Monday, March 22, 2010

My 2 cents on 2 kings 5:5-14

I was reading 2 kings and this popped out to me. I wanted to put it up here mainly for me to read again later but also for anyone else who may find it helpful and encouraging.

So here are the verses I was reading and the ones highlighted really stood out to me but I included the context because it helps to bring through the message.

2 Kings 5:5-14 (New International Version)

5 "By all means, go," the king of Aram replied. "I will send a letter to the king of Israel." So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing. 6 The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: "With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy."
7 As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, "Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!"
8 When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: "Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel."
9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha's house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed."
11 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.
12 Are 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.
13 Naaman's servants went to him and said, "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 tells you, 'Wash and be cleansed'!"
14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

So here is some of what I got from all this:

So the first thing that struck me was the king of Israel tearing his clothes at the prospect of healing a man from his leprosy. I understand that this is from the Old Testament and the law was still in place, but as present day Christians living on “the other side of the cross” we have that power to heal people. That issue is for another topic on another day but that is what originally caught my eye.

So the king sent Naaman to Elisha, who had just been with Elijah on his last days only a few chapters ago, and Elisha gave the the man a word from God. It was a simple word instructing Naaman to wash his body in the Jordan River seven times. I am not a bible scholar, but I believe the act of washing your body in a river was a basic feat that occurred regularly and had to be considered easy. Again I am speculating on this so correct me if I am wrong but I think I am right. Also I am not sure about the significance of the Jordan River.

So Naaman had the word from God on how he could heal his leprosy. Yet he went away angry. That really stood out for me. Naaman had received a word from God and he was angry because it was not what he thought it would be. He attempted to apply his human knowledge onto the word from God, and began to question why it was not foreign rivers (that he considered better) that he should wash in. He was taking God’s word for him and trying to fit it into human understanding and human thinking. Naaman was upset that the prophet Elisha had not come out and made a scene and healed him way he thought he should. So Naaman ignored the word and went home angry.

This next part I like because it talks about the influence the people you surround yourself with. Naaman’s servants stopped him and asked him a question that Naaman could not ignore. They ask him “if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? These were Naaman servants, people less then Naaman in the social structure yet they were not going to let Naaman get off the path of God’s will. They believed for Naaman when Naaman was ready to walk away from it all, and they stood for Naaman and would not let him walk away from the healing hand of God. They tell him “how much more, then, when he tells you, 'Wash and be cleansed’.

Sometimes God gives us easy things to answer our prayers. As Christians sometimes we look for a message or command from God that is crazy or spectacular and then we think that must be from God because it is so crazy. He does sometimes command us to do “crazy” things by human standards, but sometimes he asks us to do simple things with “crazy” faith. Naaman almost walked away from God’s healing power because Elisha did not come out and make a scene and heal him the way Naaman was used to. Naaman had surrounded himself, whether inadvertently or my choice, with others who were walking with God and, without these men of God, Naaman could have walked away and went and bathed in another river and never been healed. Sometimes we need the people around us to correct us with their outside view as long as it is rooted in God’s word and is meant to help us. Surround yourself with people who love God and walk with God, because multiple heads are better then one.

I like knowing that it’s not about what God asks you to do, whether it’s routine or the craziest thing you have ever done. All He wants is for you do it with faith. When you put your faith with God’s word and command anything becomes possible. Naaman had to have washed in numerous rivers throughout his life, and he was never healed. But when Naaman washed in the right river in God’s timing and plan, with faith to stand for it, he was healed. We don’t have to do “crazy” things, although sometimes God asks us to do things we consider “crazy”. Whatever we do we have to be rooted in the faith that we believe that command is from God and that God can fulfill that promise he made to us. We do not have to earn God’s healing, all we have to do is believe in it and do whatever command God gives you with faith and God will take care of the rest.


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