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The Healing of Naaman (2 Kings 5:1-5)

Sermon on 21 Jun 2020 by Elder Lee


Introduction

Today’s message on healing comes from 2 Kings chapter 5. Naaman was a commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was given great victories from God. However, he suffered from leprosy. He was to be isolated and despised for contracting an unclean disease.




Message

The king of Aram had great admiration for Naaman, the commander of his army, because through him the Lord had given Aram great victories. But though Naaman was a mighty warrior, he suffered from leprosy. – 2 Kings 5:1

At this time Aramean raiders had invaded the land of Israel, and among their captives was a young girl who had been given to Naaman’s wife as a maid. – 2 Kings 5:2

Coincidentally, previously when he led the troops to invade Israel, a young Israelite girl was captive and had been given to Naaman’s wife as a maid. Coincidentally again, this young maid knew about the prophet Elisha from Israel, who has the power from God. She believed that he would heal her master. All these are the grace and divine appointment of God.

She went to tell the reality to her mistress, who in turn told the master to seek permission from the king, to look for the prophet from Israel for healing.

One day the girl said to her mistress, “I wish my master would go and see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy.” – 2 Kings 5:3

So Naaman told the king what the young girl from Israel had said. The king treasured the life of Naaman. He gifted Naaman with lavish gifts of gold and silver, and wrote a letter to the king of Israel, requesting him to heal Naaman of his leprosy. “Go and visit the prophet,” the king of Aram told him. “I will send a letter of introduction for you to take to the king of Israel.” So Naaman started out, carrying as gifts 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and ten sets of clothing. – 2 Kings 5:4-5

The worth of all these gifts was more than 3.5 million Singapore dollars. It was a large sum.

The letter to the king of Israel said: “With this letter I present my servant Naaman. I want you to heal him of his leprosy.” – 2 Kings 5:6

In the eyes of the king of Aram, the king of Israel was defeated by him before, and had no reason to refuse his request. Moreover, since this is the king of Israel, it would be a simple task to get a prophet to do something. Naaman, with a big following of guards, came in the position of a conqueror, along with a few carts of gold, silver and gifts, went forth to the palace of Israel. He made a grand entrance.

When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes in dismay and said, “Am I God, that I can give life and take it away? Why is this man asking me to heal someone with leprosy? I can see that he’s just trying to pick a fight with me.” – 2 Kings 5:7

At that time, there was no cure for leprosy. The king of Israel was shocked by what he saw. A mighty commander of an enemy country arrived, yet requested him to heal his leprosy. Wasn’t that a risk to his life?

But when Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes in dismay, he sent this message to him: “Why are you so upset? Send Naaman to me, and he will learn that there is a true prophet here in Israel.” – 2 Kings 5:8

Later, Elisha sent for Naaman, but did not go out to meet him at the door, but sent a messenger to tell Naaman, to wash himself seven times in the Jordan river, in public.

So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and waited at the door of Elisha’s house. But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan river. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.” But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me!” – 2 Kings 5:9-11

Naaman, a great general, brought many men and gifts to the house of Elisha. However, Elisha did not want to see him. The proud Naaman became angry, felt that this was humiliating and went away.

“Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” So Naaman turned and went away in a rage. – 2 Kings 5:12

But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’” – 2 Kings 5:13

Later, upon the wise advice of his officers, Naaman humbled himself, followed the instructions of the prophet, and did as told.

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, and he was healed! – 2 Kings 5:14

Naaman was miraculously healed from leprosy.

Then Naaman and his entire party went back to find the man of God. They stood before him, and Naaman said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.” – 2 Kings 5:15

God has showered grace and healing upon Naaman, who was an enemy of Israel. There are 3 points for us to ponder:

1. God is gracious and merciful. He created the universe, all things, angels and humans. He wanted everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.

He doesn’t care where you come from; He desires all to be saved.

Who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. - 1 Timothy 2:4

2. It is God who granted strength to Naaman, that he was able to defeat the Israelites. And He allowed Naaman to contract leprosy, that he had to humble himself, to seek healing from a prophet in Israel.

Note that it was not God who intentionally gave leprosy to Naaman. God allowed Satan to give the disease to Naaman, so that Naaman would humble himself. He was able to know that all things happened in the knowledge of God, and in His divine appointment, He allowed those who sincerely and humbly repent to see His glory and receive blessing.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. – 2 Chronicles 7:14

If we want to seek God, the first thing we must do is to be humble.

3. When God displays His miracles, our faith and obedience is critical, giving thanks and committed to walk with the Lord, to live out a good testimony for Him. This is His hope and calling for us.

He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8

If we believe, we can surely see the miracles of God. Without faith, it is impossible to receive healing.

There were two characters instrumental to Naaman’s healing.

One was the young Israelite girl who was taken captive. She returned evil with good, knowing about a prophet from Israel able to heal, and shared this good news to the enemy who caused her to lose her family. This girl also feared God, and led a good example of not worshipping idols. After Naaman was healed, the girl’s testimony helped him to forsake worshipping idols. He turned towards God and obeyed Him fully.

Another character is Naaman’s officer. It was him who reminded his master about the blessing from obedience, which led his master to humble himself.

These two characters changed Naaman’s life. So, we may be lowly and ordinary, but as long as we have the courage to testify for our Lord, by the Holy Spirit, there will be someone who will be blessed because of their faith, and will give the glory to our Lord Jesus.

Closing

Besides being healed from our sickness, our soul can be restored. May we have the fear of the Holy Spirit in understanding the scriptures more and more. Have faith, hope and love to carry our cross daily and walk with Him. Be gentle and humble, fervent and upright. Become the light and salt of the world, glorifying His holy name.

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