Waddup family I wanted to share notes from a sermon I preached several months ago. I think it’s prevalent and applies to our daily lives as we press to be more and more like Christ.
Life seems to operate in cycles about 90% of the time. Things happen that always remind us of past experiences, there are few experiences that we only experience once. There is always the initial shock, joy, fear or anxiety for an experience depending on what it is, but after it’s over we either want to repeat it or we never want to go through a particular valley or feeling again. The Old Testament is filled with stories of people just like you and me that find faith in God through life itself. The interesting thing is that we always see God engage the sinner to break the destructive cycle in their lives as HE does in our lives. As we look internally through the lens of the gospel I want us to go old school and look at the life of Naaman and gain some Life Lessons from A Leper. Scripture is here for us and it is sovereign so that we don’t have to repeat every mistake and travel every valley as people before have already traveled. My prayer is that the jewels in this account of biblical history will rock us to seek Christ in all areas of our lives.
2 Kings was written by the Deuteronomist since the exact authorship is unknown the author or authors of 1 and 2 Kings seem to have a deep love and passion for the book of Deuteronomy. It covers the monarchy (realm) of ancient Israel from 970-586BC.
The Main People:
Naaman, the servant girl and the prophet Elisha
His name means pleasant, he was commander in chief over the army of Ben-Hadad (who was the king of Syria) and he had leprosy.
LEPROSY was regarded as a direct providential infliction). This name is from the Greek lepra, by which the Greek physicians designated the disease from its scaliness. We have the description of the disease, as well as the regulations connected with it, in Lev. 13; 14; Num. 12:10–15. Lepers were required to live outside the camp or city (Num. 5:1–4; 12:10–15, etc.). This disease was regarded as an awful punishment from the Lord (2 Kings 5:7; 2 Chr. 26:20).
This disease “begins with specks on the eyelids and on the palms, gradually spreading over the body, bleaching the hair white wherever they appear, crusting the affected parts with white scales, and causing terrible sores and swellings. From the skin the disease eats inward to the bones, rotting the whole body piecemeal.” “In Christ’s day no leper could live in a walled town, though he might in an open village. But wherever he was he was required to have his outer garment rent as a sign of deep grief, to go bareheaded, and to cover his beard with his mantle, as if in lamentation at his own virtual death. He had further to warn passers-by to keep away from him, by calling out, ‘Unclean! unclean!’ nor could he speak to any one, or receive or return a salutation, since in the East this involves an embrace.”
That the disease was not contagious is evident from the regulations regarding it (Lev. 13:12, 13, 36; 2 Kings 5:1). Leprosy was “the outward and visible sign of the innermost spiritual corruption; a meet emblem in its small beginnings, its gradual spread, its internal disfigurement, its dissolution little by little of the whole body, of that which corrupts, degrades, and defiles man’s inner nature, and renders him unmeet to enter the presence of a pure and holy God” (Maclear’s Handbook O.T). Our Lord cured lepers (Matt. 8:2, 3; Mark 1:40–42). This divine power so manifested illustrates his gracious dealings with men in curing the leprosy of the soul, the fatal taint of sin.
What we are going to see in this story is how God is not impressed with our ability, but with humility. Naaman has success, status, power and money, but there is always a ‘but’ in the way of true peace.
Read 2 Kings 5:1
There is always a ‘but’ in our stories prior to meeting God, there is a sense of happiness that isn’t complete, a portion of knowledge that isn’t fulfilling, no amount of resources can provide eternal security all the things this world can offer provide a temporary illusion of who and where we are in life. What is your ‘but’ today?
2 Kings 5:2-5
Isn’t it funny that a slave girl who is captured in a raid would lead Naaman to the Lord? The voice of God always comes from unlikely sources.
Life Application Point #1
Doubt and Desperation should lead us to devotion
2 Kings 5:6-7
In this part of the story we see that somehow Naaman thinks he can earn his healing with money, status and power, but those things he is using to remedy his situation are the cause of it. In other words we can’t repair ourselves and it’s only through a humble encounter with God will we realize the enormity of HIS grace.
Life Application Point #2
God doesn’t choose the qualified, HE qualifies the chosen!
2 Kings 5:8-11
Naaman shows up with horses and chariots assuming that because of who he is the prophet will come to him and heal him. What he doesn’t understand that leprosy isn’t his issue, but not having faith in God is.
Life Application Point #3
Assumptions on how God will work is rooted in self-entitlement (some of us think we know what we need and how, but we are the source of all our pain and hurt, the only loophole is Christ)
2 Kings 5:12
Naaman’s response prove LAP#3 because the very thing he is desperate for has condition. Until we are unconditionally desperate for deliverance we will never aggressively seek it.
2 Kings 5:13
They are asking Naaman is what Elisha asked you to do for you really that hard. Here’s the even BIGGER point. God doesn’t need us and we are the beneficiaries from entering a relationship with and obeying HIM.
2 Kings 5:14
The answer to the but in our lives is two-fold.
One: We need to move out the way and realize our attitudes, arrogance and apathy are what keep us where we are.
Two: The answer to our issues is always casting our cares on Jesus and resting them there. Remember devotion always demand denial. A call to God demands that you deny the most important person in your life, YOU.
2 Kings 5:15
Naaman finds God in the midst of desperation for healing. God isn’t Naaman’s primary objective or focus healing is, but God meets us where we are and calls us to himself.
Read Lev. 13:2-8
If you read Leviticus chapters 13 and 14 you find that it was up to the high priest to determine if someone was clean enough to enter the camp and commune with other people. People with leprosy were outcast and they were not allowed in the camp, if one of them came close people were instructed to yell ‘unclean, unclean’. The point is this the high priest would determine who was clean and also intercede on people behalf, but the high priest determine cleanliness based on the outward, Christ sits as our high priest and he says there is room at HIS table and even though we are unclean, HE desire to cleanse and qualify us to bring us into HIS camp.
Read Lev. 14:1-32
If you read these to sections of scripture you may be asking why would ‘I’ have to go through all that work to be cleansed, but I want you to notice that the high priest is doing all the work to get you cleansed so that you can enter fellowship with the rest of the camp. Christ is our high priest and he has gone to desperate measures to bring you into relationship with HIM. Our response should be desperate devotion to HIM daily.