Summary: Can God’s grace reach to what seems to us and everone else ’the incurable’. Let’s learn some lessons about this from a leper.
Northern Kingdom Living: Grace for the Incurable; (Lessons from a Leper)
What area have we been looking at the past few weeks? Kings; northern kingdom; what have we seen about these people? God’s people but living independent of Him;
Our studies have been about: His response to this rebellion on the part of His people;
Who did He send as a Prophet at first: Elijah; and what did He do through Elijah? To let the people know He was still alive and very active in there midst; He answered by fire; did the people repent for very long?
Again what was God’s response? He sends another prophet; who? Elisha; and what message did God send through Elisha? It was a message of Grace. We saw grace for the fight, grace in great fear; today we are going to see God’s grace extend all the way to a person who was incurable. Grace for the incurable;
Have you ever known a situation or a person who thought that they were beyond God’s intervening?
I have seen many who thought they, or their circumstance was beyond God’s grace; You may have a marriage like that, or a child/parent relationship like that. What about a supervisor, acquaintance, brother or sister…. etc; Grace is power, have you ever thought about it that way? God bringing Himself and all of his resources into a situation, now that is power beyond what we could ask or think.
Let’s look together and see if we can learn some lessons from a leper.
What is a person like who has leprosy?
1. He has an incurable disease; there is not a cure today and it can only be controlled for a little while it resists every human effort to stop its course. It is not like cancer in that there are treatments that slow it down or put it off but this disease is not like that.
2. He eventually becomes identified by his disease; he is a leper, disfigured; not as a person who has leprosy but a leper;
3. It begins this slow death with just a little red spot on the eyelid, hardly noticeable, but then it starts moving and eventually it takes over and leads to disfigurement and death.
4. Just as bad as the physical, is the emotional; outcast, unclean; have your food thrown to you; lumped together with others just like you;
Do you see the parallels to spiritual applications; Leprosy is often a metaphor for sin, independent living; Can God’s grace do anything about such a horrible thing? What is God’s response to such a situation?
1. Lesson one; THE HONORABLE NOT JUST THE HORRIBLE ARE HURT BY THE DISEASE; V1; this disease is no respecter of persons; note all of Naaman’s honor; BUT; THERE IS ALWAYS A BIG BUT THAT CHANGES THINGS; THIS CHANGED EVERYTHING FOR HIM; all of this honor means nothing because he has something in his life that is going to destroy him unless God intervenes and he does not even know at this time that God will do anything; In fact he does not even know the God of the Hebrews; we meet people every day who are walking around with out hope; many don’t think God can do anything about their ‘leprosy’; This thing as taken over and we just wait for the end many believe; Life happens to everyone; the honorable and the horrible;
2. Lesson two; The leper can hear how to be healed: no dispute here he heard from one of God’s witnesses’ albeit a ‘little girl’ you can be healed; before this time is over this morning I hope you know that there is a cure for the incurable; that cure is with God and God alone; if it is incurable from our perspective then we have done all we can, but that is where God’s grace only begins; There is not a place you can go, a hurt too deep, a relationship so bad that God will not come to and bring you what you need; He has not, nor will He ever shut himself off from you; Naaman was a Syrian for goodness sake and God is telling him through this little girl that there is a cure for him;
3. Lesson three; He headed in the RIGHT DIRECTION but he had the WRONG ATTITUDE; 4-7; first he tries two kingdoms; v6 “that you may cure him”; remember the story of the man on the pallet; 38 years waiting for man to put him in the water; never happened, but in walked Jesus and out walked the man carrying his pallet; he even gets money to pay for his healing; all coming out of his pagan background; if I pay enough I will get well; “if I do enough I will get well, or it won’t ever happen to me” if something does not happen then I have not done enough or done wrong things so I will just redouble my efforts; God says to cease striving and know that I am God” ; He wanted a quick fix; He would spend all he had if he had too, and the irony is that what he wanted he could get without money or without price; YOU AND I MANY TIMES HEAD IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION BUT WITH THE WRONG ATTITUDE; RIGHT DIRECTION; CHURCH BUT THE CHURCH CANNOT CURE THE INCURABLE WE CAN ONLY POINT YOU TO THE ONE THAT CAN ETC. In a MARRIAGE; IN A HOME; AT WORK; WE CANNOT FIX WITH A PRICE;