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There are occasions in our work world when we must do things that are in violation of our own principles. There are employees who are expected to be in drunken parties with others. I’ve heard of people who feel an obligation to give to charities they think are corrupt. Some bosses expect employees to engage in practices that are morally objectionable. As the modern saying goes, there is an APP for that.
God knows the difference between what you must do in your job that violates your conscience and what your own conscience is telling you.
There is an example in the Old Testament.
Naaman the Syrian (that is, he was not a Jew) had a miracle healing from the Jewish God. At the prompting of his maid he was encouraged to seek out Elisha the Prophet for a cure for his leprosy, a disease so disfiguring that it also made him a pariah in his community. This healing restored him to his position and his job. However, he also knew he must take part in idol worship in the course of his duties as General of the Army.
He appealed to Elisha the Prophet for mercy, which was granted. Here is the passage.
I Kings 5:17 Naaman said, “If not, please let your servant at least be given two mules’ load of earth; for your servant will no longer offer burnt offering nor will he sacrifice to other gods, but to the Lord. 18 In this matter may the Lord pardon your servant: when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand 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.” 19 He said to him, “Go in peace.”
Naaman was required to accompany his boss into a idol temple for worship and wanted to be sure God knew he wasn’t taking part in his heart. God knows when you have tough, conflicting calls and He has mercy on that. However, no one should expect to stay in a job that continually challenges one’s faith. There are other jobs.
I once worked for a woman involved in the occult. I got out as fast as I could. She had hired some witches for her business and I worked with them on separate shifts in Eldercare. One woman levitated the bed in the spare bedroom on one old man.
Another witch prompted an old man she was serving, another Eldercare assignment, to contact his dead wife. That was too much for me. There were also some Christian nurses who were disturbed over his reaction. We all noticed he was agitated after she was on duty. I quit without comment.
I worked for a woman in a job that had much potential but in her office she conducted worship services for a quasi-Christian cult; it preached that there is no sin. I quit there after a few months. A year later the office building in which she worked caught on fire – but only her office burned. A friend of mine had an office across the hall and all he suffered was a little smoke damage. God is more than capable of judging people when they are out of line.
Two things we learn from this lesson. God does know your heart and two, be careful whom you hire to take care of an older adult. It was a shock to me to find witches actively trying to influence seniors in eldercare.
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.
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.
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.’ 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.
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.”
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 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.
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?”
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 https://www.WouldYouComsider.net Quora Cornelia Cree
As we keep in mind that the Bible, especially the Old Testament, is where we find patterns of behavior that lead us to conclusive theologies, we are going to examine an instance when God seems to be out of his mind when Naaman the Syrian has leprosy. This disfiguring disease in recent years has been traced back to a tiny gnat that swarms at the river’s edge. DDT and other chemicals can now make quick work of these gnats but 2500 years ago there was no known method or cure.
The person who engineered this incident is an unknown housemaid. She gave the information to Naaman which he acted upon to bring him a cure. There are people out there who think they are too lowly or unimportant to make a difference in this world. This nameless housemaid is featured in God’s holy book along with the rest of the gospel story. Don’t sell yourself short. God keeps track of everything done for His Name. He knows your name.
Anyhow, Naaman is the equivalent of a 5-start general and because he has leprosy he is considered unclean which reduces his contact with other people since they fear they will get the disease as well. His housemaid mentions a prophet, Elijah, who has been known to pray for and cure sick people. Naaman marches off to find Elijah who tells him to go to the Jordan River and dip in it 7 times. Naaman gets huffy, reminding Elijah that there are plenty of much nicer rivers in Syria. This muddy mess is no match for them. This should be a warning to us; don’t get huffy with God.
Quoting from The Message: 2 Kings 5:2-14
“One day she said to her mistress, “Oh, if only my master could meet the prophet of Samaria, he would be healed of his skin disease.”
4 Naaman went straight to his master and reported what the girl from Israel had said.
5 “Well then, go,” said the king of Aram. “And I’ll send a letter of introduction to the king of Israel.”
So he went off, taking with him about 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and ten sets of clothes.
6 Naaman delivered the letter to the king of Israel. The letter read, “When you get this letter, you’ll know that I’ve personally sent my servant Naaman to you; heal him of his skin disease.”
7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he was terribly upset, ripping his robe to pieces. He said, “Am I a god with the power to bring death or life that I get orders to heal this man from his disease? What’s going on here? That king’s trying to pick a fight, that’s what!”
8 Elisha the man of God heard what had happened, that the king of Israel was so distressed that he’d ripped his robe to shreds. He sent word to the king, “Why are you so upset, ripping your robe like this? Send him to me so he’ll learn that there’s a prophet in Israel.”
9 So Naaman with his horses and chariots arrived in style and stopped at Elisha’s door.
10 Elisha sent out a servant to meet him with this message: “Go to the River Jordan and immerse yourself seven times. Your skin will be healed and you’ll be as good as new.”
11-12 Naaman lost his temper. He turned on his heel saying, “I thought he’d personally come out and meet me, call on the name of God, wave his hand over the diseased spot, and get rid of the disease. The Damascus rivers, Abana and Pharpar, are cleaner by far than any of the rivers in Israel. Why not bathe in them? I’d at least get clean.” He stomped off, mad as a hornet.
13 But his servants caught up with him and said, “Father, if the prophet had asked you to do something hard and heroic, wouldn’t you have done it? So why not this simple ‘wash and be clean’?”
14 So he did it. He went down and immersed himself in the Jordan seven times, following the orders of the Holy Man. His skin was healed; it was like the skin of a little baby. He was as good as new.”
Naaman isn’t the only one in this story jumping to conclusions. Notice that the King of Israel didn’t bother to ask God what was going on and assumed that the Syrian King was picking a fight for eventual war. (I am writing a book entitled Immaculate Assumptions.)
But Naaman did all the right things after he received his healing. First he sought to give a reward to God. The Lord does expect us to be grateful and to show it in some way. Paying the prophet is an indication that he was truly grateful. (verse 16)
Then he brought up a process involved in his work as an army leader, that of accompanying his master into a idol temple. (verse 17-18) Idol worship is strictly forbidden in the Old Testament, (and in the New too.) He reassures the prophet that he is only obeying secular orders when he attends the shrine of Rimmon.
This idol appears to be one promising good weather, an important god to an agricultural people. But the moral of the story is that in addition to his physical healing Naaman demonstrated that his spirit was right as well.
To recap- A healing from God should generate in you first a desire to offer a sacrifice indicating your gratitude, such as money to the Lord’s work, a renewed sense of your own responsibility to keep the basic laws of God, and to avoid the appearance of evil work. Most importantly Naaman learned the value of being obedient to God before men.