Grace Is Like That!
2 Kings 5:1-16
You may be familiar with the commercial or saying, “There are some things money can’t buy” You can buy a comfortable bed, but you cannot buy sleep. There was a man who had everything going for him. This was a man of position, power and popularity. He was very successful, respected by all. This is how he is introduced to us in Scripture. But he had a big problem, a problem he could not buy a solution for with all his riches. You see all accolades could not buy him what he truly wanted in life. He had great accomplishments and success, but he wasn’t content in life because he had a terminal illness and imagine, even though he had enough money, fame, and people in charge, nothing could cure him. I guess the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence.
Naaman was a commander of the Syrian army (He was sort of a prime minister in those days)
2 Kings 5:1
– He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the LORD had given victory to Aram (Syria).
– He was married
– He was a valiant soldier…………………But he had leprosy. It is as though the text say, he had all this success, but he was terminally ill. Leprosy in Biblical times was a general word for any skin disease.
There was a slave girl from Israel that served Naaman’s wife. The reason this slave girl was there was because Aramean invaders had invaded Israel and took some people captives.
– She was a slave (her relatives were also sold and taken captives or killed before her eyes).
– She was at the bottom of the social structure.
– She was a racial outcast, a woman, a young woman.
In other words, she had no hope of a bright future. She belonged to her masters. But she does something amazing in this story. She tells her mistress how Naaman could get cured. (v3) If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy. (I wish that my master would go see the prophet in Samaria to be cured of his leprosy)
Naaman moved to action. (v.4-6)
– Went to his king and told him what the Jewish girl had said.
– The king told Naaman to go and gave him a letter to give to the King of Israel.
Naaman left, taking with him 10 talent of silver( 750lbs), 6000 shekels of gold(150 lbs) and 10 sets of clothing along with the letter from the king which read: “ With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.” (Ben-Hadad King of Aram)
Naaman went to the king of Israel with the letter, instead of going where the girl had said to go. (v.7)
The king of Israel felt insulted by such letter and thought Naaman’s king was just trying to provoke him to fight. “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how is trying to pick a quarrel with me!
Elisha the prophet comes into play when he heard the king had torn his robes in anger.
“Have the man come to me” (v.8)
Naaman got all his stuff and headed for Elisha’s house.
Naaman was disappointed with Elisha. (v10) Elisha sent a messenger to Naaman with the instructions to go dip himself 7 times in the Jordan River and his flesh would be restored.
Naaman clearly didn’t know God; he didn’t understand how grace works.
Naaman was angry and ready to go back home disappointed and still sick.
He had his own ideas or expectations of how his healing was going to take place. (11)
-I thought 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.
His entire worldview was challenged by the prophet’s response. Naaman was expecting a religious act or some sort of magic trick done by the prophet.
Naaman’s servants convinced him to do what the prophet said.(v.13-14)
Finally Naaman obeyed the words of the prophet, which went against his expectations and pride and he was healed of his leprosy. He then went back to the prophet to thank him for it. Naaman learned the power of God “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.” ( 15)
Naaman wanted to pay the prophet for the healing. He pleaded with the prophet to accept a gift, but the prophet refused. Grace is like that.
Naaman didn’t understand grace. You cannot buy grace, you can only embrace it.
The slave girl was grace to Naaman’s family. She had compassion on him, the captain of the army of those who raided her land and destroyed her family. She could have remained silent and not letting him know about how he could get healed. She showed concern and compassion for his master and guided him where he could get cured.
Naaman was an enemy of God’s people; he didn’t deserve the blessing from his people. He was a gentile. But grace is like that, it’s offered to everyone. Jesus reminded the Jews of his day of how Gracious God is. Luke 4:27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed-only Naaman the Syrian.
Grace has no limit. How often do you limit God in not showing grace to others? Grace is offered to everyone. Jesus, a Jew died a horrible death to save even his enemies. Grace is like that!
21Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.
22But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.
Grace is like that:
A slave girl blessing her master
A man being blessed by the God of his enemies
A righteous man taking the punishment of the unrighteous
Jesus died so that you can be saved from hell. That is grace revealed.