Summary: A story about Naaman and the true meaning of being a sinner saved by grace.

"Four of the Hardest Words to Say"

Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour... (2 Kings 5:1a KJV)

Intro: In the northwestern Mediterranean region…, between Palestine and Mesopotamia… is the land of Syria. On the edge of the Arabian desert…, is an oasis city…, literally a fertile land of plants…, and water…, and life…,

known as Damascus…, which in the Old Testament early history was the largest and capital city of Syria.

Damascus has traces of evidence of settlements going back to 9000 years Before Christ…, making it the oldest continually inhabited city in the world…, at least 11,000 years old.

The country of Syria had become the most influential nation on the earth for the time.

A man by the name of Naaman was captain of the host of Syria. That meant that Naaman was second only to the king. Naaman was a great leader. He was honorable among his men. In Naamans’ time the country was growing in power and might. And the Lord had given Syria many victories in battle because of Naaman. Victories even against the people of Israel…, at this time…, Israel’s own king…, who was the son of Ahab and Jezebel…, did not seek after the Lord God.

So Naaman and his army would frequently conduct raids into Israel and they would take captive slaves of the Israelites. After one raid Naaman brought back to his wife a young girl to be her servant. The bible does not tell us the name of this little girl. But the brief description about her…tells us that she knew about faith and the healing power of God.

Learn this lesson:

A little faith will go a long way.

The bible teaches us that small beginning can grow to produce great results…

When you are facing a problem that is too big for you to handle. Turn your eyes away from the problem

And look unto Christ the Lord! Only then will you be able to overcome the struggle…, that is happening in your life…

As good and great a person as Naaman was…, he had a serious problem…, a trouble so big that it was undoubtedly difficult for him to say… Beneath his strong exterior. Underneath his jeweled armor… Was something so dreaded and hideous that it would have been hard for him to speak of it aloud… The bible says, he was a leper….

Leprosy in the bible days was the most dreaded disease… It produces large disfiguring lumps on the face and body…, with sores on the skin, and damage to the nerves in the arms and legs, so severe that it would eventually cause numbness and total loss of the use their hands and feet. It was progressively worse…, until it becomes total debilitating.

After a mighty victory in battle the King would have a banquet and Naaman would be introduced as the winner of the battle and as governors and other royalty would come to greet and shake hands with the Captain of the host of the Syria. He was not able to make excuses…, He could not say he had a simple headache. He did not say his diet did not agree with him. He could not say he had a bug or a cold. He would have to admit his affliction

He would have to openly confess his secret. He would have to utter four of the hardest words to say “I am a leper.”

Naaman admitted that he had the leprosy — the disease that ruins and rots the flesh and the body, Naaman's children knew he was a leper. So did his neighbors, his soldiers, his friends, his King— everybody.

Oh, the anguish beneath his decorated uniform and armor. The bitterness in his otherwise life of luxury. The tears he must have shed in isolation and silence. The mental despair as he utter those four words. "I am a leper!"

One day a pastor dropped by to make a home visit to a lady who had not been at church in almost three years.

The pastor was sensitive to her plight..., As she made excuse after excuse and justified her reasons for not going to church. When pressed about the state of her faith and spiritual life she finally agreed that she was not living as she should be and that she was not a Christian. But she was taken aback and alarmed…, somewhat insulted…, when the pastor made a comment along the lines of how did she feel about being a sinner. It took quite a while and a lot of discussion about faith, and relationship with Christ. Before she would ever come close to owning that she was a sinner. In fact she held on to her reservations..., Until finally the pastor and her agreed that while she was a sinner…, at least she was a “good sinner.”

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