2Kings 5:1-15

Sunday Morning Bible Study

July 28, 2002

Healing for the broken

Tollgate Booth Paste

When the driver of a huge trailer lost control of his rig, he plowed into an empty tollbooth and smashed it to pieces. He climbed down from the wreckage and within a matter of minutes, a truck pulled up and discharged a crew of workers. The men picked up each broken piece of the former tollbooth and spread some kind of creamy substance on it. Then they began fitting the pieces together. In less than a half hour, they had the entire tollbooth reconstructed and looking good as new. “Astonishing!” the truck driver said to the crew chief. “What was the white stuff you used to get all the pieces together?” The crew chief said, “Oh, that was tollgate booth paste.”

This morning’s message is about putting broken pieces back together.  But you don’t need “booth paste”, God is the best one to heal the broken.

:1-8 Naaman is a leper

:1 Naaman

Naaman = “pleasantness”

:1 captain of the host of the king of Syria

He was the chief general in Benhadad’s army.

:1 a great man with his master

His boss liked him a lot.

:1 by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria

Naaman may have been the general in charge during the last great battle with Israel, when Ahab and Jehoshaphat fought against the city of Ramoth-gilead, and Ahab was killed. During that battle:

(1 Ki 22:34 KJV) And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded.

According to the Jewish Targum (commentary), that “certain man” was none other than Naaman.

:1 but he was a leper

He’s got all these great things going for him, but he’s got one problem.

Leprosy was like AIDS of today.

It made you an outcast, because nobody wanted to catch the disease.

:2 brought away captive ... a little maid


God can turn bad circumstances to the good

Imagine what life would be like taken captive as a slave during a war.
Removed from all your friends. Living as a slave.
Yet God’s going to use this little girl.
Think of Joseph, sold by his brothers into Egypt as a slave, then going further downhill into prison.
(Gen 50:20 KJV) But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
It may be that what you think is “evil” isn’t evil at all, but just a little uncomfortable, because God is using it to change you, and get you where you need to go.
(2 Cor 4:8-18 KJV) We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; {9} Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; {10} Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. {11} For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. {12} So then death worketh in us, but life in you. {13} We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; {14} Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. {15} For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.
Paul believed that all the difficulties that he was going through would produce a benefit.
{16} For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. {17} For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; {18} While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Paul could see that ultimately the tough times that we endure on the earth were working to produce wonderful, weighty results in heaven.
Even Naaman is going to find out that his leprosy will lead him to God.

:3 Would God my lord were with the prophet ...

That’s all she says.

But her few words get the ball rolling.


It doesn’t take much to start great things

Play taped message: Ray Comfort’s “I Got Off At George Street

How a little old man faithfully handed out tracts in Sidney Australia and asked the people the question, “Are you saved? If you were to die tonight, would you go to heaven?”

Click here to download and listen to the story

It doesn’t take much. Just faithfulness. Commitment. Being obedient.

:5 ten talents of silver ...

(2 Ki 5:5 NLT) taking as gifts 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold …

This is a HUGE amount of money. Some estimates put it in the millions of dollars.

:7 see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.

The king of Israel thinks that he’s being asked to heal the man. He doesn’t understand. He thinks its all a trap.

:8 Elisha the man of God had heard …

It seems that Elisha must have heard about this from a person, not from the Lord.  A prophet doesn’t hear everything from the Lord.

:9-14 Naaman is healed

:10 wash in Jordan seven times

This actually seems to be an abbreviated version of what the Mosaic Law says to do when a leper is “cleansed”.

Part of the ritual involved sprinkling with water seven times.

(Lev 14:7 KJV) And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field.

Finally, after seven days, the leper was to have a complete bath:

(Lev 14:9 KJV) But it shall be on the seventh day, that he shall shave all his hair off his head and his beard and his eyebrows, even all his hair he shall shave off: and he shall wash his clothes, also he shall wash his flesh in water, and he shall be clean.


Points of contact

It seems that Elisha uses a lot of simple things to help people put their trust in the Lord. It’s not the things themselves that cause the miracle, it’s the Lord. But God will at times use simply physical things to help us get over the hump of trusting in Him.
For Elisha: Putting salt in a polluted spring. Putting meal in a poisonous stew. Naaman is to wash in the Jordan and be healed.
If we’re not careful, we can cross a fine line from faith into superstition.
The brass serpent
When the Israelites were in the wilderness, their constant complaining brought judgment:

(Num 21:5-9 KJV) And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. {6} And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. {7} Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. {8} And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. {9} And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

The brass serpent became a thing of faith for the people. If they were bitten by a snake, the act of faith that was involved in looking up to the top of the pole would bring healing.

The act of faith demonstrated that the people were willing to look to God and trust in His solution rather than in their own ways.

It seems a silly solution. Who would have thought that looking at a brass serpent could heal anything? Yet the act of faith brought the healing.

Later, the Israelites would hold on to this brass serpent and it would become a thing of superstition rather than faith. King Hezekiah would finally take the brass serpent and destroy it.

(2 Ki 18:4-5 KJV) He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan. {5} He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.

Instead of being something that would provoke faith in the Lord, the brass serpent had become an end in itself.

Yet Jesus would refer to the serpent because it’s initial purpose was correct. It’s initial purpose was to provoke the people to trust the Lord.

(John 3:14-15 KJV) And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: {15} That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

The hem of His garment.
(Mat 9:20-22 KJV) And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: {21} For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. {22} But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

The woman had told herself that touching Jesus’ robe would make her whole. Yet it was actually her faith that brought healing, not any “magic” in Jesus’ robe.

The lady and the furnace
Pastor Chuck tells a story about a woman who went to his church and had a desire to receive the gift of tongues. She went home from church one evening and went into her dining room to be alone and pray. She had been reading about the day of Pentecost when the disciples had been in the upper room praying when a sound as a mighty rushing wind filled the place and they all began to speak in tongues. As she was praying, she too heard a sound, and it seemed like a “mighty rushing wind”. She found herself beginning to speak in tongues. Later she found out from her husband that the sound she had heard was simply the furnace turning on. It sounds silly, but it was a simple thing like a sound that allowed the woman to release her own ability to trust the Lord and a real, genuine thing happened to her.
Elders and oil.
James says that if anyone is sick, he should call for the elders of the church and as they anoint with oil, the sick will be healed. This too can be one of those “points of contact”, a place to release a person’s faith. The oil doesn’t heal anyone. God does the healing, in response to our faith.

:11 surely come out to me…strike his hand over the place…

Naaman was expecting some kind of show.

:11-12 Naaman was wroth


Why are you angry?

It seems he doesn’t understand what Elisha is asking. Perhaps he thinks that Elisha is simply saying that he needs a bath. Elisha is asking him to take a step of faith.
Perhaps Naaman thought that Elisha himself should have come out. Perhaps he thinks that he’s being snubbed by Elisha. Perhaps he thinks that Elisha is trying to say that Israel is better than Syria.

:13 if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing …


Simplicity of believing

Some people think it’s too simple to just “believe” in Jesus.
But God has always asked His people to trust Him.
When God delivered Israel from the bondage of Egypt, He asked them to trust Him by putting the blood of a lamb on the doorposts of their houses. When the angel of death came through Egypt, the judgment would “pass over” the house if the house had the blood of the Lamb.
In the same way, God simply asks you to believe in His Son, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
(John 3:16 KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

:14 then went he down … a little child

I think the language used is interesting. He went “down”. His flesh became like a “little child”.


Humility brings blessing

How often are we missing out on the blessings and miracles of the Lord in our lives because we're simply too proud to admit we're wrong, and turn around and obey?
(1 Pet 5:5-6 KJV) Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. {6} Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

We can choose to either be stubborn and proud, and find God Himself resisting us, or we can humble ourselves, and find God giving us grace!

:15-19 Naaman’s gratitude

:15 now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel

It sounds to me as if Naaman has become a God follower.

“Are you saved? If you were to die tonight, would you go to heaven?”