I’m Humbled! I’m Being Humbled! I’m Learning How to Walk Naturally in the Supernatural Anointing of a Living God.

2 Kings 5:8-14 Amplified Bible

Now when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent word to the king, asking, “Why have you torn your clothes? Just let Naaman come to me, and he shall know that there is a [true] prophet in Israel.” So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stopped at the entrance of Elisha’s house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you, and you will be clean.” 11 But Naaman was furious and went away and said, “Indeed! I thought ‘He would at least come out to [see] me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God and wave his hand over the place [of leprosy] and heal the leper.’ 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus [in Aram], better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So, he turned and went away in a rage. 13 Then his servants approached and said to him, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he has said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean?’” 14 So he went down and plunged himself into the Jordan seven times, just as the man of God had said; and his flesh was restored like that of a little child, and he was clean.

The Word of God for the Children of God. Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Amen.

He was the top commander in a powerful army.

He knew all the right people. His king regarded him as “a great man.”

He was a great military leader with many great victories on the battlefield.

He was a powerful man and a powerful leader.

His soldiers followed him, put their lives on the line without question, onto the fields of combat assured he would always lead them to victory after victory,

He had not failed his men or his king.

He was a confident man and had every reason to be.

He had influence and money.

He had an Army which was loyal to him.

He had servants at his beck and call.

He had an entourage that followed him everywhere.

His every command was followed.

And he was a leper.

Leprosy changed everything for Naaman. And this leprosy set the stage for an intriguing drama, a story that tells us something of what baptism is about.

Most of us, in our most honest moments, would choose to exercise power over walking in weakness, influence over being ignored, and prestige over neglect.

We love to be the ones who are in command, making the decisions and getting the perks and the promotions, not the one who depends on another’s mercy.

Yet, with all of his influence, Naaman found that no one could help him. And in this one area of his life, he couldn’t help himself. He was at the end of his rope.

So he went to see the prophet of God in Israel.

The prophet’s instructions, though, seemed like a joke, an insult.

Wash in the Jordan?!

What was wrong with the waters of the rivers of his native country?

Yet, they were insufficient – they had not cleansed him of his leprosy.

Now, he was desperate – his circumstances and condition were intolerable.

Naaman would gladly have done some great deed—anything!

—to be cleansed of his leprosy and to earn the favor of the God of Israel.

But the God of Israel doesn’t work that way.

God remembers His own and cares for His own, but His own does not mean only the people of Israel.

• It refers ultimately to everyone who is willing to acknowledge God, believe and worship Him, as the one and only true God.

• So, God’s grace is not going to be confined within the borders of Israel.

God wants to bring the world back to Himself, starting with Israel.

We see here the grace of God extending to a foreigner, an Aramean commander of the Syrian army.

• Naaman had everything – position, status, fame, success – and leprosy.

• The last one spoilt everything. With leprosy, the rest matters little. He has a need that is beyond him.

The author of this passage was inspired by it, wanted us to see this. Look at the words he used to describe his good life – a great man in the sight of his master (King), highly regarded, gained many victories in battles, and a valiant soldier.

• He is a great man, with great reputation, great capability, great courage, great accomplishments, AND a great sickness.

• The author ended the trail of accolades with “and he had leprosy”.

He needs God.

At the end of the day, what we really need isn’t what this world can offer us.

• Naaman needs a miraculous cure for his leprosy.

His own native waters were insufficient for the task.

It seems Naaman’s influences did not extend to his commanding the waters of his native land to cleanse him. His presence did not move the waters one inch.

I can envision him, in his desperation, standing on the water’s edge and over and over again, shouting command after command – “cleanse me my waters!”

That failing him, further enraged at the desperation of his physical plight, walking into the waters of his native land, raising his fist against his waters.

He would walk, maybe even run, deeper and deeper into the waters, dunking himself over and over and over again yelling, “cleanse me, I command you!”

Yet for all of his power and influence, for all of the victories he achieved on the battlefield, for all the loyalty he commanded of others, the love of his own king,

The Leprosy moved not one inch from his body.

He had no command over his own body – he could not command his Leprosy to leave him – he commanded thousands but could not command his own healing.

None of his servants had any power to heal him.

None of his own loyal soldiers could do anything to help their commander.

Anyone and everyone around him only communicated their utter helplessness.

Thousands and thousands and thousands of shoulders shrugging, apologizing.

What did that kind of helplessness look like to Naaman?

What does that kind of helplessness look like to us right now.

What did those feelings of complete helplessness do for Naaman’s self-esteem?

What do those feelings of complete helplessness do for our own self-esteem?

What does Helpless Pie taste like?

What does Hopeless Pie taste like?

What does Humble Pie taste like?

For Naaman, it tasted a whole lot like Leprosy.

What a new experience for Naaman – In complete command of everything and of everyone around him – except in this one thing – commanding his healing.

The author was moved by this, wanted us to see this. Look at the words he used to describe Naaman’s good life – a great man in the sight of his master (King), highly regarded, gained many victories in battles, and a loyal, valiant soldier.

• He is a great man, with great reputation, great capability, great courage, great accomplishments, AND a great sickness.

• The author ended the trail of accolades with the buzz killing statement of Naaman’s inescapable and undeniably painful reality “and he had leprosy”.

He needs God.

At the end of the day, what we really need isn’t what this world can offer us.

• Naaman needs a miraculous cure for his leprosy. He needs God to heal him.

• So, the story goes, he went seeking for God’s help, through a prophet of Israel.

That’s at first glance.

A casual reading gives us this picture of a man seeking God.

• But on closer reading, it is more accurate to say, God is reaching out to him.

• The author says God has been giving him victories in battles.

• 5:1 “He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, BECAUSE through him the Lord had given victory to Aram.” (5:1)

• His reputation was given by the God, because his successes were given BY God.

This is the GRACE of God. God showed him favour.

And then we see another of God’s sovereign act.

A young Israelite girl was captured in one of those Aramean raids and ended up as a servant for Naaman’s wife (5:2).

“Why does not my master, Naaman seek out Elisha, the Prophet in Israel …?”

• The words of this servant girl became the critical bridge for Naaman to be introduced to the prophet of God in Samaria. Ultimately, to God Himself.

• The whole story hangs on her still small voice speaking up, the daring, minor role she played and the few words she said, and we do not even know her name.

We do not even know whether or not the little girl was rewarded for her caring

• You don’t need a name to serve God or doing something significant like caring for others – daring to put your life out there, then risking rebuke, risking wrath and risking an unknown punishment for opening our mouths against authority.

And I sincerely hope and pray we don’t serve God, care for others, looking for a name and a reputation too.

• Be amazed at how God works to fulfil His will.

He can surprise us.

This young servant girl’s words of daring, caring, were brought before the King!

• Naaman used her timely words to ask for permission to go seek for this prophet.

The King took up the girl’s suggestion!

The King gave him an official letter to see the King of Israel. They might have thought that such a great prophet must be working in the King’s own courts.

• The King of Israel was taken aback and read this as a possible excuse for the Syrians to start a war, for failing to heal their commander.

• The plan almost backfired until Elisha, God’s anointed Prophet heard of the outburst and sent a message.

The King did not look for the prophet. He doesn’t know what to do next.

• Again we see the providence of God. God works at every step of this story to make this encounter possible.

Naaman was re-directed to see the prophet, with his entourage of horses and chariots (5:9). We can imagine the grandeur of this visit.

• But when he arrived at the door of Elisha’s house, Elisha remained indoors.

A messenger came out and gave him a blunt order: “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored, and you will be cleansed.” (5:10).

• It was a test of faith moment. But this was unacceptable to a reputable man.

Elisha did not even greet him, his entourage, when he was already at his door.

2 Kings 5:11-12 “But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So, he turned and went off in a rage.

• Naaman had certain expectations – he had earned and expected “due respect.”

But instead, a simple servant of Elisha had written, spoken, a simple message.

He had already written God’s script for Him: “This is what you should do and how you should do it.”

• This sounded so familiar to me because very often, we come to God in the same manner – with a certain set agenda and script.

• We have our own very specific, very detained ideas and expectations of how God ought to do things for us, and when the things don’t synchronize with our expectations, we become disappointed, not at circumstances but WITH GOD.

Moreover, going to river Jordan wasn’t going to be that simple a walk. They are now in Samaria. River Jordan would take a while, some travelling (40km away).

• Grumbling, “it would be so much easier to wash in the rivers nearer home.”

• Grumbling and dissatisfied, in the spur of the moments, he decided to leave.

His servants stepped in and talked some sense to him.

Again, we witness the providence of God acting through Naaman’s soldier!

• What do you really want?

To save face and uphold your reputation? Or to get yourself healed? If that is what you want, just do this simple thing – “wash seven times and be cleansed!” (5:13)

• This simply worded instruction carries with it a promise. Elisha did not say, “You go wash at Jordan and see what happens.” Like what some doctors say.

But the promise was given: “… and your flesh will be restored, and you will be cleansed.” (5:10).

The challenge is, can Naaman separate himself from his grumbling, trust the words of the prophet fully. It’s a crisis of faith. Can he obey what God has said?

• By God’s grace, Naaman did what he was told, and he was completely healed – “his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.” (5:14).

Naaman’s change was not just physical.

We witnessed a change that was both physical and supernaturally spiritual.

• Naaman returned back to thank Elisha and within the short discourse which followed, we see witness him addressing himself as “your servant” – 5 times in 5:15-18. No longer the proud commander with great accolades.

• He saw his true self before a true God. He confessed his faith in God: “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel…” (5:15)

• And asked for forgiveness from God for having to accompany his King when he enters the temple of Rimmon (5:18).

We see the reach of God’s grace.

God extended grace and this foreigner received it and believed God.

• In a time of great apostasy when most within Israel would not want God, this foreigner believed that Israel’s God is the only true God.

• Jesus made this comment in Luke 4:27 “And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed – only Naaman the Syrian.” This foreigner was willing to believe God.

Naaman was humbled and grateful and wanted to give the prophet some gifts.

• Elisha refused any reward, obviously and rightly so, because this has nothing to do with him.

• It has been the work of God from the beginning, and everything happened by the providence of God. This has been a display of God’s amazing grace!

• And that explains why what happened next is such a great aversion to God.

2 Kings 5:19-27Amplified Bible

19 Elisha said to him, “Go in peace.” So Naaman departed and was a good distance away from him,

20 when Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “My master has spared this Naaman the Aramean (Syrian), by not accepting from him what he brought. As the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.” 21 So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and said, “Is all well?” 22 And he said, “All is well. My master has sent me to say, ‘Just now two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a [a]talent of silver and two changes of clothes.’” 23 Naaman said, “Please take two talents.” And he urged him [to accept] and tied up two talents of silver in two bags with two changes of clothes and gave them to two of his servants; and they carried them in front of Gehazi. 24 When he came to the hill, he took them from their hand and put them in the house [for safekeeping]; and he sent the men away, and they left. 25 Then he went in and stood before his master. Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” He said, “Your servant went nowhere.”

26 Elisha said to him, “Did my heart not go with you, when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Is it a [proper] time to accept money and clothing and olive orchards and vineyards and sheep and oxen and male and female servants? 27 Therefore, the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever.” So Gehazi departed from his presence, a leper as white as snow.

Elisha was adamant in refusing Naaman’s gifts, but his servant Gehazi was eager to get them as Elisha’s “due reward.” In fact, he ran after them, literally.

• If this has been the work of God’s grace, then no one could, should, take credit for it. No one should take any reward for this and rob God of His rightful glory.

• Gehazi’s actions robbed God of His glory and marred the character of God.

Firstly Gehazi’s action itself transgressed half of the Ten Commandments.

1st – You shall have no other gods before Me.

3rd – You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

8th – You shall not steal.

9th – You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour. (He lied a few times.)

10th – You shall not covet.

But his most serious offense was the distortion of the truth about God.

• His behaviour ran contrary to all that God represents, giving the impression that the healing can be paid for, and as a sure reward, we can buy God’s favour.

• That’s precisely the distorted thinking of pagan worshippers, that man can bribe or manipulate the favor of their God into giving them what they want.

The message that Elisha conveyed – that this healing is free, it is the grace of God alone, it is the work of God alone and you don’t have to give me anything – was destroyed by this greedy act of Gehazi.

• Naaman was made to “pay”, so it seems, for the healing that he had just received. And Elisha was the one asking for it, on the pretext that he had visitors.

• It implied that the God of Israel was a “taker”, just like Baal and the rest of the pagan gods.

Little servant girls, Prophets like Elisha, wakes us out of our self-sufficiency.

The humble, humbled unknown servant girl dared and risked everything to care enough about her Master – “be healed, go and find Elisha the Prophet in Israel.”

Elisha didn’t even greet the entourage.

He sent a messenger to say, in effect, “Go, humble yourself. And be cleansed.”

• But God is HOLY (set apart, separate, distinct) and unlike any other.

He has no comparison or competition.

Gehazi’s action pulled the character of God down to the level of pagan gods.

• He was undoing what God has done – showing goodness and grace to Naaman – revealing Israel’s God as very unlike other gods.

• Gehazi put a price on the goodness and grace of God. God’s honor was badly tarnished, and His glory shaded, shadowed, robbed by Gehazi most sinful act.

• Hence the judgement of God. It is fair and it is right.

It more than just about greed and lying; it is about the holiness of God.

• God upholds His Name and glory. His judgement could be worse. He was gracious.

We have tasted God’s goodness and grace today.

We’ve come to know Him and what He has done, through Jesus.

“What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Refrain:
O precious is the flow
that makes me white as snow;
no other fount I know;
nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

• Let us rejoice and give thanks.

Let us walk in the supernatural anointing of the blood of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Let us bow down, kneel down, prostrate ourselves, and humbly worship Him.

Let us honor and glorify Him in every way possible.

Are we willing to be humbled as Naaman?

Are we ready, willing and able to walk in humility s Naaman was?

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Write Your Words of Grace on My Heart, O’ God of my Salvation,

Everlasting Father, thank you that you have revealed yourself to me. May I not forget your teaching but keep your commands in my heart. Through your power, prolong my life, bringing me peace and prosperity. May your love and faithfulness never leave me, write your words on my heart. May your grace transform my life, that I may be gracious to others. Let me trust in you with all your heart and lean not on my own understanding; in all your ways may I submit to you, and you will make my paths straight. Through Savior Jesus Christ, our Lord. Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

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Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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