Adam’s Blog

That’s my thing, keepin’ the faith, baby. –Joe Friday

Meditations on 2 Kings 5

Posted by Adam Graham on August 7, 2006

This chapter tells the story of Naaman, a leperous captain of the Syrians. The Syrians had captured an Israelite, who was apparently treated well in Naaman’s house. She mentioned a prophet in Samaria and the King of Syria sent Naaman to Samaria, where he went to the wicked King, Jehoram:

And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, “Now when this letter has come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest cure him of his leprosy.”

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 cure a man of his leprosy? Therefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.”

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, “Why hast thou rent thy clothes? Let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.” vs. 6-8

One thing you can say for Jehoram is that he knew his limitations, which is more than you can say for some politicians, however God had made provision for Jehoram and for Naaman.

Sometimes, people come to us with a problem, be it emotional or financial, that we cannot cope with. It’s beyond our capability. At that time, it’s appropriate to pray and think of who can help.

So Naaman was sent to Elisha’s house and Elisha sent a messenger out to go and wash in the Jordan River seven times.

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 cure the leper.’

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.

And his servants came near, and spoke 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’?”

What had angered Naaman? What had distracted him? God had moved in a way he didn’t expect. God had done it simply. He’d been expecting the man of God to come out and heal him personally, but rather was told to go in faith and bathe in a dirty river.

The servant had far more wisdom than his master. He asked a fair question. Naaman gladly would have done great Herculean deeds to earn his healing, but here all God asked was faith.

It’s what stops many people from coming to Christ, because on the surface, it’s easy, but also counter to our internal thoughts. It leaves them no one to thank, other than God, and no room for boasting. Our pride and our expectations keep us from God’s blessing, just as it almost did with Naaman. God asks faith and obedience to His will, nor matter how little sense it may make to you on an Earthly level.

Faith healed Naaman. Then, Naaman came to offer Elisha a blessing, but Elisha refused. Naaman promised to only offer sacrifices to the Lord and to refrain from the worship of false gods, except it was required by his position when the King went into the house of Rhimnon.

Why didn’t Elisha take a blessing? Because Elisha wanted all the glory and honor to go to God alone. It wasn’t about Elisha being rich, it was about Naaman learning of the one true God who was real and had servants who obeyed his voice. What follows is one of the Bible’s great cautionary tales for those in ministry.

Elisha’s servant saw a big time donation walking out the door and ran after him, pledging to get something of him. He told Naaman two young sons of the Prophets had arrived and asked for two changes of garments and a talent of silver. Naaman was so generous, he gave two talents.

And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed.

But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither.

And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?

The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.

Just as God gave Adam and Eve a chance to tell the truth, so Elisha gave Gehazi the chance. Elisha’s asked, “Is it a time to receive money and gain? No, its time to behold the Glory of the Lord.”

Anytime God moves, you have men, like Gehazi, who move in to capitalize, but God will not be made into product. God will not be sold in the marketplace to build riches. Gehazi should have fallen down and worshiped the Lord who has power over everything, from whom nothing is hidden.

Gehazi didn’t have a heart for God, he had a heart for money and he got to keep his money, but at a high price. Oh, how many Gehazis run rampant in our world.

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