Presentation on theme: "Children of the Bible. Lesson 8 Lesson Text—II Kings 5:1-3 II Kings 5:1-4 1 Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with."— Presentation transcript:
Lesson Text—II Kings 5:1-3 II Kings 5:1-4 1 Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.
Lesson Text—II Kings 5:1-3 2 And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife.
Lesson Text—II Kings 5:1-3 3 And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy. 4 And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.
Lesson Text—II Kings 5:4-6 II Kings 5:5-6 5 And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.
Lesson Text—II Kings 5:4-6 6 And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.
Lesson Text—II Kings 5:7-8 II Kings 5:7-8 7 And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.
Lesson Text—II Kings 5:7-8 8 And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.
Lesson Text—II Kings 5:9-10 II Kings 5:9-10 9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.
Focus Verse—II Kings 5:3 II Kings 5:3 And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.
Focus Thought A message given in simplicity, sincerity, and humility reaps many blessings.
I. The Little Maid’s Background Culture Connection A Faithful Testimony A young, unnamed maiden witnessed of her God’s healing power to the wife of her master, Naaman. Consequently, Naaman was healed of his leprosy. What could your testimony accomplish in the life of someone you know—a friend, a co-worker, a supervisor, or a total stranger?
I. The Little Maid’s Background In her article dated May 22, 2009, and titled “The Power of a Personal Testimony,” reporter Beth Seversen wrote about campus staff member Lisa Olson and the work God was doing through personal testimonies. Severson wrote, “God is doing an amazing thing at the University of Rhode Island (URI)....The InterVarsity multi-ethnic chapter called Origins is participating in a semester series on the Book of Acts. Students share ‘How God has Acted in My Life’ at chapter meetings.
I. The Little Maid’s Background Faith journey stories from new Christians have sparked student interest in the gospel.... Lisa coaches InterVarsity students when telling their stories to be genuine, not pushy, and to share from their own experience, ‘How God has changed them and how he wants to bring restoration to humanity.’... URI students are hungry to know God, and God is using InterVarsity students to reach them. God loves and is pursuing each and every person on campus.
I. The Little Maid’s Background Sometimes all that is needed for evangelism is for the students to tell their friends the stories of how God is acting in their own lives, thus creating a space for God to work” (www.intervarsity.org, accessed April 6, 2011). People will only know the powerful works of God if we are faithful to tell of His wonderful actions in our lives. The members of Christ’s body work as His feet, hands, and mouth to go, do, and tell others of His wonderful works.
I. The Little Maid’s Background Contemplating the Topic The problem that exists today around the world between Muslims and Jews is not new. It is virtually as old as the two peoples and their variant faiths. It all traces back to the tensions within Abraham’s household, which ultimately led to Abraham sending away Hagar and Ishmael, Abraham’s child born of Hagar.
I. The Little Maid’s Background Tensions like these provide the background for the story of Naaman’s miracle. While modern weapons are absent from the narrative, the tensions of warring nations and ideologies are just as true then as now.
II Kings 5:1 “Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper” (II Kings 5:1).
I. The Little Maid’s Background Naaman was commander in chief of the king of Syria’s army. When there were no wars to fight, Captain Naaman kept his leagues in shape by running day missions over the border into Israel, raiding cities and generally terrorizing his enemy. Interestingly enough, the Scriptures reveal he met with success by God’s allowance (II Kings 5:1). One of these invasions proved beneficial in bringing back to the Naaman household a girl who became his wife’s maid. This story is really about her.
I. The Little Maid’s Background “And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife” (II Kings 5:2). Naaman does occupy the center role of this story’s plot, but without the little maid from Israel, there would be no story.
I. The Little Maid’s Background Searching The Scriptures The Little Maid’s Background The unnamed Hebrew maid of Naaman’s wife was born into a world of conflict. She probably had personally witnessed much horror and lived in terror herself. However, rather than allow circumstances to shape her, she lived her life positively in spite of her circumstances. Consequently, she altered history.
I. The Little Maid’s Background One must wonder about the home life of this maid before her capture by the enemy. While we know virtually nothing about her, it is clear she had parents who loved God. She demonstrated knowledge of victorious stories about God. Her family must have followed the mandate of Deuteronomy 6, which instructs parents to weave the truths of God into every part of their children’s life. She knew about God’s power even if she did not understand the details.
II. The Little Maid’s Message The Little Maid’s Message “And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy” (II Kings 5:3). Why focus on this little girl? She only has one line in the dramatic story of Naaman’s healing. She seems to be only supporting cast, not lead role in this narrative. But her part makes the story.
I. The Little Maid’s Background Had she not spoken up, there would not be a story to remember. As far as Naaman’s story goes, the unnamed child was priceless. What turns an insignificant person into an individual of great value? Property ownership? Business influence? Simply, put, we are as wealthy as the words we speak about God. Paul wrote, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16).
I. The Little Maid’s Background It all depends on how much of the word of Jesus Christ dwells within. For “we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (II Corinthians 4:7). The little maid was an invaluable vessel because she treasured the things of God. She spoke the word of hope to a man in his time of need.
I. The Little Maid’s Background This story records her brave action in spite of her obscurity, not just to commemorate her, but to set an example to all believers. Jesus said, “Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). Let us learn from this juvenile hero of faith who did a work for God in spite of the odds against her.
A. Her Insignificance Had this little maid thought about her situation, she probably would have said, “Who am I to speak to such important people?” These people were some of the most well-to-do in the country. By contrast, she was an orphaned waif who could barely scrub the floors or make the beds by herself. Perhaps this story would seem more realistic if she had just prayed for God to send someone to whom they would listen. Instead, she operated in a role of faith she may not have fully understood.
I. The Little Maid’s Background In His desire to build His kingdom, the Lord is not limited by a person’s position. He does not need a believer to be an influential executive or president before He can use that person to share the gospel. He only needs that believer to be available. As someone once suggested, the greatest ability is availability. Whom can we reach with the gospel? We can only reach those whom our lives touch.
I. The Little Maid’s Background Inferiority complexes keep too many Christians from doing what they are capable of doing for God, but God is not inferior. The gospel is not inferior. The Holy Ghost power in a believer’s life is not inferior. Therefore, we must not allow the enemy to intimidate us into silence. Rather than looking at ourselves, we must focus on the power of the gospel to change lives. Simply, we should just share the gospel with all who will listen.
B. Her Spontaneity The little maid also seemed to share the message of hope impulsively. Premeditation keeps many people from sharing their faith. They think about it too long and end up excusing themselves. Too often, strategizing becomes procrastination. Jesus never sidelined the gospel; at each opportune moment, He proclaimed the truth to all people. He openly shared the gospel with the woman at the well, Nicodemus, and the Pharisees.
I. The Little Maid’s Background He shared the gospel as part of His lifestyle, not as an occasional performance. The gospel is more than a message; it is abundant life. We live the gospel and share it as often as we can. In other words, the gospel is not a dimension of our dialogue; it is the fundamental truth that shapes our very lives.
I. The Little Maid’s Background When we share the gospel, we do not just discuss Jesus Name baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and other basic doctrines; rather, we share doctrine within the context of the fullness of the riches of life lived in Christ Jesus. We should communicate truth just as naturally as we breathe. The maiden simply shared her knowledge of that which would help her master in his dilemma. Through her testimony of truth, she changed the course of a man’s life, his fortune, and his faith.
C. Her Compassion If a person lived with the individuals responsible for killing his parents, he probably would harbor some anger and resentment towards them. With that in mind, the Syrians were the people who had torn apart the little maid’s life. She could credit them with her nightmares and sleepless nights. Naaman and his people had brought her into a strange land far away from home and family. Would she not be justified in taking delight in her master’s turn of fate?
I. The Little Maid’s Background The young Hebrew maiden could have responded to the news of Naaman’s disease with something like, “Serves him right.” As she turned away, she could have thought, “Well, justice is served; Naaman’s getting a taste of his own cruelty.” Further, it would have been considered normal for her not to say anything at all. She could have waited out the natural processes for him to suffer and eventually die.
I. The Little Maid’s Background He would not even have the honor of dying as a hero in battle. In such a circumstance, most individuals would struggle with bitterness and vindictiveness, but that was not the response of this young maid. How can a believer present God’s love while being a bitter, vindictive person? Like Christ’s miracles, our works should demonstrate a motivation of loving compassion and empathy for those who have been derailed by troubles.
I. The Little Maid’s Background We must do more than prepare to share the word of faith; we must prepare our hearts to care for those who have not heard the gospel. Self- seeking, me-first people do not share the gospel. They are too busy looking out for themselves. However, believers with humble hearts reach out in love to those who do not know the hope of eternal life and the power of the new birth. “And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel” (II Kings 5:4).
D. Her Reception While the girl’s behavior seemed exceptional, one also could find the pagan’s response almost unbelievable. Who would have listened to a little girl like this? If a child at the supermarket happened to mention to a cancer patient he could be cured if he would move to Mexico and go to a certain doctor, what are the odds the person would head to Mexico? Very slim.
I. The Little Maid’s Background It is unlikely many people would make major decisions based on the word of a servant girl. However, Naaman received the hope she offered. Surely Naaman and his household embraced the girl’s counsel because it aligned with what they had observed in her life, her faith, and the reputation of her God. How important it is for our lives to align with our testimonies rather than undermine them!
E. Her Effectiveness Apparently, the servant girl had not worn out her benefactors with incessant talk or religious debates about her God. She simply lived out her faith and shared it when the opportunity arose. Too many Christians are guilty of talking too much when no one is listening and keeping their mouths shut when people need a word from God.
II Kings 5:5-6 “And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy” (II Kings 5:5-6).
I. The Little Maid’s Background We should speak the truth clearly and to the point. For example, we should be explicit that water baptism must be administered in Jesus’ name and that speaking with other tongues is the initial evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost. However, the listener does not always comprehend even clear commands and direct messages. The little girl spoke directly about the “prophet that is in Samaria”; however, Naaman went to the king.
I. The Little Maid’s Background When we have explicitly shared the gospel with a co-worker and he returns the following week having incorrectly attempted to follow it, we have to gently guide him back to the original message of truth. Misunderstandings are only permanent if they remain unchanged. If a person listened to our heartfelt counsel in the first place, he will listen to us again as we speak the truth in love.
II Kings 5:7 “And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me” (II Kings 5:7).
I. The Little Maid’s Background While it might be natural to get exasperated with misdirected seekers, we must remember the extreme patience our Father has shown us while waiting for our own submission.
III. The Man of God Intervened The Man of God Intervened Certainly the king and his army must have been nervous about this enemy commander coming into town. He had brought valuable gifts with him. Perhaps the king suspected Naaman’s motives, for things just did not add up. However, the real conundrum was that Naaman went to the wrong person.
I. The Little Maid’s Background Fortunately, even though the little maiden could not correct the misdirection of her master, the prophet did. Elisha pointed out the mistake and invited the king to send Naaman to him.
A. Naaman’s Arrival with Pomp and Ceremony “And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel. So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha” (II Kings 5:8-9).
I. The Little Maid’s Background Like many people who come to God for the first time, Naaman must have been fully absorbed with himself. He came with the full entourage and splendor of his position, but God’s prophet was neither impressed nor intimidated. God’s trophies are little girls who strongly live out their faith away from the limelight, not big-name personalities who grasp for attention.
B. The Prophet’s Message “And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean” (II Kings 5:10).
I. The Little Maid’s Background Through Elisha, the Lord sent word that Naaman should go out of his ordinary routine, humble himself, and wash in the Jordan River seven times. Surely, Naaman would make a spectacle of himself, and the message insulted him. If Naaman was to experience the desired miracle, it would require his obvious obedience to Israel’s God.
C. Naaman’s Angry Departure “But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage” (II Kings 5:11-12).
I. The Little Maid’s Background Many individuals want God to help them, but how many of them want to obey Him? Humans often desire God to do “their thing,” but seldom do they want to do “His thing.” Most individuals who have needs prefer comfortable intervention and painless remedies instead of sacrificial participation, which is what God requires.
I. The Little Maid’s Background Lives are not changed without effort, sweat, and tears. We must work with God and allow Him to work through us in order to see real spiritual changes occur. Too often, we want Him to effect change by waving a wand over our troubled relationships, difficult coworkers, and insensitive spouses. But God wants us to learn patience, compassion, and grace through adversity. The real miracle is not just what God can do, but what He can do through us.
D. Unexpected Intervention “And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?” (II Kings 5:13).
I. The Little Maid’s Background An obscure little girl made the difference in Naaman’s life. Other unnamed persons saved Naaman from impending doom by speaking up at the right moment. So many lives have been saved and futures salvaged by someone speaking a well-timed encouragement: “a word spoken in due season, how good is it!” (Proverbs 15:23). What if someone had never invited Charles Mahaney to church?
I. The Little Maid’s Background What if no one had ever shared the message of Jesus Name baptism with Andrew Urshan? What if C. P. Kilgore had never heard the gospel? What if no one had ever invited you to come pray and receive the Holy Ghost? Destiny is determined in obscure moments. Sometimes there is no lifeguard to save the drowning person—an amateur becomes a hero in an obscure moment. How many things would have never happened had someone never spoken up?
I. The Little Maid’s Background Jack Phillips’s life teaches us the importance of just doing what needs to be done and not leaving it until later. Jack was the Titanic’s radioman who received the warning about icebergs in the path of the giant ship, but he was too busy to get the message to those in charge. Not only did it cost the lives of more than fifteen hundred passengers, but his own as well.
I. The Little Maid’s Background We must be careful not to wait for strobe lights and earthquake moments to do something for God. We deliver the gospel message at every possible moment. Far more has been done for the Lord in backstreets and under shade trees than ever happened in amphitheaters and on network television.
E. Delayed Obedience D.Delayed Obedience “Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean” (II Kings 5:14).
I. The Little Maid’s Background Naaman finally consented to obey God’s message. Most of us are reluctant and timid to conform immediately to God’s plan, but God patiently works with us to build our faith and confidence in Him. We should be just as patient with others as God is with us. We need to give people time, while continuing to love them and pray for them. Further, we should expect a great conversion when they finally surrender to God’s plan for their lives.
IV. Results of the Little Maid’s Message Results of the Little Maid’s Message Never again does the Scripture mention the little Hebrew maiden, but she was the catalyst that sparked a transformation in Naaman’s life. Without her testimony, he probably would have died in excruciating pain, having lived a lonely isolated existence in his final years.
A. Complete Healing Because of the little maid’s efforts, Naaman got a new life. His prospects changed, his identity changed, and his agenda changed. Her simple words, the prophet’s command, and the servants’ encouragement all worked together to make him clean.
I. The Little Maid’s Background In like fashion, God has given to the church a profound message for salvation and a new life of separation from sin. As Naaman was glad to be free of the filthy disease that once plagued him, so will countless new believers gratefully embrace the message of redemption and holiness when we take the gospel message to them.
B. Expression of Gratitude In thanks for the transformation of his life, Naaman attempted to give gifts to Elisha (II Kings 5:15-16). It was commendable that Naaman desired to show gratitude; however, the gifts of God and His works are beyond purchase—and men and women of God are beyond purchase as well. To have and to demonstrate gratitude is the only gift necessary.
C. Strong Faith The little girl duplicated herself by sharing her faith in God. Now she was not the only one in Damascus who knew the wonder-working power of God. Naaman stated, “Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel” (II Kings 5:15).
I. The Little Maid’s Background In spite of the popular slogan “Keep the faith,” we really should not keep it; we need to share it. If we selfishly hold onto the gospel, it dies with us; but if we share it with others, it continues to live. This was the risk Jesus Christ took with His disciples. If they went back to their old lifestyles and forgot about Him, no one else would ever know the truth. But thankfully, they told others who also told others, and the unbroken chain of the gospel message reached all the way to us.
I. The Little Maid’s Background Internalizing the Message What witness have we set up for Jesus Christ? We do not have to slap our Bible on the lunch table every day to make our faith obvious. Little plaques with Christian slogans hung in opportune places can cheer a workmate’s day and serve as a witness to the true God in the midst of a pagan world. Well-placed Pentecostal magazines and literature can stir godly discussion and initiate Bible studies.
I. The Little Maid’s Background Best of all, a person’s God-centered character stands as the greatest witness to a Spirit-filled life. Today, we do not just witness with words for Jesus Christ, but we live out our faith for Him; and in the process we are His witnesses. While we marvel at the multitudes converted in the Book of Acts, we must remember who influenced them: unknown, insignificant fishermen from the country.
I. The Little Maid’s Background God does not just use prophets like Elisha to do great things. He works through unknown and seemingly insignificant people just as much, if they will put Him first. The little maid who lived in Naaman’s house could have allowed resentment and hatred to embitter her, causing her to celebrate the leprosy that had come upon the man who had torn her away from her home. These people were the enemies of her relatives and of her God. Still, she loved them and cared about their needs.
I. The Little Maid’s Background Clearly, before she ever showed them love or told them about her God, the girl had to forgive her master and mistress. What a message to believers today! We must reject bitterness and employ forgiveness in every circumstance. It is the only way for us to experience the full measure of Christ’s love within, and it is the only way we can ever be an effective witness to others.