Beth Moore — Claimin’ Naaman
Turn with me if you would please to the book of Second Kings. I've been in Second Kings lately in a series we've done together. We have been jar gatherers with the widow and Elisha and now we're going to look at a different place in the narrative, Second Kings chapter five. Turn with me there.
We're actually going to have a good many weeks on these passages because it will be a part one and part two. So the story will go on all the way from verse one of chapter five to verse 14 but in this first half of the series, we're going to settle on verses one through eight. And for any of us that know the rest of the story, we're going to be very anxious and pushing against that ninth verse so that we can get straight to it and we're going to have to hold back.
There is too much that we could miss if we rush too fast into the next segment. So right here, Second Kings five, I'd like to read verses one through eight to you. Naaman -- everybody say Naaman. Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.
Now the Assyrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, "Would that my Lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria. He would cure him of his leprosy."
Verse four: So Naaman went in and told his Lord, "Thus and so spoke the girl from the land of Israel."
And the king of Syria said, "Go now and I will send a letter to the king of Israel."
So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, 6,000 shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. I mean that's packing like a woman; isn't it?
No, this is because he is bringing -- that's why they mention the money, he is going to pay for his healing if he possibly can. It says in verse six: And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, "When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Naaman my servant that you may cure him of his leprosy."
When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, "Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me."
Verse eight: But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, "Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may that there is a prophet in Israel."
I'm so intrigued by the story. I want you to back up with me and get a little bit of it in context so that we can work it out together. Because it seems like at first what does an archaic story like this have to do with us? We were talking earlier before prayer about this being a living, breathing word.
That even in a story that happened thousands of years ago, we're going to see that it jumps into our here-and-now experience in such a way that it could get us right in-between the eyes, and I pray that it does.
Now this part gets me. Notice what happens here because the little girl goes to her mistress. It says that in verse three she said to her mistress... so you've got the girl who is the servant. We don't know how young, probably in her young teens. So she goes to her mistress and she said to her, "Would that my Lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria? He would cure him of his leprosy."
So Naaman went in and told his Lord. Now that's going to be the king over Israel. Now I love the transfer of information because it's going from the little girl to the wife, from the wife to the husband Naaman, from Naaman to the king over the people of God. And I want you to think that through for a moment because in this transfer, it put them in a situation where the mistress had to say something to her husband about a problem perhaps they had not wanted to discuss.
I love that. Because how many of us, for those of us that are married, how many of us are in a situation where no one ever brings up what the other person is obvious issue is. How many times... and it goes both ways. We have all sorts of stuff. But we will go for years and years and years in complete denial, no one in the couple ever says the obvious thing, "We've got this..."
She would have had to go into him and go, "You know about that leprosy..." If he was like some of us he would have been going, "What leprosy?"
You know what I'm saying? There's just that little vulnerability here between this wife and this husband where one did not have to act like the other did not have their very, very obvious serious malady that could be treated....