Trust & Obey (Proper 9 – Year C)
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Trust and Obey
2 Kings 5:1-14
Ronald Pinkerton’s hang gliding testimony. (Craig Brian Larson – 750 Engaging Illustrations)
CPS: No matter who we are, we all faces issues that only God can solve.
1) Everyone has issues. (1)
- Naaman was a respected courageous warrior. (1)
- He was a decorated general in the Syrian army. (captain of the host)
- Naaman “… was a great man with his master.” He was a connected person
- “and honourable.”
- “Because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria.”
- This statement reveals the providence of God over the nations.
- Also, all of Naaman’s victories, influence, and authority came from the LORD.
- Psa 75:7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
- “…he was also a mighty man of valour…”
- “…BUT he was a leper.”
- All men have their problems.
- Could Naaman’s Leprosy have been his “thorn in the flesh”? (2 Cor 12:7)
- Naaman, the mighty warrior, could not overcome his condition.
- In the Bible, leprosy is a very generic term. It can range from a small skin blemish, like psoriasis to the debilitating disease, which causes the loss of digits. Either way “lepers” were deemed unclean, thus, making them unfit to worship God. (Lev. 13:13)
- More than likely, this man suffered from a minor skin ailment.
- In addition to being unfit for worship, “lepers” were regarded as an outcast of society, because anyone who came into contact with a leper” (or anything defiled by a leper) they were considered unclean too.
- This fact gives testament to what a phenomenal warrior Naaman was to be able to rise to his position.
2) Everyone needs God’s help. (2-8)
- Naaman heard of a healer in Israel through the grapevine. (2-4)
- The little maid said, “Would God my lord were with the prophet … for he would recover him of his leprosy.” (3)
- Naaman’s political pull couldn’t help him (5-8).
- “letter from the King of Syria.”
- “ten talents of silver.”
- “six thousand pieces of gold.”
- “ten changes of raiment.
- The King of Israel knew only God could help cleanse a leper (one unclean and unfit to worship God.)
- “Am I God…?” (7)7
- However, the King of Israel didn’t believe God “would” heal Naaman.
- Elisha spoke of faith (8).
- “…let him come to me now…”(7)
3) Everyone must humble themselves (9-14)
- “So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot…(9).
- This was a royal entrance of a person of authority.
- “…Elisha sent a messenger…(10).
- “But Naaman was wroth…” (11)
- He felt disrespected, but God is not a respecter of persons (Rom. 2:11).
- Naaman thought Elisha would have:
- “come out.”
- “call on the name of the LORD his God.”
- “strike his hand over the place.”
- “recover the leper.”
- For this man of action, this was far too simple.
- “But Naaman was wroth…” (11)
- “…my father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it?” (13)
- Notice the rumor of a healer, the command of God, and the voice of reason came from anonymous lowly servants.
- Also, Naaman did not trust God or the prophet, because he did not know them. However, he did listen to his servants whom he knew. (Fairless & Chilton – The Lectionary Lab Commentary Year C)
- When he humbled himself and obeyed he was healed (14).
- He was cleansed and made fit to worship God.
- The agent of change was not the water, but the word/command. He received the word in humility and the obeyed by immersing himself in the Jordan.
Naaman’s story reveals the Gospel pattern.
Lectionary Reading for July 3 (Semi-continuous)
2 Kings 5:1-14 – Elisha heals Naaman’s leprosy
Galatians 6:[1-6] 7-16
Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
Reflection on Sunday:
Monday: 2 Kings 5:15-19a ; Acts 19:21-27
Tuesday: 2 Kings 5:19b-27 ; Acts 19:28-41
Wednesday: 2 Kings 6:1-7 ; Luke 10:13-16
Daily: Psalm 6
Preparation for Sunday (Proper 10 or July 10)
Thursday: Amos 1:1-2:3 ; James 2:14-26
Friday: Amos 2:4-11 ; Acts 7:9-16
Saturday: Amos 2:12-3:8 ; John 3:16-21
Daily : Psalm 82