Today you should read: 2 Kings 5
“And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” – Jesus Christ in Luke 4:27
You might remember the words above. They are from when Jesus was rejected in His hometown. The reference in His teaching, though, is from our passage today. 2 Kings 5 gives us the account of Naaman’s healing. Why is this a standout story in the Bible? My thoughts:
- Naaman was a Syrian, not an Israelite. God used him to bring about a Syrian victory. That doesn’t sound great for the people of Israel… well… because it wasn’t. But God is sovereign over the victories of even His people’s enemies, and these victories were often because of God’s disciplining of Israel.
- Naaman was an “untouchable”. The king wanted nothing to do with him. Leprosy was considered an “unclean” disease, and many felt it was a sign of sin & judgment. God chose to heal Naaman.
- Gehazi took what he wasn’t supposed to. He chased after payment. So now, the disease that was on a non-Jew was given to a Jew (we presume Gehazi was an Israelite). He had to deal with the consequences of his sinful decision, and this one choice would affect all of his descendants.
- The big picture. God heals people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. Naaman is us. God is gracious and welcomes undeserving people into his family. This story is a fitting reminder of that.
What jumped out at you from this passage? What do you think it must have been like for Elisha to be a part of this miracle? And Naaman: how humbling do you think it was to seek the God of Israel?
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor
3 thoughts on “March 29, 2018”
At the end of all this, Naaman still faced a dilemma. In his service to the king, he was required to enter the temple of the god Rimmon. Since his job was to literally support the king, he bowed as the king bowed – clearly in conflict with his newfound faith. Perhaps surprisingly, Elisha didn’t tell him to quit his job… he told him to go in peace. Elisha, it would seem, had some insight into Naaman’s heart.
My job occasionally requires that I visit establishments (such as strip clubs, casinos, and marijuana dispensaries) that ordinarily I would not frequent. One day as I was wrestling with how the Lord felt about this, (and thus whether or not I needed to quit my job) a mentor pointed out this passage to me. There are occasions in life where we are forced to interact with the world in ways we wish we didn’t have to. The Lord knows our hearts, and gives us peace and assurance in those moments.
I’ve always loved this story because Naaman is so stubborn and wants some glory for himself in his healing. I love his friends who just encourage him to go ahead and humble himself. Just obey. Is it really that hard to follow God? And in the end, God rewards those who seek Him. I want to be a friend and have friends that encourage me to just lay aside the weight that hinders me and press on in God. We have a cross to bear, but isn’t it easier in the long road to cling to the cross and deny ourselves and follow Him? For the joy that was set before Him, Christ endured the cross. What joys am I missing out on when I walk in my own way? And in the end, I really want a heart that delights in walking in a daily relationship with my sweet Savior.
God used the slave girl’s faith and simple testimony to do something great. That’s pretty inspiring too.