Naaman needs a healing from leprosy, a disease
which eats off your extremities, nose, fingers and toes. There is no know cure at that time. But he is not a Jew and knows nothing of that religion. In Old Testament times
, people believed that gods were strictly local, that is based on geography. The God of the Israelites however, is God over the whole of creation.
Naaman the Syrian does not know this. Even today the Chinese believe that Jesus is white and an “English” God and that there is an “English heaven” where they go separated from a Chinese heaven.
2 King 5: 5 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[a] raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She [b]waited on Naaman’s wife. 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.” So Naaman starts thinking.
“Maybe this slave wants me dead. How can I return to Israel and not be slaughtered? I need some advice here.
So he goes to his king and 5 the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.”
The letter will allow him safe passage in a foreign land.
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.
Problem Number 1:
Naaman went to the King of Israel but the servant girl said to go to the prophet. If you go to the wrong person you get the wrong results.
There is no benefit by asking Buddha, who was not god and never pretended to be, or the great sage Confucius of China, or Falun Gong or any human person or system. The God of Israel is the one the prophet speaks for and to.
The king of Israel jumps to false conclusions and thinks Syria is trying to start another hot war. Fortunately Elisha, the leading prophet in Israel, heard about the soldier’s request and intervened.
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.” 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.” Naaman is a “big man” and he is being spoken to not by the prophet but some underling! This is insulting to a man of his stature. This is how he reacts.
Problem Number 2:
Having an ego trip, anger towards God and a hissy fit will not get good results. In fact they block God’s work and will.
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 [c]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.
Naaman thinks the prophet should act and react in another way. Too often we reject the best that God has because we do not recognize that this is His way and we are wrong to expect something else. Naaman
has assumed that because of who he is the process should be different. God does not regard people’s persons, their status, their money or their assumptions. Anger, in addition, does not motivate God to do something you want. Your need is not why he fills it. He answers the prayers according to your attitude of gratitude and worship of him, not of yourself or your position.
And Naaman doesn’t like what God has required. He thinks the water in Israel is inferior. What he does not realize is that the water does not heal Naaman; it is the Lord who does the healing. But will Naaman get over his hissy fit and obey God?
Naaman’s servants say something like this. “Look Master, we’ve traveled a thousand miles to see this prophet. Can’t you go back and do what he says?”
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’?”
Problem Number 3:
Partial obedience. Naaman could have dipped in the waters once or twice and thought he’d done all that was necessary. It is easy to do something half easy when God is involved and think you have been obedient. Well, half a loaf is better than none. In God’s case no. A half loaf is just that – a half loaf.
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.
We are relieved to learn Naaman has done what he was told. He was healed because of his act of faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God. So dipping 7 times in the waters were acts of faith. Maybe your act of faith must be repeated seven times as well. Frequently we do not get our prayer answered the first time around. Naaman is not finished learning his lesson.
Problem Number 4:
You do not buy the favor of God. 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.
The gifts of God are not for sale. Of course Elisha needs income. Everyone does. But payment for services rendered is not part of God’s kingdom.
Elisha goes on: 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.
We think we are done with this story but Naaman hasn’t finished with his lesson.
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.
This is an interesting passage. Naaman recognizes that when he goes into a false god’s altar it might be misconstrued that he was there worshiping as well with his boss. Elisha sees that Naaman’s heart is right towards God and encourages him. In modern times Christians often must work for companies which have unrighteous practices but we know that God knows our hearts – that we are not taking part. I had a friend long ago who quit a major Fortune 500 company that had drunken parties and felt he could no longer stay. If God tells you to go, then do it. But you might also be there to stay for some other purpose He has for you.
Now Naaman faces another test, but not his test but Gehazi’s test. Naaman was not raised in the Jewish culture. He does not know Old Testament law, so he is not accountable for it. But Gehazi does.
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.’ ”
(Gehazi is lying.)
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 [d]the citadel, he took them from
their hand, and stored them away in the house; then he let the men go, and they departed.
Two talents is a huge pile of money. Naaman is innocent. If you are innocent of the laws of God you are not held accountable. Jesus said, “Where there is no law there is no transgression.” When the law is known there is sin and you are accountable, as is Gehazi, who
now plays dumb.
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?
Elisha has a gift which showed him what Gehazi did; in the New Testament this is called the Gift of Knowledge. And he also knows what punishment God will enact which is called the Gift of Wisdom.
Problem Number 5:
Your prayers are not answered when your motives are wrong. If Gehazi needed a raise, a promotion or a transfer he was supposed to get it from God, not mooch off someone else’s ministry, and that with deception.
There are different levels of accountability according to what you know. Naaman is judged as a foreigner who does not know the laws of God but acts righteously given the little he does know. Gehazi however is in the ministry and held to a higher standard and he and his family are cursed forever for greed and lust of power.
Now if your prayers still are not answered I suggest you fast and pray and maybe God will give you the better answer.
#answeredprayers #hearingGod @ImmaculateAssum
Quora Cornelia Cree