Summary: It’s the IF’S, AND’s and BUTS in life that get us. It almost got Naaman! The story of Naaman is a story of pride, self-centeredness, obedience, confession and conversion. It has caused all those who have heard the story to reflect deeply about their own l
Biblical Text: 2 Kings 5: 1-14
Psalm 30: 11
1 Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valor, but he was a leper. 2 And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. 3 And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy. 4 And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel. 5 And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. 6 And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. 7 And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me. 8 And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel. 9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. 11 BUT Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, AND stand, AND call on the name of the LORD his God, AND strike his hand over the place, AND recover the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them, AND be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, IF the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? 14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.
Psalm 30: 11-12
Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness
Life is filled with IF’S, ANDS and BUTS…
IF only I had made a different choice…
IF only I had been lucky in love…
IF only I had been given a chance, AND won the lottery, AND picked a better husband or wife.
I would have gone to college, BUT
I would have enjoyed staying home and taking care of my children, BUT
I would tithe, BUT
I would have gone straight home from work, BUT
It’s the IF’S, AND’s and BUTS in life that get us. It almost got Naaman! The story of Naaman is a story of pride, self-centeredness, obedience, confession and conversion. It has caused all those who have heard the story to reflect deeply about their own level of faith.
Naaman was the captain of a Syrian host. He was a commander of thousands of soldiers. Some would say that Naaman HAD IT ALL. He was well-respected, if not feared, for the very power that he wielded. Naaman was, after all, no common ordinary soldier. Today we would liken him to a Major General, or a Base Commander. He had no doubt worked hard to achieve his rank, and he was proud of it. The scripture says, Naaman “was also a mighty man in valor, but he was a leper.” There’s always a BUT in every fortune.
Like so many who spend a lifetime pursuing life’s lofty goals, Naaman was troubled…because Naaman was not WELL. He had been stricken with leprosy, a disease that would ultimately cost him his job, his money, and his life. It was a disease that, once discovered by his superiors, would earn him a place in a cave on the outskirts of the city, where he would be permitted NO CONTACT with the world.