am saying here: “If the man of God had asked you to do something great” – Yes it would have been more reasonable.

The story is told of a young man who asked Dr. Mordecai Han, the evangelist who led Billy Graham to Christ); “what shall I do to be saved?” Dr. Mordecai replied him: “You are 2,000 years late!” Many of us are like that young man. We are too late to do something about our salvation. All that needs to be done is already done!


Naaman gave the word of God a chance and was healed 

Same for any of us here today who wants to be healed. Simply give the Word of God a chance in your life.


Naaman realized how great God is. 

Have you come to the same realization? Until you give God a chance in your life, you will never know how great He is.

Without giving God’s word a chance you will never realize how great God is, you will never rejoice in Him, you will never be made as fresh as a child, you will not enter the Kingdom of God. Naaman the leper did and rejoiced. You, whatever is your illness or problem, can be cured today. Do as Naaman did.

God bless you all. Please share your thoughts

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