Naaman’s Blunders

Text: –

2 Kings 5:14 where it says: – “So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his skin became as healthy as the skin of a young child’s, and he was healed!” (New Living Translation)

Scripture: – “2 Kings 5: 1 – 14”

Introduction: –

There is I feel in Church’s throughout our land and in other parts of the world a tendency to place an over emphasis upon specific individuals who are like “icons” in the Christian Community. We see special meetings and conventions which are held and the name of some gifted man of God is as it were “put in lights” and “proclaimed from the roof tops”, but, today “We as the Greeks in the New Testament declared to the disciples “Sir’s we would See Jesus”.

In any meeting, no matter where it is held an important place must be given to the proclamation of the Word of God, the Bible. It is the Word of God which God has given to all mankind and all generations of mankind to reveal His plan, the only plan which will be successful and when fulfilled brings the greatest sense of satisfaction.

In the Bible there are many individuals who, whilst being historical figures in their own right have their journey in life portrayed as an example by God. These are people with whom we can identify ourselves with, and one such individual is a guy by the name of Naaman.

The Healing of Naaman is one the best-known miracles wrought by the Prophet Elisha. It has been made the subject of numerous sermons in the past, supplying as it does a very striking picture of hope and deliverance. Not in all its varied aspects, because salvation is many-sided, but it portrays: –

  • The Condition of the person who is saved.
  • The Extent of the need people have
  • The Sovereign grace which meets people’s needs.
  • The Requirements that are to be complied with.

In the story of his life’s journey there is a message to be discovered by all, whether they are rich or poor, high ranking or just the ordinary person in the street.

The “Common Denominator” that is present in the whole of mankind is “Need” either spiritually by getting into contact with God, or Physically or Physiologically as far as sickness of body or mind is concerned, or even materially where money or possessions are concerned. In the case of Naaman we see his was “Spiritual and Physical”.

It is a story also that reveals that God’s sovereignty is always in play in the instruments or agents employed in the carrying out of His purposes, whether it is in the communicating of blessings or the execution of judgments. All men are in God’s hands to employ as and where He pleases.

Naaman was a man of wealth; he was a war hero, being possessed of great bravery and fortitude highly decorated. He was a leader of men, admired, powerful, influential, daring and fearless, but he had one particular weak area.

It might well be asked, what more could any man desire? He possessed everything which is most highly prized by people? having all that the human heart could wish? He had, as the expression goes, “made good in life.”

Even so there was a dark cloud on his horizon. There was something which not only thoroughly spoiled the present for him but took away all hope for the future.  He was a Leper. Here was that which cast its awful shadow over everything else. He was the victim of a loathsome and incurable disease. He was a pitiful and repulsive object, with no prospect whatever of any improvement in his condition. Leprosy, known today as Hansen’s disease, is the oldest recorded disease in the history of mankind.

Leprosy was the scourge of the day in which he lived. If one contracted the disease they would be ostracised from society and made an outcast. They would live their lives waiting the day when the disease became so serious that inevitably death would result, and during the journey there would be a considerable degree of pain and distress.

Those who were married and perhaps had children would never again be able to embrace their Wives or hold their children in their arms because to touch the individual meant contracting the disease. No longer would they enjoy the comforts and the joy of friends. Nor would they be able to pursue the dreams and desires of the heart.

In the society in which we live today leprously is difficult enough to cure and that a person is rendered non-infectious after the first treatment of modern drugs, on a par with Cancer, but in the age in which Naaman lived he was beyond human help. All that awaited Naaman was a slow, excruciatingly painful and miserable death. For Naaman there was no cure and no hope. Life for him was over. He was a walking dead man. The only thing his future held was a funeral, but wonderfully he was not beyond God’s.

Let me give you a “potted history” of the events around him. Syria, Naaman’s land had previously been brought into captivity by the Assyrians and God had given Syria, by the hand of Naaman, freedom from their bondage. The victory entailed the captivity of many however and one such captive was a young Israeli girl.

The young captive although being taken into captivity had not allowed her faith to be captive and she remained steadfast and sure in her God. She became the servant to Naaman’ s Wife and when it was discovered that Naaman had leprosy she told her mistress of a Prophet named Elisha who could heal Naaman. Leave was granted immediately to Naaman by the King and a letter provided to present to the King of Israel in order that he would have safe passage through the land.

Initially, Naaman went to the King of Israel, turned up in his Palace, presented his letter expecting a man with such power to heal to be living there, but this is where his problems begin, and why my message to you today is entitled “Naaman Blunders”.

  • Naaman Went to The Wrong Person

We are informed from the story line that Naaman went to the King of Israel presenting the Letter from the King of Syria expecting to see the King heal him and meet his need. He brought with him Ten Talents of Silver and Six Thousand pieces of Gold, plus Ten changes of clothing expecting to purchase his healing from the King.

He very soon however discovered that his need could not be met with money or clothing, and that his fame accounted for nothing, and found that no earthly King could satisfy his need, only God.

It is very clear throughout the Bible that God looks upon the heart and the outward appearance means nothing to Him. We see that Naaman’s problem was leprosy it was a very obvious physical need that he had, and the Bible portrays leprosy throughout as an image picture of sin. Sure, sin is an old-fashioned word, it is a word that may not be particularly PC in respect of everyday language but nevertheless it is still a very relevant and even more so an important issue.

Sin is in reality a “Falling Short of a Standard” in this case it is the standard that God has set in the example of Christ. Leprosy begins as a small spot on the arm or the hand or feet until it covers and corrupts the whole body and the person dies. In like manner sin begins in a small way but very soon it has multiplied until the whole of a personality is infected and the entirety of a life is influenced by it.

  • Leprosy has an insignificant beginning
  • Leprosy is often inherited.
  • Leprosy works insidiously and almost imperceptibly
  • Leprosy after incubation spreads with deadly rapidity
  • Leprosy is highly infectious
  • Leprosy is peculiarly loathsome
  • Leprosy is a state of living death
  • Leprosy was dealt with by banishment
  • Leprosy makes its victim an object of shame
  • Leprosy was incurable so far as the Old Testament was concerned

What does God say about sin? He clearly says in “Ezekiel 18: 4 – For all people are mine to judge, both parents and children alike. This is my rule: The person who sins is the one who will die” “New Living Translation –” likewise in “Ephesians: 2” it states It wasn’t so long ago that you were mired in that old stagnant life of sin. You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience” “The Message”.

What do these two declarations tell us, clearly it shows that in retrospect that anyone who sins and breaks the moral code established in their hearts will and is found wanting in regard to God’s measure, will immediately as a spiritual thing and physically as a penalty die.

No earthly King, Priest or Intercessor has the power vested in them to take away, pardon or provide a penance to remove sin and its consequences, only Jesus Christ can do this, as He was the sinless one who died upon the cross and paid God’s price for our sin. The Bible because of this declares in Acts 4: 12”No one else can save us. Indeed, we can be saved only by the power of the one named Jesus and not by any other person”.

  • Naaman Went to The Wrong Place

As the story of Naaman progresses we discover that he left the King’s Palace and went to the home of the Prophet Elisha, the Prophet that the Servant Girl told Naaman’ s Wife could heal him. The story tells us in “2 Kings 5: 9So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot and stood at the door of the house of Elisha”.

I want you to imagine for a moment the scene that is set for us. Here is this man of wealth; a war hero, highly decorated. This leader of men, who was admired, powerful and influential. He had just left the Kings Courts. He arrives outside of the Prophets house with his supercharged chariot with enormous horse power and he stands there.

Under normal circumstances it would be assumed that someone of such notoriety would have a humble Prophet and Healer come out and bow before him, but here was another of Naaman’ s Blunders.

What Naaman should have done is “Knock on the Door” of the Prophets House and then be invited to enter and find his healing, but instead he wanted things done his way, the way he had become accustomed to, the way he was used to.

Many today are making exactly the same mistake. Jesus said in “John 10: 9I am the door; if anyone enters through me, he will be saved” all we need to do and all Naaman needed to do was “turn the handle and enter in”; he and we today needed not to wait or delay. The contrary of this is also shown to us revealing how wonderfully God is reaching out to us in “Revelation 3: 20“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me” (New International Version) here it is indicating that Jesus is also reaching out to us in the midst of our need.

Today there may be people you know, perhaps friends, work colleagues or even members of your own families who have been carrying burdens of various types, sickness, depression, psychological problems. Perhaps there are those you know of who are captive to some form of habit that is holding them in its grip – Maybe some of these things are applicable to you yourself. It could even be that you feel weighed down by your sin, well! Let me give you the good news.

You may like Naaman of old gone to the “Wrong Person and the Wrong Place” but today you are in the right place. Jesus says to you right now – “I will never turn away anyone who comes to me”“John 6: 37” (Gods Word Translation)

  • Naaman Had the Wrong Prescription

Again, when we look at Naaman we notice that he had his own ideas as to how he should receive his healing, but it did not match God’s plan for him.

Many today in our modern civilisation with all its philosophies, religions and modern-day thinking have their own pre-conceived ideas as to what should happen. Many will come to God with their pride and affluence even as Naaman and notions of how God ought to work, of how He should miraculously remove their sinful past, give birth to a new life without guilt and eternal death did. God however, has His own ways of dealing with things, and I’m sorry to say it is either “My Way or No Way” as far as God is concerned. The only means of receiving help from Heaven is to conform to His ways.

  • Naaman Had the Wrong Passion

Finally, Again, when Naaman came to Elisha he came “A Proud Man, a Man filled with pride, he came full of a sense of his own importance and self-esteem” these all stood in the way of his need being met.

Naaman had two knocks to his pride: –

Elisha the Prophet of God, the famous man Naaman had heard of did not come out to meet him; instead he sent a servant by the name of Gehazi.

Today, in the storm of your need maybe you are expecting to find some famous Evangelist or renowned Teacher, Preacher or Pastor; if that is the case then you are bound for disappointment.

It was the Servant of Gods Man Gehazi who delivered to Naaman the message that he needed, and likewise today I as Gods Servant deliver it to you.

Elisha the Prophet of God gave Naaman the means of his help and deliverance, but it was not what he wanted to be given.

Gehazi told Naaman to go and submerge himself seven times in the Jordan River. Jordan was a muddy dirty river. Down from its source in the hill country flowed the stream which eventually became the Jordan River. Just now the waters ran deeper and quicker than usual. The strong current flushed along everything in its path. The normally clear stream, especially where Naaman would have to bathe, was littered with muck, mud and debris. In addition to this Naaman would have had to remove his armour, in doing so all his entourage of servants and soldiers would see the extent of his leprous condition.

He I imagine flew into a rage. He threw a fit. He whirled his horse about while filling the air with curses toward the prophet and derision toward himself. One is forced to wonder why a man in such desperate circumstances would be enraged, would reject the healing of his leprosy, would gallop homeward depressed and defeated like a man headed toward his own funeral. Hasty? Foolhardy? Absolutely.

I imagine that as he tried to calm himself, he could not rid his mind of the image that seemed frozen there. Naaman imagined himself and his entourage making their way toward the river. The picture was crystal clear. As he rode through village after village, he would be recognised as someone important, someone special. He perhaps imagined a large crowd gathering on both sides of the water as he dismounted. He could see them stretching their necks around each other to get a better look. In his mind, he could see the surprised faces, hear the taunting laughter, and feel the un-comfortableness of it all as he washed himself. What an embarrassment! What a humiliating experience! It would be easier – no, it would be preferable – to go home, face whatever he had to face, and die rather than go through that.

The extent of Naaman’s need would be revealed to all. Likewise, there are many today who remain in the midst of their need, captive and enslaved by that which holds them and in their sickness because they will not swallow their pride.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I want to say to you that when Jesus came and especially when He went to Calvary in a very real sense two worlds collided and Heaven in a new special way broke into our World. Since that day by the Holy Spirit the two Worlds are still colliding.

In life we come to arrival and departure points – points where we as the prodigal Son reflect upon our situation and either decide to continue down the road of destruction which we have arrived at or depart from it and progress down the road of life.

Today, God in Christ is reaching down into the abyss of the darkness of your life. He is the Light of the World and He is reaching into the darkness of your life bringing light. He is reaching down into your impoverishment to bring enrichment of heart. He is reaching down to remove the despair of your dark place and to lift you into newness of life.

He is reaching out to release you from what captivates your heart and mind to bring you into newness, light and love, a place of beauty where your heart will leap anew with His joy.

The Word of truth declares that by nature all of us are spiritual lepers as in the case of Naaman and therefore unfit for God’s presence, “being alienated from the life of God – Ephesians 4:18”.

You may occupy a good and eminent position in this world; you may have made good in your vocation and have reached praiseworthy achievements, by human standards. You may be held in esteem in the sight of your peers, but how do you appear in the eyes of God?

But what is beyond the power of man is possible with God. Where the science of the ages stands helpless, the Saviour manifests His sufficiency. “He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him”Hebrews 7:25”.

Naaman plunged his entire body into the waters. Upon emerging, he quickly surveyed himself. The leprosy was still there. Nothing had changed. Under the water he went a second time and upon rising was dismayed to once more see no change in his diseased flesh. “What a fool I am,” he must have thought. “I knew it wouldn’t work. I knew this was crazy,” he must have mumbled to himself. “But since I’m already here, I might as well go all the way.” So, a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth time Naaman submerged himself. No change. Nothing was different. Then into the water one last and desperate time and upon lifting his body to the surface the sight that greeted his eyes his flesh had come again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was healed.

Likewise, when a person seeks release from the leprosy of sin and invites Jesus Christ into his or her life, there is a freshness of soul and tenderness of heart that will spring forth as forgiveness and healing is experienced.

If today, you are stumbling over the trials of life and wrestling unseen enemies. If you are experiencing your own personal raging storm. Your dreams in their fragility seem to be broken and lost. Well! Let me tell you that if you will today place your life into the hands of Jesus then you will discover that He is mighty to deliver and give you freedom afresh.

So thoroughly radical is the work of that Jesus does that it is described as being “born againJohn 3:7. Sin’s disease is taken away and replaced by a new kind of life. Though simple, all one has to do is ask Jesus Christ to come into his or her heart and life.


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