Elisha The Man Of God Series, 10


Humility Leads To Favor
Obedience Takes Trust

Are we on board?

In this narrative, the character of Naaman today could be a president of a great nation, or a father in a household. The story introduced Naaman as a man of authority. Yet before the God of Creation, he learned humility and was duly shown the faithfulness of God when he learned the ropes of how to respond to the mercies of God.

Leprosy is grievous disease any time of history. As I looked for a picture to illustrate the reproach that Naaman had to live with as a famous adult in the presence of the king of Syria, I find it hard to show a picture of a patient. God had mercy of Naaman. It is a story of hope that we come to read in this account.

Y’shua was known to heal a leper and then many lepers directly for He is God. In Matthew 8, right after the Sermon On The Mound, the first thing recorded of His mighty deeds was healing a leper.

 When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper[a[Leviticus 13]] came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus[b] stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, 

“I will; be clean.” 

And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Here as hundreds of years ago, faith was the healing agent for the sign. Naaman was healed by faith, not by the water in the river Jordan. The leper was healed by his faith in Y’shua, holding Him as his Lord and His power to heal.

Background

Naaman was a Syrian, the commander-in-chief of the armies of Benhadad (Syria). He operated in the time of Joram, king of Israel, spawn of Jezebel and Akh’ab, the most evil ruler over Israel. Naaman the namesake means Pleasant & Agreeable.

It was probably a humbling act for a great commander in chief of a major nation, but Naaman dipped himself seven times in the muddy Jordan river in response to a conditional offer of healing over his disease from the Almighty. And God healed him as a result of his obedience. The Bible says that Naaman’s “flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.”

And it was.

We may all experience different levels of testing by God. Many people pay lip service to God and God knows who is and who is not. Father looks for those who will come to Him in worship, in spirit and in truth. In the New Covenant, belief is not supposed to be all philosophical and intellectual. Action must come with belief. Belief is in the heart and mind but action speaks of the person being on board with his professed belief system in Christ.

Here in the first part of 2 Kings 5, Naaman was recommended by his servant to seek healing from the man of God, Elisha, two nations south of the border from Syria. He in turn went to his leader, King Rezin, to seek permission for reaching out to Elisha, as there was political tension between the House of Israel and the House of Judah. Rezin went the route of diplomacy by writing to King Joram, Here, we see Naaman was a man that understood the chain of command. He came to know God as the top of that chain in this adventure. As a high ranking military leader, he learned to humble himself by visiting a poor nation as Israel then, and washed himself in a muddy river, Jordan. Was Jordan particularly blessed? Maybe not. But it is the will of the Lord to show His blessings upon the Promised Land and was home to His messenger, Elisha. God heals on His terms, not on our terms. It is a truth that many people today would do well to learn it. Naaman was a pagan from the nation of Syria. He had his own gods to honor. But obviously those gods were doing much for his skin and nerve disease.

Turn From Idols

In the Bible, as evident in Ezekiel 16, God called the Syrians Amorites. The mother of Jacob and his wives and concubines were all from Syria. The Amorites were a Semitic people who seem to have emerged from western Mesopotamia (modern day Syria) at some point prior to the 3rd millennium BC. Ethnically they had their own idols among the Amorites, Canaanites, Phoenicians and the people from Lebanon and Syria. Damascus is the capital of Syria. Paul was traveling to Damascus in 35 AD when the Lord Y’shua met him and changed his life. In Syria, the Mother goddess, Aserah, is the great mother goddess of Canaan. Known as “Lady Aserah of the sea,” she seems to have lived close by the place of IL, the Canaanite creator god, and is said to have had many sons. Aserah is the same as Asherah, or Ashtoreth, was the name of the chief female deity worshiped in ancient Syria, Phoenicia, and Canaan. The Phoenicians called her Astarte, the Assyrians worshiped her as Ishtar, and the Philistines had a temple of Asherah (1 Samuel 31:10). She is known as the goddess of fertility and regeneration in Spring. Today, Christians go with her feast, “Easter”, in the pagan tradition of the Roman Catholic Church founded by Constantine in the 4th century, to be held after the holy feast of Passover of the LORD to “celebrate Christ” and His resurrection. Christ addressed the Church at Ephesus and Pergamum and He calls that Nicolaitan practice by the Gentile believers.

Revelation 2

Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 
15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Therefore repent. If not, I will come to you soon and war against them with the sword of my mouth. 

Later we find out after Rezin witnessed the healing power of the Almighty, he too repented from Rimmon, It was a deity worshiped by the Syrians of Damascus, where there was a temple or house of Rimmon. ( 2 Kings 5:18) Rimmon is perhaps the abbreviated form of Hadad-rimmon, Hadad being the sun-god of the Syrians. Combining this with the pomegranate which was his symbol, Hadad-rimmon would then he the sun-god of the late summer, who ripens the pomegranate and other fruits.

Rezin (ety. “Good-will, messenger”) was the king of Damascus during the reigns of kings Jotham and Ahaz of Judah. We learn about this later in 2 Kings 16.

Then Rezin king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah, king of Israel, came up to wage war on Jerusalem, and they besieged Ahaz but could not conquer him. At that time Rezin the king of Syria recovered Elath for Syria and drove the men of Judah from Elath, and the Edomites came to Elath, where they dwell to this day. 

Text- 2 Kings 5

Naaman Healed of Leprosy

1Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper [a].

2Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman’s wife. 3She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet (Elisha) who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” 4So Naaman went in and told his lord, “Thus and so spoke the girl from the land of Israel.” 5And the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.”

So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekelsb of gold, and ten changes of clothing. 6And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, “When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Naaman my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” 7And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me.”

8But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.” 9So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house.

Testing Testing 1-2-3

10And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” 11But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. 12Are not Abanac and 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. 13But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”

Agreeable

14So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

God is always faithful to His word. In here, Elisha is proven to be a true prophet o God, not from what he says he is, but by the result of his prophecy in the name of YHVH.

Deuteronomy 18

 20 But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or[f] who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the Lord has not spoken?’— 22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

Somehow in Laodicea today, many false prophets such as Shawn Bolz, Brian Houston and Bill Johnson constantly give quasi-prophecies invoking the holy name of God. They garner praise and credibility from their blind following, who know not Scripture and what Scripture teaches.

Gehazi’s Greed and Punishment

Now we come to the second part of the story. Naaman by now has become an exclusive worshiper of God. Watch how a false teacher, Gehazi, came to scam a believer for cash. Simply by someone who is supposed to practice in the faith, we must test his fruit before accepting him or her to be part of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. In this development, once again, God showed His might through Elisha, and made the wicked Gehazi an object lesson.

Some may ask, since Gehazi worked for Elisha, how could Elisha possible allow such a wicked soul to drop his name before others? Well, for some people, they can pretend all day long. But the Lord has time. There are temptations of all different levels. Certain people will flop only when the right temptation comes along. For Gehazi, it is opportunism and greed. And he also learned it is a grae mistake to mock God.

15Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and he came and stood before him.

Denounce Other Little g Gods

And he said, “Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant.” 16But he said, “As the LORD lives, before whom I stand, I will receive none.” And he urged him to take it, but he refused. 17Then Naaman said, “If not, please let there be given to your servant two mule loads of earth, for from now on your servant will not offer burnt offering or sacrifice to any god but the LORD. 18In this matter may the LORD pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, leaning on my arm, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, when I bow myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon your servant in this matter.” 19He said to him, “Go in peace.”

Today many churchgoers do less than what Naaman did. Naaman denounced his former idols, not taking on one more deity to add to his collection of gods.

But when Naaman had gone from him a short distance, 20Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “See, my master has spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not accepting from his hand what he brought. As the LORD lives, I will run after him and get something from him.” 21So Gehazi followed Naaman. And when Naaman saw someone running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him and said, “Is all well?” 22And he said, “All is well. My master has sent me to say, ‘There have just now come to me from the hill country of Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of clothing.’” 23And Naaman said, “Be pleased to accept two talents.” And he urged him and tied up two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of clothing, and laid them on two of his servants. And they carried them before Gehazi. 24And when he came to the hill, he took them from their hand and put them in the house, and he sent the men away, and they departed.

Pants On 🔥

25He went in and stood before his master, and Elisha said to him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant went nowhere.” 26But he said to him, “Did not my heart go when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Was it a time to accept money and garments, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male servants and female servants? 27Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and to your descendants forever.” So he went out from his presence a leper, like snow.

Footnotes:
a 1 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
b 5 A talent was about 75 pounds or 34 kilograms; a shekel was about 2/5 ounce or 11 grams
c 12 Or Amana

Gehazi means Valley Of Visions. Here Gehazi swore by the name of God to do his evil. “As the LORD lives”, he deceived himself for a prize that he did not garner. Rightly so he received a punishment, Elisha cursed Gehazi, transferring Naaman’s leprosy to him and his descendants forever. Naaman had done apparently no wrong in the space of this account and he was stricken with leprosy. But Gehazi is deserving of a curse by his blasphemy before God. In a way, the curse has found the rightful target for reproach for the rest of his life. He lived in Israel, according to the Torah, as an outcast.

Food For Thought 💭

When we believe Jesus has died and rose again are we standing on the truth living day to day?

He is coming soon. Do you believe this truth?

We need to take the Gospel to everyone.

He is coming soon.

Will Christ commend us for being hard working kingdom citizens?

“Well done My good and faithful servants.”

Gehazi erred by serving someone whom he knew was the man of God and witnessed others (Naaman a pagan who turned from little g Rimmon) profess faith in the God that Elisha served.

He acted in pretense. Surely a true prophet of Elyon would be told of the truth against a lie.

How many Gehazi persons are here today. They act in dishonesty to their identity as church officials or believers by name, even taking gains that do not belong to them rightfully. These Gehazi type of people act in contradiction to the belief that Christ is risen from the dead and His eyes are a fiery flame 🔥 looking at His followers carry on in the dark. One day, they will also have to give an accont of their decisions before the Almighty as Judge.

Instead of Naaman’s leprosy transfer, the wicked servants of Christ will hear, “Depart from Me.”

Matthew 7:19 Every tree that doesn’t grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire.

Matthew 7:23 Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.’

They will be thrown out like tasteless salt to be trampled by men in the Seven Bowls of the wrath of God.

Stand on the truth.

Saints, prophesy till He comes.

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