Leprosy is an infectious skin disease that has had a cure since until the late 1940s. For this reason, people throughout the centuries were not allowed into normal societies if you were to have such a disease. There were even leper colonies that were formed because of the fear factor about it spreading among the people at large. This leads us to today’s message on 2 Kings 5, where a man named Naaman was a leper. But what was different about him from others with this disease is that he was also the 1“captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour.” (2 Kings 5:1) You don’t normally see people of this stature with leprosy. However, because of his stature, he was also rich and tried to pay the king a sum of money in order for his ailment to be healed. It is recorded that even the king of Syria was on his side and therefore, went and talked with the king of Israel. This is recorded here, 1“the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.” (2 Kings 5:5-7) And is this not common now? Yes, it is, for people will be sums of money in order to be treated cured by doctors and nurses. And people love taking their money.
So was there a cure to leprosy in times past? Yes. But did it come from doctors, pharmacists, or even scientists? No. This cure came from God alone. And how did it come? It came through the hand of God working through His messengers, such as Elisha. It was Elisha who heard what Naaman desired and said, 1“let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel. So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.” (2 Kings 5:8-12) Wow! He had a chance to be healed but instead went away upset because he wasn’t healed instantaneously. How many people do that today also? If things aren’t given on a silver platter the way they want it, then they are often upset. Now, because Naaman had a servant who believed in God, he talked some sense into him. It is said, 1“and his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” (2 Kings 5:13,14)
So we have Naaman humbling himself enough to bathe in the river Jordan seven times and he was healed. It was then that 1“he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant. But he said, As the Lord liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused.” (2 Kings 5:15,16) This demonstrates to us that doing ministry on the streets and performing healings is all for the glory of God. And because it is through His power, we do not accept money or anything in return for what we do. However, there are wolves in sheep’s clothing out there that really only do what they do for money. These are people who are really liars on the inside and are doing Satan’s work and not God’s. This can be said for Elisha’s servant, Gehazi. It is said that after Elisha forfeited the gift from Naaman that he went to him and asked for it for himself. It says, 1“behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the Lord liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him. So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well? And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments. And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him.” (2 Kings 5:20-23)
And so we have Gehazi justifying taking what he thought was rightfully his and his master Elisha’s. The money and gifts he received from Naaman was no harm or foul in his mind. It didn’t matter that Elisha said not to take any money or gifts. This was the thoughts going through his mind as he justified his evil act. However, was this well and good before the prophet Elisha and God? No. Because of this, it is said that 1“when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed. But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither. And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants? The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.” (2 Kings 5:24-27) Though it is sad that Gehazi was cursed with leprosy himself, and even his own family because of what he did, he got what he deserved. My friends, if God says not to do something we ought to listen. Nothing good ever comes with doing the opposite and then justifying our crime in our own minds. Because we still sinned against God there will be consequences to our actions, lest we repent and make things right. So if our sin was stealing, we ought to return what we took and ask that person or store for forgiveness. We may have to pay the penalty of going to jail, but this is the right course of action. Making right our wrongs is what God asks of us. The Lord is willing to forgive us, but we must do our part as well.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that people will understand the importance of doing what You say, no matter if it entails work from our end. I know in life that all things are not given over to me or others on a silver platter, but we have to work to achieve things as well. The same I’ve learned from You. There are things that You have called me to do, and only by doing these things have I gained a deeper and richer knowledge of Your Word. It took making time for You each day, and opening and studying the Bible a couple hours each time. Then, my eyes were fully opened to doing Your will and not my own. Even my passion for going on the streets and doing evangelism didn’t come to fruition until I made it a weekly occurrence. Then, the Holy Spirit came alive in me and I was able to see many souls be saved and come to You. Even people were healed left and right, just through praying for them. Some of these healing came later on, while others were on the spot. For this reason, I know that not everything happens in our time, but Yours. You are the author of our healing, so I leave it up to You when this will fully come to pass in my life and others I pray for. One thing I know is that I do not need to have recognition for things I do for You. I would actually hope that things were done in a way that people would run to You and not me. I am only Your servant, and my desire, Lord, is to only lead people to know You, Jesus, as their personal Savior. I need no gifts or money from people while I am out and about doing Your work. Instead, people should be honoring You with their gifts, not people. Yes, Lord, we are to come to You in worship and praise, not man. We do this while delivering up to You our whole hearts to serve and to know You better each day. My gifts are heavenly, not from this earth. What You do for me brings me joy and peace that lasts. I love You. Amen.
Let us read the Bible:
Note: Any Numbered References, found above, are listed below.