Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”
The prophet answered, “As surely as the LORD lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused. (2 Kings 5.15-16)
“In thus laying these riches at Elisha’s feet, [Naaman] was giving the Lord a claim to all his property. Because Elisha waived this gift in order to prevent any misunderstanding about the true basis of salvation, we cannot deduce that the Lord has no claims on our wealth, for he does. John Wesley used to ask of new converts, ‘Has his pocket-book been converted yet?’ We cannot pay the Lord, but we can repay Him in some way, by laying all we have… at His disposal…
[Naaman] was prepared to abandon all old rivals to the Lord. He wanted to be different. This meant an end to duplicity and living for the ‘best of both worlds.’ He knew that he could not love Yahweh and bow to Rimmon… He had to go back home to a world where God was not welcomed [nor] confessed… [Elisha] was sure that the God who had so thoroughly cleaned up Naaman’s skin would have no difficulty in totally purging Naaman’s heart.” (G. Haslam, Elisha: A Sign and a Wonder, p. 137f.)
Let’s pray: Lord, You alone are God. You alone are Savior. You alone are Healer. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing: “I Speak Jesus” by Charity Gayle (click here).
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.”
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. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? (2 Kings 5.10-12a)
“‘The Yuck Factor’ is my phrase to describe how a lot of sophisticated Christians react when they see certain manifestations of the Holy Spirit. They often say ‘Yuck’…God loves to offend the mind to reveal the heart! What many of us would say is ‘ridiculous’ and which ‘cannot possibly be of God’ is often what God Himself does intentionally to offend the minds of sophisticated people. God offended Naaman the leper by telling him to dip seven times in the river Jordan (2 Kings 5:10-11). He offended the world by choosing to put His Son on the cross (1 Cor. 1:18, 23). It was the reaction of people to the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:13). The list is endless. God continues to choose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise (1 Cor.1:27).” (R.T. Kendall)
Let’s pray: Lord, help us to recognize the work of your Spirit and embrace what you are doing in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.
“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. 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.” (2 Kings 5.5-6)
“Like many non-Christians he thought he could bargain with God… The man who had levered his way to the top by the force of his personality and the weight of his talents also thought that he had leverage with God… [Naaman] had been pointed very clearly in the right direction for a miraculous cure. Yet he still walks in the false thinking and deep-seated pride which thinks it has something to contribute, something to bargain with…
But the gospel reduces millionaires to the same level as a pauper on the streets. Skin-deep a man may be very wealthy and important, but deep down he is as impoverished as the rest of us and in need of the same God-given hope and help which comes free of charge of all… Salvation is free because it was purchased with the most precious substance in the universe—the blood of God’s Son… (Acts 20.28).” (G. Haslam, Elisha: A Sign and a Wonder, p. 127f.)
Let’s pray: Lord, we praise you for our salvation, for what you accomplished on the cross for us. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s sing: “By the Grace of God” by Tim Hughes (click here).
“Naaman was a Gentile and is described as a great man of position, prestige, and power in the nation of Aram. He was a victorious commander in the army, a war hero and highly respected, and the source of his victory and success was God’s favor on his life.
However, Naaman had a grave problem. He was a leper… There was no treatment or cure for leprosy. It led to death and Naaman knew this. There was nothing that Naaman could do. Beneath his great achievements and military armor, Naaman knew his real condition. He was powerless and he was dying. Naaman needed God’s intervention and healing touch…”
Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” (2 Kings 5:2-3)
“This young servant girl knew that there was a way for the impossible to be possible. She knew God and her boldness to exercise her faith about Elisha was so compelling that it moved Naaman to believe her.
We can experience God’s healing touch in our most desperate and frustrating times by being washed by God and knowing who he is. We embrace this grace reality by obeying God’s grace embracing us.” (Carol Han)
Let’s pray: Lord, may I experience your healing touch today. Wash me, that I may be healed. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s read aloud together the following passage, confession and prayer:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
(Luke 4.18-19 NIV)
“The Savior is working mightily among men [and women], every day He is invisibly persuading numbers of people all over the world, both within and beyond the Greek-speaking world, to accept His faith and be obedient to His teaching. Can anyone, in face of this, still doubt that He has risen and lives, or rather that He is Himself the Life? …This is the work of One Who lives, not of one dead; and, more than that, it is the work of God.”
(Athanasius, On the Incarnation)
Father in heaven,
We are in awe of you and how you love us.
Jesus, our Lord and Savior, teach, train and disciple us.
Alive and working in our midst, bringing us into greater freedom, wholeness and love.
Fill us with your Spirit in this moment.
Fill us with your life, joy and power.
In Jesus’ name, amen.