Getting it right - 2 Kings 5
The nation of Israel divided into two after the death of Solomon (1 Kings 12). The ten tribes in the north, known as Israel, with Samaria as capital, and two tribes in the south, known as Judah, with Jerusalem as the capital.
Elisha was a prophet in Samaria. During the time of Elisha Israel suffered raids from the Syrians (2 Kings 5:2). Naaman was the leader of the Syrian army during this period.
Jesus referred to the story of Naaman at the onset of his ministry. Naaman was the only leper healed in Israel during the time of Elisha. Jesus used this as a rebuke to the nation of Israel over their wrong attitude. The same wrong attitude that hindered lepers getting healed in Elisha's time was still hindering the Jews from receiving the ministry of Jesus.
The lessons inherent in this story are still relevant for us today. Having the right attitude will not only get us to fulfil God's purpose for our life but will also cause us to thrive in our homes, social life and work.
The right attitude can be judged by how we treat other people. Do people find you approachable?
Anger nearly deprived Naaman of his healing. He was however wise enough to heed the sound counsel of his servants. He dealt with his anger and avoided making a decision in annoyance. Finally, Naaman awoke to his true purpose in God. He gave his prayer, praise and ponder a focus. God was his focus. He became aware of the relationship God wanted to have with him and the hindrances that were on the way.
In this talk we shall take time to reflect on how the right attitude, and the control of our anger will cause us to awake to God's direction in our life.
Ways to get it right
2 Kings 5:1-6
- Made for his glory - 2 Kings 5:1-6
- Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.
- A young girl (Keep heart simple).
- She had freedom, desire and faith to get Naaman well.
Quote - The most precious asset the Holy Spirit can find in you is the right attitude. It comes by a decision of the will.
2 Kings 5:6 - 14
- The King on the throne knew less about the God of Israel than the slave girl.
- A bemused prophet made his way to Elisha
- He stood outside the house. His expectations were not met.
- His anger erupted.
- Don't let the sun go down on your anger. Find an alternative way to deal with it.
- The king fades from the picture.
Quote - There is no greater obstacle to the presence of the Holy Spirit in us than anger.
John Climacus (Monk 6th century)
Quote - resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies.
2 Kings 5: 15 - 19
- This is where the story starts - NT Wright
- Naaman enters Elisha's house.
- He asks for soil to take home.
- Our worship must have a focus (Praise, prayer and ponder).
- You start to see the compromises and paradoxes.
- One last word on the slave girl.
- God is concerned about his kingdom. RT Forster
Quote - Anger blows out the lamp of the mind. It's a child's reaction to an adult situation. Anon.
Quote - God never gives us discernment in order that we might criticize, but that we might intercede. Oswald Chambers
Concluding with Gehazi
2 Kings 5:20 - 27
- He did a wicked thing.
- Naaman did a weak thing.
- The consequent of our actions.
- God does not accept compromise.