It’s the second day of our Oct 1-3 day China holiday and I must say I’m enjoying every moment of it. I started with high hopes of getting a lot of personal stuff done, like photo layouting, video editing, but as it turned out, God has something else planned for me.
I woke up and and started reading Bible. I’m in the last few chapters of 1Kings and found myself starting the book of 2nd Kings – with the NKJV dramatized audiobook companion. Lo and behold, I could not stop reading! Chapter after chapter I read it.. And it’s really official! (same as last year). I love the book of Kings!! Why? Because it tells so much about us! It’s a highly recommended book in the Bible! It seems surreal but it’s real! (I think this is where Koreans get their idea in creating period films :P)
One of the stories that stood out for me (as there are many) is Naaman’s Obedience.
Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the LORD had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.
Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing. (2 Kings 5:2-5)
>> Now here, even a servant girl could serve as a channel of blessing to non-believers, pointing people to someone who can heal them. ( I need to have a heart like this girl- to have concern for others, pointing them to the one who can save souls, Jesus Christ!)
>> When I was reading this in my mind, I said “sakto Lord may provision kayong darating sa Israel or sa mga prophet kse nga ang daming perang dala ni Naaman” or perfect timing Lord, there will be provision for Israel and your prophets since Naaman brought a lot of money. Later I was corrected.
So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage. (1 Kings 9-12)
>> I like how Life Study Bible explains it “5:12 Naaman left in a rage because the cure for his disease seemed too simple. He was a hero, and he expected a heroic cure. Full of pride and self-will, Naaman could not accept the simple cure of faith. ” And also the Jordan is known to be muddy.. and the fact that you have to do it 7 times (doing it a prescribed). It’s like walking in humility or being humiliated (which ever you see it)..7 times!
Oh good thing Naaman had good advisers!
“Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!”
>> well oo nga naman ano! sometimes we do so many things for God’s forgiveness when all we need to do is to sit down, close our eyes, repent (take heed) and be cleansed. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
“So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.” The prophet answered, “As surely as the LORD lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.“If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the LORD. But may the LORD forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the LORD forgive your servant for this.” “Go in peace,” Elisha said. (2 Kings 5:14-19)
>> Here Naaman was healed and became a believer of the one true God! He is now even worried bowing to other gods and made a declaration, a decision, “for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the LORD”
>> He is also also concerned to do his duties to help the Aram king bow down to an idol, but Elisha assured him “Go in peace”. Because I think God really looks at the heart.
>> now about the money.. see how my thoughts are different from HIS thoughts?
God made me realize that although God uses other people to bless others financially, believers are not reliant on what other people can provide for us but on what God can provide us, and God’s healing and salvation can’t be bought by money.
As the Life Application Bible puts it “5:16 Elisha refused Naaman’s money to show that God’s favor cannot be purchased. Our money, like Naaman’s, is useless when we face death. No matter how much wealth we accumulate in this life, it will evaporate when we stand before God, our Creator. Our faith in Jesus Christ will save us, not our bank accounts.”
Our Salvation is bought Jesus Christ alone. By His blood we are cleansed and healed! All we need to do is to accept His salvation and repent from our sins.
“But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)
>> Imagine if Naaman had not obeyed Elisha and accepted God’s cleansing. He would have missed a lot! Now, I Imagine myself not obeying God, I would have missed a lot!
“Obedience to God begins with humility. We must believe that his way is better than our own. We may not always understand his ways of working, but by humbly obeying, we will receive his blessings. We must remember that
(1) God’s ways are best;
(2) God wants our obedience more than anything else;
(3) God can use anything to accomplish his purposes.”
(source: Life Application Bible study notes)
And all God’s people say.. Amen!
To God be the glory!
Here’s a wonderful song that speaks of Jesus’ love for us! 🙂