And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.” 2 Kings 5:15
The Cure of Naaman’s Leprosy
Naaman, the commander of Syria’s army, has leprosy
1 Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper.
When a captive Jewish girl speaks of a prophet in her homeland who can heal him, Naaman obtains permission to go to Israel. The King of Israel sees the Syrian’s request for healing as an excuse for renewed war, but Elisha, invites the king to send Naaman to him (vv.7-8). Naaman’s resentment at being told to dip 7 times in the Jordan River dissolves when he does so, and is healed (vv 9-14). Convinced now that Yahweh is God, Naaman promises to worship Him only, but obtains a dispensation for occasions when official duties require him to be present at religious ceremonies in his homeland (vv. 15-19). Elisha rejects the rich gift offered by Naaman, but his servant Gehazi runs after the Syrian and accepts clothing and about 150 pounds of silver, a fortune (vv. 20-23). When Gehazi lies to Elisha, he is cursed with the leprosy of which Naaman was healed (vv. 24-27)
7 And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me.” 8 So it was, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.” –> a real prophet of God
10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.”
14 So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant.”
16 But he said, “As the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will receive nothing.” And he urged him to take it, but he refused.
20 But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, “Look, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian, while not receiving from his hands what he brought; but as the Lord lives, I will run after him and take something from him.”
26 Then he said to him, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants? 27 Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.” And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow.
–> Profiting while doing God’s work is sin. Bible teaches us not to do it by the example of what happened to Gehazi, prophet Elisha’s servant. Grace and healing are given to people for free by God.
Naaman, the leper, received the free gift of healing and recognized the true God. Although he was a Syrian, he made the God of Israel who healed him as his own God. Being cleaned, being healed and being free seem to go together While being unclean (living in sins), we are sick (in bondage) and a slave.
As our pastor Chuck Swindoll preached last Sunday, we are free by the grace of God. God Himself set us free by dying for us. But many Christian leaders sell what God has given us for free. Many pastors and churches “recruit” people, and require them to give money, time and labor to build up their little empires. They give out titles and positions to create a pyramid like caste system to set people to work and raise money. They even sell merchandise in their churches. They make people feel guilty for not doing the requirements. We cannot be free in a system like this. They deceive people by saying that the requirements are from God. But, not true. We don’t earn our salvation by work nor money but by having simple faith in Jesus who died on the cross for us.
We are free to read the Scriptures and go to Him directly in prayer. We don’t need to feed off of false prophets hands. We are free to follow Jesus, our savior. God is present in every chapter of the Bible. He is so willing to set us free, even someone like Naaman, a Syrian heathen.