O. T. #833 "Dirty Water, Dirty Skin, Dirty Heart "
Sept. 20, 2016
2 Kings 5-Part 2
LET IT GLOW
We left Naaman, the supreme commander of the Aramean army and enemy of Israel, at Elisha's door waiting. Do we often find our self waiting at God's door for an answer? Waiting by faith is so hard to do. The asking isn't so hard for me, but the waiting is. I have to trust God's timing and wisdom. It's out of my control. That's it. I like to plan and have things go according to my plan. Looks like I'd learn-God's ways are not my ways according to Jeremiah 29:11.
Wait a minute, Linda. you didn't ask Me to heal you of that stomach virus so you could complete My assignment, speaking to the girls for Me.
Ouch, Lord, Your words stab me in my heart. You are right! I stand corrected and broken. I did not ask You Jesus to heal me and get dressed to go anyway, walking by faith. Maybe deep down in my heart I didn't want to go, for there were people attending that I did not want to see that day. How wrong was my focus. A dirty heart full of sin, was mine. I am so sorry, for it was sinful. Now I have to live with my regret of disobedience all my days. God, You are merciful and forgiving.
Folks, I learned a lesson, the hard way. (I pray my friend who spoke my words received a blessing and the girls came close to God despite my, (gulp) lack of faith.) Naaman had some lessons to learn, too. Let's see what happened:
- Elisha sent a messenger outside to greet Naaman, who is knocking and waiting for the door to open.
- The message was instructions for Naaman to go and wash 7 times in the Jordan River. Then his skin would be restored, and he'd be healed of his leprosy.
- Naaman got angry and stalked away. Really? Why did he do that?
- He thought Elisha would at least come to meet him personally, wave his hand over Naaman's leprosy, call on the name of the LORD his God, and heal Naaman. It didn't happen his way.
- Naaman even questioned the directions of dipping into Israel's river, thinking the two rivers of Damascus was much better than the muddy Jordan River.
- Why shouldn't I wash in them and be healed?
- Naaman left in a rage.
- Obedience to God begins with humility. Naaman was a great hero and used to being shown respect. Elisha did not come himself to speak with Naaman directly, so he felt disrepected.
- God's way is better than our own-the best way. It requires faith to please God. We must believe that His way is better than our way. Be willing to change plans.
- God wants our obedience more than anything else. (Naman brought expensive gifts and money to pay for healing, but God's favor is not bought. Elisha refused it.) Grace is not obtained by works, least anyone should boast about what they did to obtain it.
- God can use anything to accomplish his purposes, even muddy water. Did you see Naaman's pride in not wanting to dip into Israel's muddy water instead of his clean river? (Life Application Study Bible)
Respect vs. disrespect
Obedience vs. disobedience
Grace vs. works
Muddy vs. clean
Sin vs. repentance
Naaman's problem was not only a dirty spotted disease on the outside of his body, but also a spiritual problem on the inside-a dirty heart spotted with sin and doubt.
Me too, Jesus. I stand in need of grace, waiting for Your forgiveness and soul-cleansing so my sin-spotted heart can be cleansed. Help me to die to self and do Your will. Let me serve You once again.
LET IT GROW
Does he or doesn't he? Does Naaman go dip 7 times in the Jordan River? Let's see.
This prideful leprous man stormed off, probably his rage turned into bitterness, and quickly. Well, if he ain't goin' to do it my way, forget it. I'll jut keep these spots. If my money is no good with that man of God, what kind of man is he, anyway?
In verse 13, listen of Naaman's officers trying to reason with him:
Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn't you have done it? So should you certainly obey him when he says simply, "Go and wash and be cured!"
Did Naaman expect to have to do some great thing in proportionate to his status? Yes, he did.
So Naaman did as Elisha instructed his messenger to relay the message of dipping himself 7 times. What was the result? Naaman's skin was as soft as a baby's----, well, as healthy as a young child's.
Naaman was like the 1 out of 10 lepers who were healed by Jesus and returned to thank Him.
Then Naaman and his entire party went back to find the man of God, Elisha. Naaman told him,
Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.
Did Elisha accept the million in gold and silver and clothes? No, Elisha refused. He wasn't in the ministry for the money. The miracle gave God the glory, since He did it.
Then Naaman requested to take two mule loads of dirt back home with him. Huh? Why on earth did he want to take some earth home?
Falwell explains, "He still associated Jehovah with the land of Israel and believed that to worship Him in a foreign land some Israelite soil was necessary."
Some people believed deities had power only on their own soil. Naaman desired to build an altar to the Lord with dirt from the land of Israel to ensure Yahweh would be present when he worshiped in his homeland of Syria. (David Jeremiah)
We see Naaman's conversion genuine since he desired to sacrifice to Jehovah, and he was concerned that he might be considered an idolater when he assisted his king in worshipping his god. Therefore, Naaman asked the Lord's pardon for such an act. He had no intention of worshiping an idol now.
There is no God except Jehovah, Yahweh, Almighty God, the One True Living God.
Chances are, those of us who read that sentence believe it. But do those we work with, those who live around the corner believe it? Are we sharing the truth with them?
LET IT GO
and let God be God of my life.