2 Kings 5 part 3

 

This chapter contains one of the most popular stories in the O.T and even Jesus specifically mentions the event that occurs in this chapter.

 

Luke 4:27 "And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian."

 

So, as you can see our story is about Naaman and how he was cleansed from his leprosy. Lets begin with,

 

2 Kings 5:1 Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper.2 And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman's wife.

 

This is first time we see this Naaman mentioned. He is a Gentile commander of a Gentile army. We learn that he was considered by his King to be a very honorable man. It is interesting that this writer attributes these Gentilesí victories to God. Some might wonder why God would help a nation win its battles when they were not His chosen people. Well, what you will discover as you read the O.T. is that God would use Gentile nations to punish the children of Israel when they were not following after God and He would also use Gentile nations to fulfill prophecy.

 

Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

 

This tells us that God is in control and He can use the righteous and the unrighteous to bring about His providential care. We also learn that Naaman is a leper. Even though he was a great commander and did many things to further his nation he was still a diseased man. In a similar way, every person on the face of the earth no matter how good and honorable they may be are stained with sin until they obey the Gospel.

 

Now the Syrians had been attacking the Northern tribe of Israel and they were taking prisoners. One of these prisoners was this young girl who was made to serve Naamanís wife.

 

2 Kings 5:3 Then she said to her mistress, "If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy."4 And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, "Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel."

 

Now, I find this interesting. Here you have a young girl who has been taken from her family and is being forced to serve as a slave. Yet, we do not see her complaining about her situation. Instead, she has compassion for Naaman and his wife. So, she tells Naaman wife of a way that Naaman could be free from this awful disease of leprosy. When I think about this young girl it reminds me of how every Christian should be today. We should have this same type of compassion for all those who are still in their sins. Just as this young girl, we should be willing to share the good news of Jesus with them so that they can know how they can be cured of their sins.

 

I want you to put yourself in the shoes of Naaman. If you had a disease that was eating away at your flesh, wouldnít you try just about anything to find a cure? Of course you would. So, when Naaman found out that Elisha could cure him, he immediately went to his king and told him what this young girl had said.

 

Sometimes I wish that our sin could be seen like leprosy. If we could physically see how ugly our sin is we would have a stronger desire to find a cure for our sin and if we are already a Christian, we would work harder at keeping sin out of our life.

 

2 Kings 5:5 Then the king of Syria said, "Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel." So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing.6 Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said, Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy.

 

The king had great respect for Naaman especially for all the great victories he accomplished for their nation. So, he was willing to do whatever he could to help Naaman out. So, he writes a letter to send to the king of Israel to make it official that he wants Naaman to be healed. The king was willing to pay for this service that is why Naaman was sent with 750 pounds of silver, 150 pound of gold and these 10 sets of clothing.

 

2 Kings 5:7 And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, "Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me."

 

This king knew that he didnít have the ability to heal Naaman because he was not a God. Since there was no way for him to heal this disease, he assumes this is just an excuse for the King of Syria to battle against him. So, he tears his clothes thinking that this is a no win situation.

 

2 Kings 5:8 So it was, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, "Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel."

 

Now we are not informed how Elisha finds out about this situation, but when he does, he sends word to the king to have Naaman come to him so that it will be know that there is a prophet of God in Israel.

 

2 Kings 5:9 Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha's house.10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean."11 But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, "Indeed, I said to myself, 'He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.'12 "Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, 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.

 

Again, I ask you to put yourself in the shoes of Naaman. Here you are, a very important man who has the backing of entire nation. Now you arrive at Elisha house and you expect that someone as important as you would receive a special welcome. But, that didnít happen. Elisha didnít even come out of his house. Instead, he sent his servant with a message for him to go dip 7 times in the dirty Jordan River. Now think about how this would make you feel. It made Naaman furious.

 

In his mind he thought that Elisha would come out to meet him, call upon God, wave his hands and heal his leprosy. Since Elisha didnít meet his expectations it made him mad and wasnít about to go dip 7 times in the Jordan river especially since he could go do the same thing in rivers in Damascus that were much cleaner than the Jordan. So, he went away in rage.

 

Naaman represents a lot people in the world today because there are many who have the same reaction to Godsí truth as Naaman did. You see, Elisha gave requirements that were necessary for Naaman to be healed. He had to go dip 7 times, not 6, and it had to be in the Jordan River. If Naaman would obey all of Godís instruction, then he would be cured from his leprosy. This is the pattern that will you see throughout the entire Bible. God will provide his grace, which we do not deserve, but He never just gives it to us because He always requires us to accept His gift of grace by obeying his commands. For instance, Noah found grace in the sight of the Lord in Gen. 6:8. But, in order to be saved he had to build an ark just like God told him to and it wasnít until he finished that ark and closed the door that God started the rain and saved Noah and his family.

 

Joshua and the walls of Jericho are another great example.

 

Joshua 6:2 And the LORD said to Joshua: "See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor.

 

Joshua and his men didnít do anything to deserve or earn this gift from God, but it was His to give and He gave to them. However, they had to accept this gift and God tells them how.

 

3 "You shall march around the city, all you men of war; you shall go all around the city once. This you shall do six days.4 "And seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. But the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets.5 "It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him."

 

So they had to march around the walls and blow the trumpet on the 7th day and even after the wall fall down, they had to go in and defeat the people of Jericho. This is the pattern you will see over and over again when it comes to Godís gift of grace just as we have seen in our story with Naaman. We also see this pattern continues into the N.T. as well because God has given the gift of Grace to everyone.

 

Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

 

Like Naaman none of us deserve God grace. If we got what we deserved Naaman would never have been offered the freedom from his leprosy and we would never have been offered the freedom from our sins. But, glory be to God that he loves us so much that He has offered you and I the wonderful gift of grace so that we can be healed from sins that stain our souls. Just like our O.T. examples, God doesnít give His gift of grace without us accepting it by obeying all His commands. This is why you will never find a verse that says we are saved by God grace or faith alone. In fact, when you look at Eph. 2:8, it says by grace you have been saved through faith. The faith that is being spoken of here is not merely believing. All you have to do is look at James 2 and you will that we are not saved by faith alone because we must also have works. These works are not works of merit, but works of obedience.

 

Now, I want you to look at verse 5 again and notice it says that we were dead in our trespasses, which means we were spiritual dead in our sins, but we were made alive together with Christ. So, it was only at the point of being made alive together with Christ that our sins were taken away. So, when does this happen? At what point in the plan of salvation does this occur?

 

Colossians 2:11 In Him you were also circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ,12 buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses,

 

Do you see what Paul has just taught us? He tells us clearly that when a person is baptized, they are being buried with Christ and by their faith in the working of God they can know that when they are raised up out of the watery grave of baptisms that they are being made alive with Christ and their sins have been forgiven just Eph. 2:5 just told us. Now we know that the Bible also teaches us that we must believe that Jesus is the son of God (John 3:16), repent (Luke 13:3) and confess Jesus as our Lord ( Rom. 10:9). These things are certainly necessary for our salvation, but our sins are not removed and we are not made alive with Christ until we are baptized into Christ for the remission of our sins.

 

Paul also makes this same statement in,

 

Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

 

A person would have to try really hard not to see the clarity of these passages. Again, baptism is the point that we are buried and united with Christ. At the point of baptism we put off our old sinful self and we die to our sins and we are raised no longer being a slave to sin. Baptism is not an option just like Naaman dipping in the Jordan river 7 times to be healed of his leprosy was not an option. That why Peter says,

 

1 Peter 3:21 There is also an antitype which now saves us Ė baptism

 

At the birth of the church once again Peter says,

 

Acts 2:38 Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins;

 

Thatís why Annais tells Paul,

 

Acts 22:16 'And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.'

 

Now the only reason I am stressing baptism in this lesson is because many in religious world will tell you that baptism is not necessary and that your sins are forgiven before you are baptized ,but that is not what the word of God says as have shown you verse after verse. You see, many today have the same attitude that Naaman had when Elisha servant said he had to go dip 7 times in the Jordan river. He became furious because he wanted things done his way and he even wanted to substitute the Jordan river with the rivers of Damascus.

 

This is exactly what many denominations have done with the plan of salvation. They have substituted baptism with grace or faith alone. Others have added the sinnerís prayer, which does not exist in the Bible. Now, when you point out Godís truth about baptism as I have just done, people will get angry and will not listen and they will run of in a rage because they donít want to listen to what the Word of God says. This is sad, because many of these people are good and honorable just like Naaman, but until they are willing to obey all of Godís commands, which includes being baptized into Christ for the remission of their sins, they are going to remain lost because they are still stained with sin.

 

One of Naamanís problems was that he thought that Elisha should could out to him and wave his over him. We can tell ourselves all day long that we think that God will accept this or that based on the way feel, but I got news for you, God is not concerned about what we think or how we feel because He is the one in control and we must submit ourselves to His will and His way or we will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

 

Matthew 7:21 " Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

 

2 Kings 5:13 And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean'?"14 So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

 

Naaman was luck because he had a servant that was able to make him see the light. Naaman realized that if Elisha had told him to accomplish something great that he would not have questioned it, He would have done it. This makes him realize how foolish he was being and so he submitted to the command of God. He went to the Jordan river and dipped himself, that is he fully immersed himself 7 times, and it wasnít until that 7th time that his flesh was restored. Now depending on the stage of his leprosy it is possible that his nose, ears and eyelids could have been completely gone, but now he is completely whole.

Now there was nothing magical about the Jordan river it was simply the place that God designated for this miracle to take place.

 

This same principle is true today because God had designated water baptism as the point that we receive the forgiveness of our sins. Again, there is nothing magical about the water, its just the place that God cleanses us of our sins. I hope that if you are here today and you have never been baptized for the remission of your sins that you will allow me to be like the servant of Naaman and you will allow me to reason with you. I have already shown that Godís Word says that baptism is necessary for your salvation and it is the point that you sins are forgiven. So, what are waiting for? If Godís Word said that you had to fast for 10 days and then walk 10 miles to be saved wouldnít you do it? Well, why donít you submit to Godís Word and allow yourself to be healed from your sins by being baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Itís not difficult, but it absolutely necessary for your salvation.

 

2 Kings 5:15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, "Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant."16 But he said, "As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing." And he urged him to take it, but he refused.17 So Naaman said, "Then, if not, please let your servant be given two mule-loads of earth; for your servant will no longer offer either burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD.18 "Yet in this thing may the LORD pardon your servant: when my master goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon -- when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the LORD please pardon your servant in this thing."19 Then he said to him, "Go in peace." So he departed from him a short distance.

 

Naaman knows that the only reason he has been healed from his leprosy is because He followed the instructions of Elisha and because His God is the only God. So, he makes a commitment that he will only serve God almighty. He even thinks that the dirt there is special so he has 2 mules to carry back as much dirt as he can. Now he tries to offer Elisha a gift for what has been done, but Elisha would not take it because the gift that Naaman received came from God. This shows us that Godís gift cannot be purchased.

 

That is why we cannot earn our merit our salvation today. We can only accept it by obeying all of God commands. Now letís finish up this chapter.

 

2 Kings 5:20 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, "Look, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian, while not receiving from his hands what he brought; but as the LORD lives, I will run after him and take something from him."21 So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw him 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, saying, 'Indeed, just now two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from the mountains of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of garments.' "23 So Naaman said, "Please, take two talents." And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and handed them to two of his servants; and they carried them on ahead of him.24 When he came to the citadel, he took them from their hand, and stored them away in the house; then he let the men go, and they departed.25 Now he went in and stood before his master. Elisha said to him, "Where did you go, Gehazi?" And he said, "Your servant did not go anywhere."26 Then he said to him, "Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants?27 "Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever." And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow.

 

This is great example of how one lie will lead to another. First, Gehazi lies to Naaman and then he lies to Elisha. Gehaziís greed and his lies end up making him receive the leprosy of Naaman. This story should serve as a strong warning to all those who try to make a profit off those who are willing to help in God cause. Those supposed preachers on TV who deceive the people and tell them that if they will send in 1000 dollars that God will give them back 10 fold or more and all they do is line their pockets with this money they will receive something much worse than that what Gehazi received because they will receive their eternal judgment when Jesus comes again.