Summary: Naaman overcame his setback in life when he was challenged to put his faith in God. We overcome life’s problem by seeking God, submitting to His way and trusting Him completely.
2 Kings 5:1-14 Overcoming Setbacks In Life
Imagine this: You graduated from the University with honours. You are intelligent and were soon employed by a big and famous company. You did well and were promoted a few times. Now a CEO of the company, and business continues to expand to the regions. You made a name for yourself. You’re smart, famous and rich. But then one day, you felt a pain in your body. It’s a terminal illness. You’re devastated. All the successes of the past mean nothing to you now. All the fame and riches does not matter. You just wanted to stay alive.
Naaman was in a similar situation – he was Commander of Syrian army. Verse 1: “a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded”. A great leader. Won many battles and “a valiant soldier.” He is smart and daring soldier. General Naaman has the world under his control. He had everything you and I crave for. He was at the height of his career.
Unfortunately there is a big BUT - he was a leper. Leprosy is like Aids today, terminal. He is doomed, will be quarantined for life. No cure in his times. Naaman, the powerful Commander, is now powerless, sick man. Beneath that glamorous armour is a problem that is breaking him. His status, fame, intelligence and past achievements do not really matters now. Everything looks insignificant.
When the maid introduced a prophet in Israel, which was probably the best news he could hear. What he needs now is to find God.
When everything is going well in life, we have no time for God. We don’t even acknowledge Him. We just live our life in whatever way we want. Naaman used to have everything going for him, but now he needs God.
(1) God Is Our Only Way – Seek Him
God uses CRISIS in life to wake us up and help us see what truly matters in life. Naaman would have gone through life trusting himself and all his achievements, but now God brought a halt to this journey – the crisis led him to the God of Israel. At the end of it, he will know that there is only one true God in all the world, and that’s the God of Israel. (5:15)
GOD is what Naaman needs. He has everything that man would want today, but that is not enough. What we need is not more of wealth, status or accomplishments. What we need is more of God – to know Him, love Him and stick close to Him. We may have everything in our favour, just like Naaman, but one day we’ll realised that these do not matter. Jesus says, “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt 16:26)
What are we seeking today? Naaman needs to know God and be saved. God brought him that blessing, but only through a crisis. Very often, God do the same for us. Crisis in life are wake-up calls for us to turn away from this worldly pursuits and back to Him. Every crisis is a challenge for us - a challenge of faith in God.
God in His sovereignty provided a way out for Naaman. His wife has an Israelite maid, captured in one of the battles. This maid introduced him to a prophet in Israel who can help. This was the only hope he has. So Naaman left for Israel, taking with him silver, gold and clothing, preparing to pay for his healing (5:5). He went first to the King of Israel, and was later directed to prophet Elisha’s house.
Standing outside the house, a messenger came and said, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.” (5:10).
Imagine this, Commander Naaman with his group of men and all the gifts he brought along, standing outside and wasn’t even invited in. And was told to wash – in river Jordan – worst than the rivers back home – and to wash 7 times. Naaman must be thinking, “Do you know who you are talking to?” He was angry – naturally (v.11) and wanted to leave. He didn’t like the way he was being treated.
(2) God’s Way Is Different From Ours – Submit to Him
This was a challenge of faith. 5:11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy.”
Very often, we come to God in the same way. We have our plan and we expect God to say YES to it. “Lord, give me a cure. Wave your hand and let the problem disappears. And I will be on my way.” We want Him to save us - to fix our problem and we want it a quick fix.