Trust & Obey (Proper 9 – Year C)

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Trust and Obey

2 Kings 5:1-14

Introduction:

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)

  1. Naaman was a respected courageous warrior. (1)
    1. He was a decorated general in the Syrian army. (captain of the host)
    2. Naaman “… was a great man with his master.” He was a connected person
    3. “and honourable.”
    4. “Because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria.”
      1. This statement reveals the providence of God over the nations.
      2. Also, all of Naaman’s victories, influence, and authority came from the LORD.
        1. Psa 75:7  But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
      3. “…he was also a mighty man of valour…”
    5. “…BUT he was a leper.”
      1. All men have their problems.
      2. Could Naaman’s Leprosy have been his “thorn in the flesh”? (2 Cor 12:7)
    6. Naaman, the mighty warrior, could not overcome his condition.
      1. 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)
      2. More than likely, this man suffered from a minor skin ailment.
      3. 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.
      4. 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)

  1. Naaman heard of a healer in Israel through the grapevine. (2-4)
    1. The little maid said, “Would God my lord were with the prophet … for he would recover him of his leprosy.” (3)
    2. Naaman’s political pull couldn’t help him (5-8).
      1. “letter from the King of Syria.”
      2. “ten talents of silver.”
      3. “six thousand pieces of gold.”
      4. “ten changes of raiment.
    3. The King of Israel knew only God could help cleanse a leper (one unclean and unfit to worship God.)
      1. “Am I God…?” (7)7
      2. However, the King of Israel didn’t believe God “would” heal Naaman.
    4. Elisha spoke of faith (8).
      1. “…let him come to me now…”(7)

3)      Everyone must humble themselves (9-14)

  1. “So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot…(9).
    1. This was a royal entrance of a person of authority.
  2. “…Elisha sent a messenger…(10).
    1. “But Naaman was wroth…” (11)
      1. He felt disrespected, but God is not a respecter of persons (Rom. 2:11).
    2. Naaman thought Elisha would have:
      1. “come out.”
      2. “stand.”
      3. “call on the name of the LORD his God.”
      4. “strike his hand over the place.”
      5. “recover the leper.”
    3. For this man of action, this was far too simple.
  3. “…my father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it?” (13)
    1. Notice the rumor of a healer, the command of God, and the voice of reason came from anonymous lowly servants.
    2. 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)
  4. When he humbled himself and obeyed he was healed (14).
    1. He was cleansed and made fit to worship God.
    2. 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.

Conclusion:

Naaman’s story reveals the Gospel pattern.

 


Lectionary Reading for July 3 (Semi-continuous)

2 Kings 5:1-14 – Elisha heals Naaman’s leprosy

Psalm 30

Galatians 6:[1-6] 7-16

Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Commentary on Lectionary Texts

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


***Image Attribution***

Priest reaching out to help a man with leprosy, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55726 [retrieved July 3, 2016]. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bas%C3%ADlica_de_S%C3%A3o_Francisco_das_Chagas_(Canind%C3%A9)_-_Casa_dos_Milagres_008.JPG.

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