Tony Evans - Reversing Incurable Consequences
God knows what you're like. He knows our propensity, and he has compassion when we come home. Come back home as quickly as possible. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. So, whatever inheritance, whatever God still wants to do for you, to you, through you, in you, don't lose anymore. Jesus Christ broke the curse, so don't ever talk about you being cursed again if you know Jesus Christ. The curse, the consequence of the law is broken. The greatest miracle of all is when you get yourself in the blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life.
We're introduced to Naaman in verse 1 of 2 Kings 5, where we read, "Now Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man with his master, highly respected. Because of him, the Lord had given victory to Aram. The man was also a valiant warrior, but he was a leper". This man's resume was impeccable. Everything about him said success. Like a five star general, he led the army, and he was very successful in battle. They viewed him as a great man. He was highly regarded in society. It says, "But he was a leper".
Leprosy in biblical days was a skin disease. It was a disease of the skin that slowly spread, bringing about lesions, sores, and ultimately deformity and death, for leprosy was an incurable disease. In spite of his education, he's a leper. In spite of his notoriety, he's a leper. In spite of his financial success, he's a leper. In spite of rewards, plaques, accolades, and recognition, he's a leper. Because leprosy affected all of you, things are popping out on your skin, they're eating your skin away, slowly and surely you know something's wrong with him.
It not only affected Naaman physically because of the breakouts all over his skin that was eating his flesh alive, it affected him relationally because leprosy was a communicable disease. It was contagious. So, if you got too close to him, you could catch it. And so, you were, as the disease progressed, you had to stay away from him so you would not also become a leper. That meant he couldn't interact normally with his family or friends. After awhile, it would be too dangerous. That's why you even see in the Mosaic law when a person with leprosy came around, they were told to say, "Unclean, unclean". They were castaways after a point because they were dangerous. This man was a leper, something so wrong that it messed up everything that was so right. And there was no cure. It was incurable.
So, he is both simultaneously a captain, a conqueror, and a castaway. Most importantly, leprosy is tied to something going wrong spiritually. This man with everything right has one thing wrong messing up all that is right. What is your leprosy? What is that one thing in your life that is messing up all the good stuff going for you? Maybe you're successful in your career, or with your finances, or with your educational achievements, and maybe you can hand out a resume that is impressive, but there's that one thing that you dare not put on it because it's just messing you up, it's keeping you up at night. You cannot function like you should be able to function 'cause there is this leprosy, this incurable situation you can't fix.
That was Naaman's reality, that was his scenario. He had the but phrase, "but he was a leper," the footnote on his life affecting everything. Well, we're told in verse 2 that in one of his battles, he captured a little slave girl. The slave girl from Israel went to Naaman's wife, her mistress, verse 3, and says, "I wish that my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria. Then he would cure him of his leprosy". She told Naaman's wife, "If we could get your husband, my boss, down to Israel to the prophet Elisha, I believe Elisha could change his leprosy situation". She was a little girl, she was a nobody in terms of her position in life and her age in life, but she knew somebody. She had a hookup and a connection that could change this man's world and this man's life.
So, Naaman goes to his boss, the king, and says, "This little girl told my wife, who told me, that I may be able to get my problem solved by the prophet in Israel". So the king, watch this, the king of Aram, verse 5, says, "Go now, and I'm going to send a letter to the king of Israel". He departed and he took with him 10 talents of silver, 6.000 shekels of gold, 10 changes of clothes, brought them to the king of Israel, and he says, "I've sent Naaman my servant," verse 6, "to you, that you may cure him of his leprosy".
Well, wait a minute, that's not what the little girl said. Little girl said there's a prophet in Israel that can cure his leprosy. The problem is Naaman went to the federal government. Naaman went to the king and says, "King, government, I hear there's a solution in Israel. What you think"? The government said, king said, "I'm gonna give you some money. And we're going to throw a budgetary solution to the problem. We're going to fund your deliverance". And so, she gave him over $1 million if you would put it in today's dollars, ten changes of clothes, and we're going to buy your solution.
You better have somebody in your life, they may not have name and they may not have notoriety, a little slave girl who knows somebody who knows somebody, who is able to bring you to a divine deliverance 'cause we've already said leprosy was incurable. If he could've fixed it, it would've been fixed. If you could've fixed it, it would've been fixed. So, he uses power, government, he uses money to solve the problem. So, the king sends to the king of Israel and tells the king of Israel, "I'm paying you off to fix my captain's problem". How does the king of Israel respond? Verse 7, "When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, 'Am I God to kill and make alive?'" 'Cause it was a life and death sentence, leprosy. "That this man is sending word for me to cure a man of his leprosy? But consider now and see how he is seeking a quarrel against me".
Well, Elijah hears about the king tearing his clothes because Naaman went to the king at the instruction of his master, 'cause his master has the wrong approach. And Elijah tells the king of Israel, "Send Naaman to me. Send him to me". Okay, so now it's going to get gooder. That means real good. Verse 9, "So, Naaman came with his horses and his chariots and stood at the house of Elijah". He knocks on Elijah's door. Uh oh, verse 10, "Elijah sent a messenger saying, 'Go wash in the Jordan seven times and your flesh will be restored to you, and you will be clean.'" But Naaman was furious, ticked off, mad. "And went away and said, 'Behold, I thought.'" I'm coming back to that. "He will surely come out to me and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand," hocus pocus, "over the place and cure the leprosy".
The end of verse 12 says he went away in a rage 'cause he said, "Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean"? Turned away, ticked off. "I am not just Naaman, I'm Captain Naaman. Elijah, you don't know who you dealing with here". So, he says there are two rivers in Damascus, verse 12. They got these two rivers in Damascus, and they got clean water. Wait a minute, Naaman, let's get some of this straight. Didn't you come here 'cause you dirty? I mean, you got all this pus coming out your skin, you got all these sores on under the skin. You came here 'cause you dirty.
So, watch this. The reason why Naaman had issues with the Jordan is 'cause he didn't understand the Jordan. See, for him, it was a dirty river. But for Elijah, it was the place where God did miracles. It was Joshua with the priest stepping in the Jordan that let the folk flow over on dry land. It was Elijah and Elisha at the Jordan where miracles took place. If he only understood the Jordan, then he would've seen more than mud and more than dirt. He would've seen that's the place where God shows off. But see, if you don't know where God shows up, you're going to bring your edumacation. You're going to bring what your professors say and think. You're going to bring what the world's perspective is.
Well, if it was that good, you wouldn't be incurable. It would've been dealt with a long time ago. That God lets us be in situations that no man can fix so that you got to deal with him on his terms. So, his servant comes to him and says, verse 13, "My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, give him another million, give him this, give him that, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says, 'Go wash and be clean'"? If he'd have given you something hard, you'd have gladly gone and done it. He give you something easy, and now you gonna fuss and cuss and get mad at the prophet?
So, verse 14, "He went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan," watch this, "according to the word of the man of God. And his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean". Don't let your dignity keep you from solving your problem. Until obedience has been completed, you cannot expect a supernatural incursion into your circumstances to calm it, correct it, and reverse it to whatever level the sovereign will of God will allow for. What you and I must do is stop arguing with God's Word. What is your leprosy? I want to tell you now, related to whatever deliverance God is going to give you for that thing that will not go away, that until you adopt, I adopt, we adopt radical obedience, that's obedience to the end, even to the point of rejecting our own perspective or that of our friends, you'll not see God.
"His flesh," verse 14, "became like the flesh of a little child". Whoa, okay, don't read that too fast. Wait a minute, he came to be delivered. He came up the seventh time, not only was he delivered, but God took him all the way back to babyhood. He got delivered and restored. God reversed that thing. This is a grown man, and it took him to the day he came out of his mother's womb as a child or an infant. God is so powerful, not only can he cure what's been a problem for years, he can take you back before it was a problem at all. That's called exceedingly, abundantly above all you can ask or think.
It says he's saying, "Heal me". God says, "I'm going to make you like a little baby". He was healed physically, but he was also healed spiritually. How do I know that? The middle of verse 15, 'cause he says, "But now I know there is no God in all the earth but in Israel". Oh, now I know. Okay, my man done changed his statement. A few verses earlier, he said, "I hope that his God would deliver me". But now, Elijah's God has become Naaman's God. Why does God leave you in an incurable situation, leave me in an incurable situation, leave us in an incurable situation? So we can get around to finding out who God really is. He doesn't just want to be your buddy, he does not want to be just another guy. He wants to show you when he shows out and shows off, he's in a class all by himself. "Now, I know that there is no other God except the God of Israel".
Verse 17, "If not, please let your servant at least be given two mule's loads of earth, for your servant will no longer offer burnt offerings, nor will he sacrifice to other gods but to the Lord". He said, watch this, "The dirt I didn't want to go down in, Jordan, I want two loads of it and two mules. 'Cause I'm carrying this dirt back with me. 'Cause on this dirt, I'm gonna build me an altar so I can worship the only true God. I'm taking my blessing with me. Everywhere I go, I'm gonna to make a pile of dirt, I'm gonna set up my altar, and I'm gonna worship God," 'cause guess what? When God delivers you like this, when he takes away your leprosy, when he reverses something that's been messing with you for days, months, years, and decades, and you come to see this is no joke, God is no joke, he can meet you in your deepest hole, reverse you back to a baby status, you're gonna want that God everyplace else you go.
So, if you got a leprosy situation, something that won't go away, and there's another verse I want to mention in closing. Luke 4:27 says, "There were many lepers in Israel". This is in the New Testament, Jesus is talking. Luke 4:27, he said, "There were many lepers in Israel, but God healed none of them except Naaman". Now, that's in the New Testament. Jesus is talking, he said, "There were many folk like Naaman in Israel, but none of those folk in Israel who are my people got healed from their leprosy except a foreigner named Naaman," 'cause he's not a Jew.
What's he saying? You can be part of the people of God and never see God work. You can come to church every week, you can be an Israelite and a leper, and live the rest of your life as a leper 'cause you refuse to do what a foreigner did. A foreigner believes God till the end, got a miracle. The folk in church worship God, got nothing because of their unbelief. We have in our community a lot of places that clean things. We have cleaners that cleans clothes. We have car washes, it cleans cars. We've got hair salon, it cleans messed up hair. We've got nail salons, it cleans up messed up nails and cuticles. You come out different than you went in.
Now, the reason why you come out different than when you went in is when you went in, you did exactly what they asked you to do. The cleaners said, "Give me the clothes and turn it over to me". You turn it over to them, they hand you back clean clothes. You hook the car up, you drive it up to the place they tell you. They hook it up, you go and you wait, you do what they tell you to do, comes out clean. You put your nails over here, you do what they tell you to do, and you come out different. But in the church, folk come into the church dirty, hear from God what to do, and leave the same way they came in 'cause they refuse to do what the instruction manual demanded.
So, if you want to see God in your situation, you're going to have to put down your pride, put down your notoriety. The kingdom of God, you got to go low, in spite of your notoriety, degrees, money, position, and power. You got to humble yourself before the mighty hand of God. When we do to completion what God has said do, you've opened yourself up to a Jordan experience even in a dirty place. And by the way, the greatest miracle of all is when you dip yourself in the blood of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life.
One of the great statements in the Bible is that nothing is impossible with God. When man has run out of human solutions and human resolution to life's dilemmas, you have not come yet to the end of your rope. God is able to reverse the worst of circumstances. God is able to heal the deepest of physical and mental and emotional calamity. When the doctors say there is no cure, God is able to reverse what they say based on what he says. When your friends say this problem can't be solved, God is able to enter in and fix what you thought was permanently broken. When that relationship looks like we can never heal, God is able to bring a balm of healing into your heart, your mind, and yes, even your body.
So, until God gives the last word, you've not yet heard the last word no matter how many people think they've given you the last word. So, you don't give up, you don't quit, you don't throw in the towel. You fulfill all that God demands and expects of you. You do all that he has given you to do, and you trust him for the supernatural to enter into the natural. And absolutely nothing will make God seem more real to you than when he does what men and man could not do because we are finite and he is infinite. So, keep trusting in God. Return and get close to him, and watch him take what was broken, repair it so that you can move forward in your life with him, with others in a way that brings you good and brings him glory.