by Duane Maust
II Kings 5: 1-15
February 15, 2009
This is an interesting story. Randy already pointed out how important the Bible is to us and today I want us to look at this story in 2 Kings 5 and see how it can help us today. The Bible is full of stories that have a lot meaning at a lot of different levels.
Today we meet several people in this story. A commander of an army, we have his wife, we have this young prisoner of war maid girl, the king of Syria, the king of Israel, Elisha, Elisha’s Messenger, and the men that went with the commander.
The story starts with this army commander in Syria that contracted leprosy. Here is a man that I would picture as a tall and strong man. I picture Naaman being a head taller then everybody else in the room. But he has a big problem. This leprosy he has will take his health away. Leprosy is a skin disease that contaminates the blood stream and deteriorates the nerves and tissues. As it progresses, the person will lose hair and then fingers and toes. It often results in death.
In Israel people with this disease were quarantined or sent outside the cities to live by themselves. Today we have medicine to cure leprosy. There was not a cure back in this day.
In verse 2 we meet a young Jewish girl from Israel that is a prisoner of war, she is working for Naaman’s wife. She has the bright idea for Naaman to go back to Israel to a prophet that could heal him.
Think about where this story would be without this little girl. Look at what her faith was able to start.
So Naaman went to his boss and told the king what this young girl said. The king wanted his right hand man to be healed.
So the king of Syria wrote a letter to the king of Israel for Naaman to take with him. Keep in mind, these guys are not friends. The king loads them down with about 750 pounds of silver and 150 pounds of gold, horses and chariots, and a group of helpers. Read vs. 6b
When Naaman gets to the king of Israel and he reads the letter from the king of Syria, the king he is visiting freaks out. He went berserk. He thought the king of Syria was just trying to pick a fight again.
Elisha heard that the king had a meltdown and tore his clothes. He sent the king a message that Naaman should come to him for healing.
Who is Elisha? He was the prophet that followed after Elijah. He did some of the tasks that Elijah didn’t complete. He was involved in political work. One place I read that he was a farmer and lived in the hills. He did get word that the king was upset.
Naaman and all his horses and chariots make a dash to Elisha’s place. I suppose they had their GPS set on the quickest way possible. Well, at least they got there quickly.
Big deal, Elisha doesn’t even come to the door. He just sends a messenger to the door.
Read verse 10b
“You are kidding. In that dirty river.” Naaman was wanting Elisha to come out and pray over him and wave his hands over him.
Can you imagine if someone told you to go to the Okatibee creek just off of Old Eighth Street and dip in the brown water and have the snakes just watch you.
“Yea, go do it 7 times.”
I would sooner go to Gulf Shores on that white sand and blue water. How about you?
Naaman had an interesting debate with his helpers. They talked Naaman into going to the Jordan River. Naaman almost missed being healed because of his initial apprehension to follow Elisha’s simple command to dip himself 7 times in the Jordan River.
Do you think he looked at his skin on the sixth time to see if anything was happening?
When he came up out of that water the 7th time, his skin was different. “It was clean like a young boy.”
If you hold my grandson’s hand and feel how soft it is, it is like that. Baby smooth. (he is near 14 pounds)
Now Naaman made a quick trip back to Elisha. Notice that Elisha shows up this time.
“The Man of God” is what he called him. Naaman wanted to give all the gifts he brought along to Elisha. But Elisha did not accept.
This next week, read the rest of the chapter and see what happened with the money.
Read verse 15
Naaman has experienced the hand of God on him. He is healed both physically and spiritually.
The little girl was faithful. She pointed Naaman to God in an indirect way. That is something each of us can do. We can help people find their way to church and a relationship with God. The important general could have just patted the little girl on her head and said, “You silly little girl.”
What would have happened without Naaman’s support group that traveled with him? We can encourage people to follow through on God’s plan. That is why we need a support group at times too.
Naaman shows us how to worship God in the end.
Jesus in Luke 4:27 says: And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet yet not one of them was cleaned – only Naaman the Syrian.
You may feel that you don’t deserve God’s mercy. Well, Naaman shows us that God will show mercy on anyone he wishes to. Jew or Gentile.
Pray that we are like the young girl
His support group