2 Kings 5:1-14
The encounter of Naaman is one of the better known moments of Elisha’s story. It is the story of a mighty Syrian military commander who has leprosy and who has a servant girl who he captured during a raid on Israel. On hearing the servant mention that there is a prophet in Israel, Naaman sent a message to Israel’s king, offering him money but demanding healing in return.
The king doesn’t know what to do and assumes this is a pretext for Naaman to start a war, but Elisha hears about the demand and sees an opportunity for God to work and for this foreign king to ‘know that there is a prophet in Israel.’ The instruction that Elisha gives Naaman is very simple – just to wash seven times in the river. Naaman is actually offended by this, obviously expecting something more elaborate, but he is talked around by his servants and does as instructed. The outcome of this act of faith is full healing for Naaman.
There are several points that can be drawn from this story. Most simply, the fact that. God heals, even in a situation where it seemed like humanly speaking there was nothing that could be done. Secondly, God’s healing is missional. By healing in this way God gave testimony to himself outside the borders of his people. Healing is not limited to people of faith, nor to people of any particular ethnic group.
Furthermore, God’s healing power sometimes comes in unexpected ways. We cannot control or always understand what God is doing, but the willingness to take simple steps of obedience to what God has said is a key indicator of faith and is our part in receiving the blessing that God is looking to give.
Some Key Points:
- God can heal in any situation.
- God’s healing can reveal his glory to those who don’t know him.
- Often we don’t understand what God is asking us to do.
- Pray for Healing – As believers, we have God’s Holy Spirit with us and can be confident to pray for healing for those around us, both inside and outside the church. This doesn’t mean that God heals every time, but he the more we ask for it, the more if happens. We should celebrate the testimonies that we see of this.
- Simple Steps of Obedience – Initially Naaman turned his nose up at what God was asking him to do because it didn’t fit with his expectation. We should be ready to simply obey what God is asking us to do, in faith that he knows best.
- Healing Ministry – As well as encouraging people to pray for healing for those they know, it would be good to create a moment in the service to pray for all those in the congregation who need healing.