“Leprosy of the Heart”

2 Kings 5:1-14

Leprosy eats and destroys the flesh until the internal organs can no longer function and the afflicted perishes. Sin is leprosy of the heart and it kills the soul.

Prideful Naaman thought Elisha himself would come out and take pity on him, but a messenger was sent out instead. To Naaman this was an offense, but it is the message that is important, not the messenger. It doesn’t matter who delivers them, as long as the words are from God. This message to Naaman was a promise. The method was prescribed, but Naaman must have thought ‘Elisha didn’t even honor me. He didn’t greet me and now he has told me to go wash in water?! How hateful.’ Naaman went away angry. This pride in Naaman needed to be broken so that God could work. This was a trial of obedience for him. People these days have many ‘issues’ (pride, idolatry…). God wants you to come to Him with sincerity and He will take care of those needs.

The answer didn’t come like Naaman expected. He wanted ceremony. When we come to God like this, with preconceived ideas and expectations, we will find that God just will not answer. When we accept God’s will in the matter, then He will move. God knows what’s going on in our heart. But why did it have to be the Jordan River? This river was special, it belonged to God’s people and it was under His power. People say it doesn’t matter which church you go to. Well yes it does. You have to go where the river of life flows. It doesn’t matter how deep or clean the “other water” looks, you have to go God’s way; where His Spirit is, for only there can you be cleansed and made whole.

Like Naaman, some people get mad because of God’s answer to them. They run off and fail to receive from God. There is no other way; you have to go down in to Jordan. As there is only one Jordan, there is only one door to Heaven and Jesus is the key.

Naaman’s servants came to him with respect and it settled him right down. They, believing everything Elisha’s messenger had said, gave Naaman good counsel. He listened and went to perform this little ‘experiment’, for surely that is what it must have seemed in his mind. Just go down into the Jordan, dip seven times and be healed; easy. The ‘religious’ think there must be ceremony and tradition, but the Gospel is simple. Just accept Jesus and be saved; easy. Just come to God and honor Him. It’s not a big complicated thing. If you are willing and obedient, you will be blessed. Adversely, if you refuse and rebel, destruction is coming your way.

The seventh time Naaman dipped down, his flesh became like that of a little child. Bring your ‘heart issues’ (pride…) to God first, then God will begin to deal with those other matters. God dealt first with Naaman’s pride and then he rose the seventh time completely healed.

 As preached by Rev. Yohn / 8-31-14 Sun Morn

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