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Lessons in the story of Naaman

Pastor's corner

POSTED: February 22, 2018 5:30 p.m.

The Apostle Paul wrote that the things written before time were written for learning (Rom. 15:4). He was speaking of the Old Testament writings that stood as examples for Christians, no longer under the Law of Moses, who could apply the lessons of old to their lives.

Christians today can do the same thing.

The account of Naaman (2 Kings 5), captain of the host of Syria, serves as a great example of how one must obey God. He had to be shown that his ideas were not God’s, and that God would only save him from his malady if he obeyed God.

Naaman was a great man in the eyes of the king of Syria, for it was by him God had allowed Ahab to be killed giving Syria victory. In the Arabic, Naaman was said to be a giant and very strong.

Such credentials made him an able general of the Syrian army. But then the Scriptures say, "But he was a leper."

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says of this disease, "A slowly progressing and intractable disease characterized by subcutaneous nodules …, scabs or cuticular crusts … and white shining spots appearing to be deeper than the skin. Other signs are (1) that the hairs of the affected part turn white and (2) that later there is a growth of ‘quick raw flesh.’

"This disease in an especial manner rendered its victims unclean; even contact with a leper defiled whoever touched him, so while the cure of other diseases is called healing, that of leprosy is called cleansing (except in the case of Miriam (Nu 12:13) and that of the Samaritan (Lk 17:15) where the word ‘heal’ is used in reference to leprosy)."

With all his achievements, Naaman was suffering from this humiliating disease.

In their battles against Israel, the Syrians had taken many captive. One such captive was a "little maid," who served Naaman’s wife.

This little one was a firm believer in the power of God and his servants. She told her mistress, "Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy" (2 Kings 5:3).

The king of Syria, being told of this opportunity to have his captain made well, sent Naaman with a letter to the king of Israel, telling him to "recover" Naaman of his leprosy.

The king had failed to send a letter to the prophet of God. But thinking he knew how things out to be, he sent the letter to Israel’s king Jehoram (also known as Joram).

Jehoram was beside himself for he realized he could not cure Naaman of his disease. He assumed Ben-hadad II was trying to start a quarrel with Israel.

Elisha was the prophet of God of whom the "little maid" had spoken. When he heard of king Jehoram’s dilemma, he sent word to the king to send Naaman to him, and then Naaman would know there was a prophet in Israel.

Here is another lesson to be learned: It is to God one should turn in time of good and bad. Had the king been a true follower of Jehovah, he would have known it was to Elisha that Naaman should be sent. He, trusting in himself, thinking he was so important, did not know what to do but at least realized he could not perform miracles.

God has the answers to all men’s problems, yet many fail to put their trust in him.

In next week’s article, Naaman will discover God is to be obeyed.

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