II Kings 5:1-14




II Kings Chapter 5 is a story about a man who had leprosy, a terrible disease that slowly eats away the flesh and causes the body to rot away. But even more importantly this is a story about how God healed this man of his terrible disease. There are many horrible diseases in the world, and there are countless human beings who have suffered and died and still suffer today from every disease imaginable. But the worst disease of all is the sin that dwells within the heart and soul of all human beings. The Bible says in Romans chapter 3 verse 23, “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” The Bible also says in Isaiah chapter 64 verse 6, “we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as the leaf.” Just like leprosy, sin eats away the heart and soul of man until he is left rotted and empy from his lust, his pride, his greed, and his lack of faith in God until he is just an empty shell that cannot think for himself or love others. It’s because of sin that there is such terrible diseases in the world as leprosy. The story of Namman is a spiritual story that teaches us about sin, and about the cleansing that a man can find when He finds the forgiveness for sin that can only be found in the person of Jesus Christ. Forgiveness means peace. If you have not come to Jesus for forgiveness of your sins, then you do not know what peace is.


The Bible says in II Kings chapter 5 verses 1 “Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.”


Apparently Namaan was a great man in the society in which he lived. Many looked up to him. He was honored by many, he accomplished many things, and he was well known for these accomplishments in his country: but he was a leper. This last five-word phrase could also be rephrased but he was a sinner. We are all sinners. It does not matter what you have accomplished in this life in the eyes of other men, or what honor, power, and fame you receive. You are just a sinner. Next time you look at other human beings, whether it is a famous celebrity, or the President of the United States, or the leader of a large religious organization such as the Pope, remember all these people are just sinners like you and me. And there are two kinds of sinners: those on their way to hell, and those who have found Jesus Christ. The important thing in life is not what you have accomplished, but the important thing in life is: do you have Jesus in your heart?


II Kings chapter verses 2-6, ”And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! For he would recover him of his leprosy.  And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel. And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Namman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.”


A man never comes to Christ until God first comes to Him. This truth ties along with I John 4:19 which says, “We love Him because He first loved us.” And also ties along with when Jesus taught in John 6:44, “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” The work of God begins and ends with the Word of God. In verse two we have a little child who says one sentence, a positive sentence about God and what God is capable of doing. With God all things are possible, especially the forgiveness of sin. There is a great power in words. God spoke and the world was created. It doesn’t take much effort to say something positive about God and His Word to the world around you. You never know what a few simple words will accomplish for God. A few positive words about God, one verse from the Word of God is all it takes to be used of God to help others come to Him and receive His wonderful salvation. The Bible says in Proverbs chapter 25 verse 11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” The right words spoken at the right time are priceless. If you want to learn how to have this kind of wisdom then study the four gospels in the Bible. The life of Jesus is the only perfect example of someone who always had the right words in every situation.  The right words will not always be words that others will agree with or that others will thank you for. Sometimes the right words will make others hate you. The Bible says in 2 Timothy chapter 3 verse 12, “Yea, all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”


God created speech, and He made humans so that they have a need to communicate with other human beings. But if you step back and just listen to the world around you, you will find that people talk and talk, but they do not talk about God. They brag about themselves, they gossip and say evil things about others whom they despise and are jealous of, and they speak of evil things. Very few in the world will say pure and wonderful things about God. It’s very simple think, before you speak, and especially think about the Word of God before you speak. The right words will be pure, and kind, and they will always glorify the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and encourage others to have faith in the almighty God.


There is one other very important truth we learn about salvation in these first few verses. It is found in verse 5. When the letter was sent to the king of Israel asking the prophet to heal Naaman, a lot of gold and silver and expensive clothes were sent as well. We know that salvation is free, because salvation is by the grace of God. Jesus paid it all with His blood when He died on the cross. Why was the gold sent? The prophet of God would have healed Namaan anyway, and as we find further in the chapter the prophet will not accept the gift of gold and silver. We see that there was a great value placed upon the cleansing that God would do to Naaman through the prophet Elisha.


And that is the way that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is. A person who comes to Christ will be one who first sees his own spiritual leprosy, and has faith that God can heal them, but it will also be a person who values the forgiveness and the cleansing that Christ offers. Both go hand in hand. Naaman had leprosy. How many months or years he had suffered from the disease the Bible does not say. And most often that is the way it is with sinners. Most sinners suffer for years from the guilt and the bondage of sin before they come to a place in their lives where God has prepared them to see the value of the freedom and the healing that Christ and Christ alone can give. Actually it would be ridiculous to imagine someone having such a disfiguring disease such as leprosy and not knowing about it. It’s the same with sin. It’s ridiculous to think that people are sinners but they do not know it. The truth is in your heart and mind and in the heart and mind of all men we know we are sinners. Our conscience tells us and sin itself will testify to you that you’re a sinner, as the sins you commit eat away your soul.


Jesus says in Luke chapter 9 verse 25, “For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?” There is nothing more important in this life than to be forgiven of your sins. May you understand and value the grace of God above all this world has to offer.


II Kings chapter 5 verses 7-8 says, “And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter that he rent his clothes and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth sent unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? Wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me. And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? Let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.”


If there was anyone in the nations of Syria and Israel who should have had faith in God, one would think that the king of Israel, the leader of God’s chosen people would have faith in God. Yet, in this particular situation the king of Israel did not have faith. Oftentimes the people we think are the strongest or the godliest, are not. The king of Israel made one mistake but it was a big one. Instead of thinking about God and what God was capable of doing he thought about himself and what he could and could not do. Your faith will to a great extent be based upon what you think about. If you think about yourself and things other than God and His Word, then your faith will fail you in situations where faith is needed. But if you think about God and the promises of God and remember that with God all things are possible, then you will have all the opportunity you need to believe in God and see Him give you the victory.


Despite the lack of faith the king of Israel had, there was a man who did have faith, Elisha. There will always be someone who has faith in God, because there is a God and it is God that gives us faith in Him. Verses 9-14 says, “So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, he will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.  And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he saith to thee, wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”


Why did God tell Naaman to wash specifically in the river of Jordan and not just any river? God was teaching Naaman and us something about salvation. The Bible says in Acts chapter 4 and verse 12 speaking of Jesus, “Neither is their salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Jesus Himself said in John chapter 14 verse 6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.” Jesus said the way, not a way. There is only one way to make peace with God. There is only one way to obtain eternal life, and that is by believing in the name of Jesus Christ. One would think that Naaman would have eagerly and carefully obeyed the instructions of Elisha from the first.  But he did not. The Bible says man’s ways are not of the Lord. Very often the things that we think and expect of life, and the ways we would imagine God to work are completely contrary to the way that God has actually planned. In verses 11 and 12 Naaman was angry that God would not do things the way that he had thought they would be done. Eventually he was persuaded by others to obey and go wash in the river Jordan. What a perfect illustration of salvation. All humans are sinners, but most people want to do things their own way. They want to rely upon their own works, instead of the perfect work of Jesus Christ. Many people react the way Naaman did when they hear the gospel of Jesus Christ. They get angry and say, “But I thought or I think.” But it’s doesn’t matter what you think, it matters what God says. All men have rebelled against God and against the will of God, but if you are wise then you will be like Naaman and do what God tells you must be done to be cleansed. If Naaman had not gone to the river Jordan then he would not have been cleansed. Next time you hear the wonderful story of Jesus Christ and how He died for you sins and then rose again on the third day, remember that this is God’s plan of salvation for you to repent of your sins to Jesus and let Him into your heart. Just as there was only one river in which Naaman could be healed by God, there is only one river which can cleanse you of your spiritual leprosy. This river has its source at the cross of Calvary. It is the river of the blood of Jesus Christ, blood which was spilt for you. What can wash away your sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make you whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. This is often the way God teaches us truth, through our physical circumstances and the situations of our lives. God was not only healing Naaman but He was teaching him an important spiritual lesson. Make sure that you learn this lesson too.


Aside from the truth of how to be saved perhaps the most important verse in chapter 5 of the book of II Kings is verse 14. This verse teaches us some of the wonderful results that will happen to you when you are forgiven of your sins. Verse 14 says, “Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”


Why did God tell Naaman to dip himself 7 times in the river? Surely once would have been sufficient? God was teaching Naaman how thoroughly he was being cleansed and God is teaching us how thoroughly we are cleansed and forgiven. The Bible says in Colossians chapter 1 verse 20, “And having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” How thoroughly was Jesus whipped with the cruel Roman whip? Until the flesh was stripped from His back. And how greatly did He suffer on that wooden cross? That is the forgiveness of God in action giving you a chance to become clean. There is also a verse in Psalms that says as far as the east is from the west so far has He removed our transgressions from us. There is no limit to the great grace of God. It is the grace of God that measures eternity. Just as Naaman washed 7 times in the river of Jordan and was cleansed, when God forgives you of your sins, He thoroughly washes you in the blood of the lamb.


Another wonderful result of being forgiven of your sins is peace. A human being who does not have peace will have a miserable life. Peace means having a mind that is free of fears and doubts about the future, especially death and what awaits one’s soul in eternity. Peace also means being free from condemnation and guilt for sin. Peace means being rightly related to God and having the assurance and comfort of the Holy Ghost each day of life. You are either at peace with God or you are at war with God in your heart and in your conscience. Next time you think of peace think of Colossians 1:20; which says, “And having made peace through the blood of His cross…” Most often when we think of blood we think of the color red. And most often the color red is associated with the idea of war and violence. Where there is war and violence there is also blood that flows just as thick and as red. That is why the color red is associated with war. But there is an even more important association that you should have in your mind. It’s the primary reason God created the color red: to make you think about Jesus Christ and be thankful. Next time you see the color red think of the blood of the cross. There Jesus had the greatest sufferings of all men: to bare the sins of the world. The color red means peace for the believer not war, for it’s the blood of Jesus Christ that gives peace. If you want to catch a glimpse of the wonderful things that are prepared for the children of God in God’s eternal kingdom, then look to the cross of Calvary where Jesus Christ created peace.



Copyright; 2001 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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