Summary: Naaman’s blessing became Gehazi’s curse because of their reverence for God and their fear of him.
One Man’s Blessing but Another Man’s Curse
By Pastor Jim May
II Kings 5:1 – 27
How we handle the provisions of God in our lives will determine whether those provision will be a blessing, or a curse. We must be careful to misuse what God has given us. For those who reverence and keep a proper perspective on the presence of God and what he does for them, it is truly a blessing. But if we abuse the blessings, or begin to take them for granted, they can become a curse in our lives. Let me take you now to a story in the Old Testament to show you what I mean.
2 Kings 5:1, "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."
Here is a might man of valor, a man who had devoted his life to a cause greater than himself. He had sold out to the service of his King back in Syria. There was none more honorable than he in all of the kingdom. His motives were right. His goals were admirable and his character was unquestionable.
He had done many mighty works in his service to his people. He had even protected them from invasion, overcame and driven out the enemies of Syria, and had received many accolades and much praise from every one around him.
If there had been a CBS, NBC or Larry King Live in those days, I’m sure that the name of Naaman would have become a household word as his fame and popularity grew. After all, everyone loves a winner. Everyone wants someone, some hero, to look up to. This man Naaman had accomplished things in his life that made him stand head and shoulders above the rest in the eyes of his peers.
No man could question his sincerity. No man could question his commitment. No man could question his loyalty. But there was a problem. As you have seen in this scripture, Naaman was a leper.
Everything else in life seemed nothing but an empty shell for Naaman. He was a commander of men, but he had no control over his own life or his own body. He could speak the word, and thousands of people would either live or die, but he could not stop the leprosy that was ever present and threatening his very life.
To even be around him, as an armor bearer, or a servant, could be a dangerous thing, for anything he touched could carry the disease of leprosy to those who handled those things for him. Though it may have been an honor to serve him, it could also mean death and suffering in return.
There are many today who, in this body of flesh, are suffering greatly. All of their accomplishments in life seem to matter little to them now. Oh what we would pay to feel good again. The man who has lost the use of his limbs through strokes or accidents would give all that he has for the chance to walk again. Anyone who loses their sight, or their hearing, would pay any price, if they could just see or hear again. But we all know that wealth, position or power cannot do one thing to restore those things to us.
Naaman had leprosy, and it was a death sentence for his body, for there was no medical cure or treatment that could stop its deadly destruction. It was only a matter of time before he would be forever separated from society and relegated to the past.
Leprosy today is a treatable disease and many have overcome its terrible effect, though in foreign lands it still takes a terrible toll. We don’t see it much in America, but we have our own diseases that are just as bad.
Today, we can liken the effects to those of the HIV virus, or AIDS. Once there is a pronouncement that this disease has invaded a human body, then it becomes a death sentence for there is no guaranteed cure. Another may be the disease of cancer, that slowly but surely kills its victim.
For those with such diseases, hope is lost for long term survival. Though life may be going on as usual for now, and things are great, there is always that knowledge that something is wrong. The rest of their days are spent waiting for the end to come and they can only hope that a cure may come before its too late for them.
A number of years ago, when I was working as a office machine repairman for the school system, I knew a teacher who developed breast cancer. I was told of this by the Assistant Principal who was a friend of mine. She knew that I was a Christian and ministered in the church so one day we began to talk about how she felt. She told me that she felt great. She felt that perhaps it wasn’t really true that she had cancer. She was still young, with a lot of life to live – at least that’s the way she felt at that time. But she also said that it was proven that something was there, something life threatening, and that she could never get it out of her mind. She knew that, no matter how she felt right now, there was no real future for her in this life. That thing that was inside wouldn’t leave and it would soon make its presence known in a terrible way. That was the last time that I ever spoke to her. Her cancer was so far advanced that within 6 months she was gone.