Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Elisha Heals A Powerful Foreign General

Naaman Is Healed

2 Kings 5

1Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was honored
by his master, and he had much respect because the LORD used him to give
victory to Aram. He was a mighty and brave man, but he had a skin disease.

2The Arameans had gone out to raid the Israelites and had taken a little girl as
a captive. This little girl served Naaman’s wife. 3She said to her mistress, “I wish
my master would meet the prophet who lives in Samaria. He would cure him of
his disease.”

4Naaman went to the king and told him what the girl from Israel had said.
5The king of Aram said, “Go ahead, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.”
So Naaman left and took with him about seven hundred fifty pounds of silver, as
well as one hundred fifty pounds of gold and ten changes of clothes. 6He brought
the letter to the king of Israel, which read, “I am sending my servant Naaman to
you so you can heal him of his skin disease.”

7When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes to show how upset
he was. He said, “I’m not God! I can’t kill and make alive again! Why does this
man send someone with a skin disease for me to heal? You can see that the king
of Aram is trying to start trouble with me.”

8When Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his
clothes, he sent the king this message: “Why have you torn your clothes? Let
Naaman come to me. Then he will know there is a prophet in Israel.” 9So
Naaman went with his horses and chariots to Elisha’s house and stood outside the

10Elisha sent Naaman a messenger who said, “Go and wash in the Jordan
River seven times. Then your skin will be healed, and you will be clean.”

11Naaman became angry and left. He said, “I thought Elisha would surely
come out and stand before me and call on the name of the LORD his God. I
thought he would wave his hand over the place and heal the disease. 12The Abana
and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, are better than all the waters of Israel.
Why can’t I wash in them and become clean?” So Naaman went away very

13Naaman’s servants came near and said to him, “My father, if the prophet
had told you to do some great thing, wouldn’t you have done it? Doesn’t it make
more sense just to do it? After all, he only told you, ‘Wash and you will be
clean.’” 14So Naaman went down and dipped in the Jordan seven times, just as
Elisha had said. Then his skin became new again, like the skin of a child. And he
was clean.

15Naaman and all his group returned to Elisha. He stood before Elisha and
said, “Look, I now know there is no God in all the earth except in Israel. Now
please accept a gift from me.”

16But Elisha said, “As surely as the LORD lives whom I serve, I won’t accept
anything.” Naaman urged him to take the gift, but he refused.

17Then Naaman said, “If you won’t take the gift, then please give me some
soil—as much as two of my mules can carry. From now on I’ll not offer any
burnt offering or sacrifice to any other gods but the LORD. 18But let the LORD
pardon me for this: When my master goes into the temple of Rimmon to
worship, he leans on my arm. Then I must bow in that temple. May the LORD
pardon me when I do that.”

19Elisha said to him, “Go in peace.”

Naaman left Elisha and went a short way. 20Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the
man of God, thought, “My master has not accepted what Naaman the Aramean
brought. As surely as the LORD lives, I’ll run after him and get something from
him.” 21So Gehazi went after Naaman.

When Naaman saw someone running after him, he got off the chariot to meet
Gehazi. He asked, “Is everything all right?”

22Gehazi said, “Everything is all right. My master has sent me. He said, ‘Two
young men from the groups of prophets in the mountains of Ephraim just came to
me. Please give them seventy-five pounds of silver and two changes of clothes.’”

23Naaman said, “Please take one hundred fifty pounds,” and he urged Gehazi
to take it. He tied one hundred fifty pounds of silver in two bags with two
changes of clothes. Then he gave them to two of his servants to carry for Gehazi.
24When they came to the hill, Gehazi took these things from Naaman’s servants
and put them in the house. Then he let Naaman’s servants go, and they left.

25When he came in and stood before his master, Elisha said to him, “Where
have you been, Gehazi?”

“I didn’t go anywhere,” he answered.

26But Elisha said to him, “My spirit was with you. I knew when the man
turned from his chariot to meet you. This isn’t a time to take money, clothes,
olives, grapes, sheep, oxen, male servants, or female servants. 27So Naaman’s
skin disease will come on you and your children forever.” When Gehazi left
Elisha, he had the disease and was as white as snow.

The Holy Bible, New Century Version


A young Israelite slave girl showed courage and faith by speaking out and suggesting her master seek healing and help from the prophet Elisha.


God intends every Christian to grow in faith and become a mature Christian. But God welcomes, honors, and rewards those who come with the faith of a child.


One of the saddest experiences for a wife or husband is stillbirth, and there is often a tense moment when a baby is delivered as everyone waits for it to squawk and wave its limbs, and then suck, and so show itself to be fully alive. In the same way, not every churned-up soul becomes a live birth spiritually, and signs that new life has really come must be sought from people's actual behavior. The signs whereby a regenerate person may be known correspond to the natural actions of the newborn child.

First, the baby cries, instinctively; and the born-again person instinctively prays, crying to God in dependence, hope and trust as a child to his father. The gospel which he received and to which he responded by embracing Christ as his Savior and Lord promised him adoption into God's family (Galatians 4:4), and now it is his nature to treat God as his Father, bringing to him all his own felt needs and desires ....

Second, the baby sucks, instinctively; and the born again person also feels a hunger for spiritual food-first the milk and the meat of God's revealed word (1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:12-14;

1 Corinthians 3:2). He listens to the word preached and taught and discussed; he reads it in his Bible, and in books that throw light on the Bible; he asks questions about it; he meditates on it, memorizes it, chews the cud on it, labors to squeeze all the goodness out of it ... ,

Third, the baby moves, turning its head, flexing its limbs, later on rolling, crawling, tottering, toddling, exploring; and similarly the born-again person moves in the spiritual realm into which he has now come, sorting out priorities, reshaping his life in the light of his new allegiance, exploring Christian relationships and ways of worship, using enterprise for the Lord in many kinds of work and witness....

Fourth, the baby rests, relaxing completely and sleeping soundly in adult arms and wherever else feels firm; and in the same way the born again person rests in the knowledge that God's everlasting arms are underneath him, and is able to spend his days, whatever pressures they bring, without panic and in peace...

Childlikeness before God is what regeneration is really all about, inasmuch as the gospel calls for it and regeneration is no more (and no less!) than the work of God in our hearts which leads to the gospel being whole-heartedly received. If only God would make us all simple enough to see this and, having seen it, never to lose sight of it! Then the Christian world would be a very different place. (From God's Words by J. I. Packer)


Grow in your faith: craving spiritual food, worshiping God, and resting in God's timing. Persevering in these areas will demonstrate that your spiritual life is alive!


Childlike Faith-Psalm 8:2; Matthew 18:2-6; Matthew 21:15-16; Mark 9:36-37; Mark 10:15; Luke 9:46-48.

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