Summary: God has a purpose for what you’re going through.
SERMON TITLE: A Little Girl and A Leperous General
SERMON TEXT: 2 Kings 5:1-12
Written and preached by Louis Bartet on November 09, 2003 at Point Assembly of God in Downsville, LA.
All too often we fail to see the significance of people because they are not the main player in the drama. Like Samuel, we tend to focus on Eliab and overlook David.
We Americans do have an inordinate affection for power, don’t we? We celebrate men of character, but not as much as we laud the man who can hit the ball over the fence, shoot the course under par, or consistently run 8 yards per play. We seem to be unaware that there is a difference between superstars and heroes.
Our age finds it difficult to come to grips with figures like John the Baptist. The political and religious leaders with whom we are familiar generally aspire to be superstars rather than heroes. The distinction is crucial.
•Superstars strive for the applause of the crowd; heroes act without regard for recognition.
•Superstars crave consensus; heroes define themselves by the judgment of a future they see it as their task to bring about.
•Superstars seek success; heroes experience success as the outgrowth of inner values.
•Superstars speak what people want to hear; heroes speak what people need to hear.
•Superstars don’t commit themselves until they’ve checked to see which way the wind is blowing; heroes act based upon right no matter which way the wind is blowing.
•Superstars don’t throw themselves on hand grenades; heroes do!
THE PERSON: A little girl.
How many of you remember Elisha, the servant of Elijah? What about Namaan, the captain of the army of Syria? How many of you can recall the name of the little girl that served Naaman’s wife? Do you remember her at all?
Don’t despair trying to remember her name, because it isn’t given. She is simply referred to as "a little girl" that "waited on Naaman’s wife" (2Kings 5:2). The Hebrew term for "little" refers to that which insignificant or worth less than other things in the same environment.
At some point in time, this little Jewish girl was taken away from her mother by force. The man perpetrating this crime was none other than the commander of Syria’s army, Naaman.
Now, Naaman, captain of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man before his master, and highly respected, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria….Now the Syrians had gone out in bands, and had taken captive a little girl from the land of Israel…" (2Kings 5:1,2).
I don’t know about you, but if I were the "little girl" I would have been, to say the least, angry at my captors.
• They were responsible for destroying my dreams.
• They were responsible for the nightmares that woke me up in the night.
• Because of them, I would never marry a handsome Jewish boy and raise beautiful Jewish children and live on a hill in a nice house in some nice Jewish community.
• Because of them, I was alone in a strange land and surrounded by strange people.
• Because of them, I was miles away from my loving mother and father.
THE PROBLEM: The captor is stricken with leprosy.
If we are the product of our environment, then this little girl should have found great delight in knowing about her master’s plight.
Naaman had ignored the small patch of white scaly skin for days in hopes that it would go away. But instead of going away it grew larger and then numb. It was leprosy and it was spreading beyond his ability to conceal it.
Most of us are inclined to believe that suffering is always the consequence of evil living. This is the argument Job’s friends used against him after he experienced the loss of his wealth, his children and his health.
Eliphaz declared, "Innocent people do not suffer and neither do the upright experience this kind of loss. Those who plow iniquity and sow trouble harvest it" (Job 4:7). In short, "Job you’re getting what you deserve."
Jesus disciples were victims of this same mindset.
"And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, ’Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he should be born blind?’ Jesus answered, ’It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was in order that the works of God might be displayed in him" (John 9:1-3).
God in His sovereignty may allow us to experience adversity in order to accomplish some Kingdom purpose or to prove an eternal truth in a moment of time.
This was definitely true of Paul and Silas in Acts 16. They are beaten and thrown into the inner prison because of their effective ministry to a demon possessed girl. Instead of complaining and questioning why God allowed this to happen, they prayed and sang praises to God. God responded with a jail door opening earthquake, which resulted in the salvation of the jailer. What a reminder of the verity of Romans 8:28:"All things work together for good to them that love the Lord and are the called according to His purpose."