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This passage gives us a beautiful example of God using a prepared child for a missionary assignment. I think of our own grandchildren and pray for all four of them, that their parents will faithfully instruct them at home and take them to Sunday school and worship. If parents and the church aren’t nurturing children, the world will but it will be in an ungodly, destructive way.
The next part of the story is equally amazing, how God did the work of convincing Naaman to listen to the little girl’s words. The slave girl did her part, she was neither timid or hesitant about the message she delivered and God convinced Naaman that he should take her seriously. He did and eventually he ended up right at Prophet Elisha’s door. But there was still a lot of work God had to do in Naaman’s heart. He was a proud man who probably wore lots of honors on his uniform and he had the expectation that he should be treated as someone special. Listen to the way he spells out his expectations, “I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy!” He also expected that he could buy his healing. Verse 5 says he took “ten talents of silver, 6000 shekels of gold, and ten sets of garments.” He was not a cheapskate.
Naaman had to discover just like all of us that deliverance from sin requires humility. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” We need to come to Christ humbly and with a repentant heart. And Naaman had to discover that you cannot pay for God’s gifts. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not the result of works so that no one may boast.”
Elisha’s command to Naaman was very simple, “Go wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.” (v 10). All the glory had to go to God; it wasn’t Elisha’s power that healed. And seven times is a symbol to indicate the complete, perfect, cleansing that only God can accomplish.
Well, you know the rest of the story. Naaman was moved to obey. It took time and a struggle. We know he argued but again God had servants in place to reason with him and help him move forward. Some of you too have had a battle with self and Satan until you finally surrendered to Christ. God had to work with you, even get your attention in an attention-grabbing way until you finally said, “yes, I’m ready to go all the way in humble, total obedience, even into the water of baptism to let the world know that I’ve been born again, made clean and whole.”
Naaman waded into the muddy water, ducked down 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 times. I think he must have been muttering under his breath, “Forget this, I’m making a fool of myself.” And the devil was probably telling him, “Now it’s time for you to take charge, walk right out of that water and go home!! Nothing has happened yet and it won’t.” But Naaman didn’t stop until he completely obeyed God’s command through Elisha to make SEVEN ducks in muddy water. And you know what happened. He was totally transformed. “So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God;
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