Thursday, 10 March 2016

STORY OF SALVATION

II Kings 5:1-19 NKJV

  1 Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper.
  2 And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife.
  3 Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.”
  4 And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, “Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel.”
  5 Then the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing.
  6 Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said, Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy.
  7 And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, “ Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me.”
  8 So it was, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”
  9 Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house.
 10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you  shall be clean.”
 11 But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to  me, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.’
 12 Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage.
 13 And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to  do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”
 14 So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
 15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there  is  no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.”
 16 But he said, “ As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing.” And he urged him to take it, but he refused.
 17 So Naaman said, “Then, if not, please let your servant be given two mule-loads of earth; for your servant will no longer offer either burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but to the Lord .
 18 Yet in this thing may the Lord pardon your servant: when my master goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord please pardon your servant in this thing.”
 19 Then he said to him, “Go in peace.” So he departed from him a short distance.

LESSONS FROM THE STORY OF NAAMAN
1. NO ONE IS TOO LITTLE TO BE DISREGARDED: she was a slave, she was taken captive from Israel by her Mistress's husband, she's a young girl. Her words to her mistress about how Naaman would get her healings was the beginning of the salvation story of Naaman. Because her words were not disregarded by her master, that is why we are talking about this salvation story.
2. DO GOOD TO THOSE THAT HATE YOU: The bible did not say she was being treated bad by Naaman and his wife but one thing is sure. She was a free Samaritan before the Syrian took her captive and she became a slave in the house of the commander of Syrian army that took her captive. So she has every reason to watch her master die in his leprosy. Her kind attitudes to her master is one of the great reasons why we are telling this salvation story.
3. LEARN TO BE HUMBLE: Naaman is a great man of high class, he even found favour in the sight of His own master, the king of Syria. He even went with horses and chariots to the house of the prophet. But what happened? The prophet was not moved by his wealth or his status, in fact the prophet did not appear physically before him, the prophet sent his own messenger to pass his message to Naaman. “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you  shall be clean.”
   Naaman almost missed his salvation because he was furious and he went away, he was expecting the prophet to come out to meet him, wave his hands in the air call on the name of his God and the leprosy will go but reverse was the case. The water the prophet even told him to go and was himself is not the purest of waters in Israel. Therefore, Naaman departed.
4. LISTEN TO GOOD COUNSEL OF PEOPLE AROUND YOU: And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to  do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
   Requirements for salvation are not always something big. Jesus said "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV
4. SALVATION CANNOT BE BOUGHT: Naaman came back to appreciate the prophet with gifts but the prophet refused the gift. Salvation is free, it can not be bought. Its an example to all of us, if the prophet had accepted the gift, every time Naaman talk about how he overcame his leprosy, the gift given to the prophet in appreciation will sound like a price given in appreciation for the freedom. Salvation is free it cannot be bought.
   Because Naaman saw that the salvation is totally free, he therefore made the confession in the verse 17 "for your servant will no longer offer either burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but to the Lord."


Thank you for reading.
Have a wonderful day.

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