Episode 85: 2 Kings 5:1-27 The Road from Leprosy to Leprosy/from Salvation to Condemnation

Living Water Community Church

19-12-2023 • 1 hr 7 mins

We explored 2 Kings chapter 5 and in it we saw the Lord orchestrating events to bring Naaman the Syrian commander to Himself. God did not simply bring this man facing the death sentence of leprosy to healing he brought a man who was facing the death sentence of sin to faith. It is a remarkable and because of this a famous story which starts with the faith a young girl. A girl captured from Israel during a raid and carried into slavery and captivity. This young girl lives much like Joseph when he was sold into slavery. She serves her mistress as best she can. She sees her role in slavery as an opportunity to do good. She believes by faith that God can use Elisha to heal her master Naaman and she tells her mistress what she believes to be true. You could say the faith of this little girl is the catalyst which God uses to bring Naaman to faith. Naaman goes to the king of Syria with the news of this potential cure for leprosy is Israel. The king sends Naaman with letters to seek this cure from the king of Israel. This is the part which really highlights the faith of the little girl. There was no known cure in Israel. There is no record of Elisha healing lepers in the land before this. Jesus even stated in the New Testament how there was no one in Israel healed of leprosy during Elisha’s time except Naaman the Syrian. This all points to the faith of the servant girl which really drives the story forward. Elisha sends to the king for Naaman to come to him. This relieves the king who is distressed over the letter he has received from Naaman’s hand. Naaman comes to Elisha who sends his servant to tell him to go wash in the Jordan 7 times and he will be healed. Naaman is angered by two things. Elisha appears to do nothing, he doesn’t even come out to meet Naaman. Second the Jordan is a muddy river especially when compared to some of the rivers in Syria, this seems to Naaman to be almost an insult. As he heads out to return to Syria in anger his servants convince him to give it a try since he would have certainly done any really hard thing Elisha might have asked him to do. Naaman recognized the truth in what they said and followed Elisha’s instructions and received the healing Elisha had promised. He returned in gratitude to Elisha and expressed a desire to worship Yahweh alone from then on. This is why we can say Naaman experienced the healing of sin from his life as well as the healing of leprosy. In his gratitude he had offered expensive gifts to Elisha, but Elisha rejected them. It was important for Naaman to know God gives good gifts to His children freely. Elisha’s servant Gehazi seems put out that such wealth would be rejected and he concocts a plan to get some of the money. After Naaman leaves Gehazi runs after him and tells a lie about some fictitious sons of the prophets arriving and need cloths and silver. Naaman gladly gives him what he asks for and more. With his silver and clothing secured Gehazi returns to Elisha. Elisha reveals how he knows what Gehazi has done and rebukes him for his greed, adding that the leprosy of Naaman would now come on him and his descendants. The message which Naaman needed to hear was a message of free grace. Gehazi had set out to corrupt that message. The gospel comes to everyone freely and should not be corrupted with the addition of anything. That is really the core message of this passage. It points us to a savior who gave his life for us and gives us the gift of salvation with no strings attached. We can’t earn it. We can’t work for it. It is ours through faith alone, in Jesus alone. The message of salvation Elisha delivered to Naaman is the same message today. The message of corruption added by Gehazi is the same message people continue to deliver today. This story of faith is one I hope you see through new eyes as you come across it in the future.