Luke 4:27 (NLT) And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, but the only one healed was Naaman, a Syrian
There were many people living with leprosy during the time of the prophet Elisha. Naaman was the only man who received healing from Leprosy during that time. We read this story in II Kings 5:1-19. Naaman was the captain of the Syrian Army who had leprosy. There was a young maid who worked for Naaman’s wife. She considered Naaman’s family as her own family. One day she told Naaman’s wife about a Prophet in Samaria, who could heal Naaman of his leprosy. Naaman although resisted due to his pride, later obeyed and had seven ducks in dirty Jordan and was completely healed. He became a powerful witness for God of Israel. This simple story has some powerful application for our Christian life.
A. LEPROSY IS LIKE SIN
Naaman was second in command, the commander-in-Chief of Syrian army and a mighty man of valour. He was an honourable man and well respected by his people. Although he was a heathen, the Lord had given Syria deliverance through his leadership which is a remarkable thing. Although a great man, Naaman was a leper.
What is leprosy? Leprosy begins as red spots on the skin. These red spots become bigger, and then they start to turn white and spread over the whole body. As it worsens, hair begins to fall out, finger nails and toenails rot and eventually fall off. Then the joints of the fingers and the toes begin to rot and fall off. Gums begin to shrink and they can’t hold the teeth anymore, so each of them is lost. Leprosy keeps eating away little by little until death. This is an awful disease.
Leprosy is intense and graphic picture of the spiritual defilement of sin. Sin is ugly, disgusting, incurable, and contaminating; it separates men from God and makes them outcasts. Leprosy as a type of sin, starts small, finishes big ending up in death.
James 1:15 (NLT) .. when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death
For example Sin is similar to Leprosy
- Sin like leprosy goes deeper into the flesh – Leviticus 13:3 (KJV) And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean.
- Sin spreads like leprosy – Leviticus 13:7 (KJV) But if the scab spread much abroad in the skin, after that he hath been seen of the priest for his cleansing, he shall be seen of the priest again.
- Sin defiles like leprosy – Leviticus 13:45 (KJV) And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean.
- Sin separates you as leprosy isolates – Leviticus 13:46 (KJV) All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he [is] unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.
Naaman had many fine qualities, but he was a leper. He would have tried to cover up his leprosy. Many people today cover up their sin. But they can cover up for sometimes, but not for long. All they need is to be washed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ
B. OBEDIENCE WILL BRING HEALING
Our God will never set us up for failure. He will always bless us. It is only our sin that stops the blessing to be poured into our life. Although Naaman was a great man, outwardly he was good, but he had to deal with some inward issues, before experiencing healing or receiving the blessing of God.
Elisha had to deal with the pride of Naaman
Naaman comes to the prophet’s humble home in Samaria. He was standing at the gate with his convoy of attendants and with gifts worth many thousands of dollars. Elisha sent a message to Naaman through a messenger.
II Kings 5:10 (NLT) Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.”
Naaman exploded in anger. His pride was touched. He could not digest the fact that he had to listen to a messenger of Elisha. He forgot about his disease and his dignity took priority.
Naaman had to deal with two important issues. These issues destroy the soul of men.
a. Pride of life
Pride fell upon Naaman and gave him a big blow and Naaman said
II Kings 5: 11 … “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the LORD his God and heal me!”.
Pride is like leprosy, a sin which completely destroys our soul. He expected the same respect he was enjoying in Syria. When expectations are not met, anger and pride manifest in our lives. We need to learn to come before God with our requests for healing with an open mind with no strings attached.
II Kings 5:12 Naaman said, “Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed”
Naaman has lots of questions. What is good about water? Why should I be told to go and wash? I have washed many times and it never cured my leprosy. Why Jordan? Why can’t I go and wash in some of my own rivers, like Abana and Pharpar which are cleaner and wider.
More than dignity, if healing was the important thing, Naaman has to obey and not question.
Reasoning against the things of God is a by- product of pride. It will not take us any further in our spiritual life.
II Kings 5:11 “I thought he will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God”.
The whole question is whether the important thing is his disease or his dignity. For Naaman it was his dignity. But for God it was Naaman’s disease. God told him as he would tell anyone with like necessity.
2. Obedience will bring healing
If God tells you to do something, just obey, it will be beneficial for you. Pride was a big hindrance for Naaman’s obedience. When Naaman obeyed; He brought healing to his body, soul and spirit (mind).
C. GOD’S HEALING IS COMPLETE
When God heals He provides complete healing, that is healing for the body, healing for our soul and healing for our mind. Naaman became a better man in character, better man to make right decisions and was completely healed with no sign of leprosy in him.
He travelled 30 miles to have seven ducks in a dirty stream. His obedience brought healing. He exploded with joy. He returned from Jordan to Elisha’s house in Samaria with a heart full of gratitude and hands full of gifts. He was a different man altogether, rather than expecting Elisha to come to him. He willingly stood before the prophet and testified to his belief that Israel’s God is the only true God.
This was the most important purpose of Naaman’s healing from God’s point of view, that Naaman was grateful and become a living witness.
The heathen captain of Syrian army, Naaman purposed to worship only Yahweh. In the days of Elisha a Syrian leper was healed and not an Israelite leper. Naaman became a new man, full of humility, gratitude, healed and rejoicing in God.
I was personally blessed when I was preparing this message. This reminded me about how I was living a life with no hope and no eternal joy, full of sin like the leprosy of Naaman. One day I had the Jordan experience which Naaman had, I met my Lord Jesus. My life changed, I became a new man and leprosy of sin left me. Today, I can boldly say that Jesus is everything for me.
In conclusion, let me share what I learned from this wonderful life of Naaman.
1. Pride destroys spiritual growth
Many of us struggle in our spiritual journey. We think logically, reason for everything, and expect God to bless us the way we desire. We are disturbed when things don’t happen the way we expect. Pride is the root cause of all evil
Proverbs 16:18 (NLT) Pride goes before destruction
1John 2:16 (KJV) … the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
2. Obedience brings complete healing (spirit, soul and body)
Naaman became a new man, although he wanted only to be healed from leprosy, God healed him completely. When he returned his wife, the king of Syria, the servant maid and all those who knew him would have been surprised by the healing he received from God Almighty.
Naaman was a witness in a heathen land for God Yahweh. When was the last time you testified for the goodness of God, and for the healing power of God.
If you are waiting for the opportunity to witness may be that opportunity may never come.
- The SERVANT GIRL was a witness for Yahweh in that heathen land. She was able to witness about the healing power of God. You can be a witness in the place where God has kept you. Your own family members, relatives, friends and your neighbours have not met with Jesus Christ. They need Jesus. Are you still praying that one day they will come to Jesus? Ask God for wisdom. God has placed you to be a witness of the powerful Gospel.
- ELISHA did not wait for the King of Israel to send an official letter for Naaman’s healing. Bible says as soon as Elisha heard about Naaman’s request, he called for Naaman. What are we waiting for dear children of God. Many are spiritually sick and are looking for healing. You are the Elisha chosen by God to go and witness to them about the healing power of our God. Rise up to be the man and woman God has called you to be.
- God has done great things for you, He has been your healer, your deliverer, your Saviour and you are enjoying every benefit from Him. NAAMAN went rejoicing and told everyone about the great God of Israel. He became the powerful witness. Are you telling everyone what your Lord has done for you?
May the Lord help you to shine for Jesus. God bless you.