Pastor Russ Benson
‘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. 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. 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.” And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, “Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel.” 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. 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. 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.” 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.” Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house. 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.” 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.’ 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. 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’?” 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. 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.”’ – II Kings 5:1-15
Naaman is a fascinating character in the word of God. He was highly regarded and had a lot of things going for him. Naaman had everything, but underneath his dazzling armor and military regalia, his body was rotting away. He was slowly dying and there was nothing he could do; actually, nothing anyone could do.
No doctor, no hospital, no prescription, no medicine, and no money could do anything for Naaman’s leprosy. The worst part is that he was known to be unclean: physically, emotionally, socially despised, and spiritually despised. So much so, that the bible identifies him by his disease.
Naaman was identified by his leprosy but he was about to receive one of the greatest creative miracles in the entire word of God.
NAAMAN’S BREAKTHROUGH REQUIRED HUMILITY
In the word of God, leprosy is many times a visual expression of pride. Not only in Naaman but also in King Uzziah and the servant, Gehazi. Naaman was used to his ability but for the first time, he was helpless. All of his money, fame, and power were worthless. He had nothing in himself, but faith requires our complete dependence on God alone.
2 Kings 5:3 says, “She said to her mistress, ‘Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.’” This verse represents a faith declaration. The servant declares faith and hope over Naaman. He is surprised because he doesn’t think there is any cure and that he is going to die of this disease. Naaman has to decide whether he is going to humble himself and listen to his servant or if he will stay there and die.
First, he goes to the king of Aram but he doesn’t get an answer there. He is given a letter for the king of Israel and is sent to the king of Israel for the purpose of being cured of leprosy. The king however thinks that it’s a means by which to start a quarrel because he isn’t God so as to kill and bring back to life, so he tears his robes. Elisha ends up hearing about the king tearing his robes so he sends the king a message for Naaman to come to him. Naaman proceeds with his horses and chariots and stops at the door of Elisha.
NAAMAN’S BREAKTHROUGH REQUIRED PERSEVERANCE
Perseverance means staying faithful despite difficulty or delay. After waiting, Elisha sent a messenger to inform Naaman that he was busy but the servant gave instructions. The servant told Naaman to dip in the river Jordan 7 times and he would be cleansed. But Naaman went away angrily.
You need to persevere even when things don’t happen the way you expected them to happen. 2 Kings 5:11 says, “But 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 leprosy.’”
Naaman thought he knew exactly what would happen, but that was not the case; he expected a dramatic encounter with the prophet. Not even close. When the remedy finally came to Naaman, he didn’t like the prescription.
Naaman didn’t like the water in the Jordan River and he made his disappointment known. He didn’t like the answer, he didn’t like that the servant came out. He became angry and went away.
The opposite of perseverance is to give up. So many people have just given up and just gone through the motions. They have been let down so many times and they sit there discouraged because their expectations weren’t met. But you need to be mindful of when your disappointment leads to anger. Do not give up or walk away prematurely. God is not done with you yet. Your miracle and your breakthrough are just ahead. Stay on course and persevere.
Faith is not just about you pursuing God but about Him pursuing you. He’s coming after you because He loves you so much and has a plan for your life. 2 Kings 5:13 says, ‘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’?”’
NAAMAN’S BREAKTHROUGH REQUIRED OBEDIENCE
God is sending someone into your life to tell you don’t go back to that place. The servant in this story is the Holy Spirit pleading with you to obey the word of God and not to give up and get discouraged.
In Naaman’s case there needed to be full obedience. He dipped into the river 7 times, as the servant told him. He finally obeyed God after his long journey and began to feel the changes in his body. God makes all things new. He takes away the pain, hurt, and frustration once you hold onto Him. Naaman went from being a leper that worshiped false gods to worshiping the one true God.
How far are you willing to go to receive your healing? Are you willing to continue along the journey and dip 7 times as Naaman did? God can change you but you need to hold onto Him
How can you be more obedient to the Lord? Is there something that He’s asking you to do? It may seem like you are going around in circles but remember that God always knows best