Summary: What are the driving forces in our lives? "Pride and Life" or "Humility and death"?
Pride and Life or Humility and Death
Growing up as a kid in North Queensland on a sugarcane farm
• When I was about 15 years old, I had an old army Harley Davidson
• Saw the movie “Easy Rider” (Peter Fonda) and decided to weld big handlebars off an old Triumph onto the Harley
• Had a crush on the girl next door, so went up to cut a few donuts on the dirt road in front of her house with my newly decked out Harley
• Started laying the Harley over swinging from one side to the other, kicking up great clouds of dust, seem to remember the whole family coming out to watch the performance
• Then in the middle of it all, one of the welds on the new handlebars broke and I ended up sitting in a pile of dust in the middle of the road
• There is a proverb that says, Proverbs 16:18 (NKJV) Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
• I learnt the meaning of that verse that day as I walked my Harley home
There are two things that characterize our life on this earth, and they are 1) Pride and 2) the preservation of life
• There is a great story in the 2 Kings 5 about how these two characteristics dominate our lives
• 2 Kings 5:1-16 (NLT) The king of Aram had high admiration for Naaman, the commander of his army, because through him the Lord had given Aram great victories.
• What does this let us about who God deals with in the world?
• Sometimes we think God is only dealing with His people, whether it is the nation of Israel or his Church today, but this verse tells us He is also dealing with the rest of the world
• But though Naaman was a mighty warrior, he suffered from leprosy.
• Naaman had these fine qualities but there was a “but” in his life, great guy but he suffered from leprosy
• And the same thing can be said for many people in the world today, they are great people and in some cases it might be said that they act better than Christians we know
• What is the problem with this type of thinking?
• It is performance based. Emphasis is on our own merits, our own works, and our own performance!
• What does the Bible tell us about this type of thinking
• For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).
• There might be nice people in the world but they also have a big “but” in their lives don’t they – before God they are sinners
• Just a side note here, its interesting the pagan nations didn’t exclude lepers in their societies whereas God told the Israelites to do it long before the age of quarantine
• 2 Now groups of Aramean raiders had invaded the land of Israel, and among their captives was a young girl who had been given to Naaman’s wife as a maid. 3 One day the girl said to her mistress, “I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy.”
• What is so remarkable about this girl?
• Here is one of those unknown unnamed characters in the Bible who quietly go about letting their Christian light shine despite their circumstances
• Instead of being bitter about her situation, she has compassion for her captives – this girl is up there with Joseph and Daniel
• So don’t make the mistake of thinking you are not having an impact on the kingdom of God with your prayers and example
• So we are introduced to the concept of humility – humility on the part of a young girl
• 4 So Naaman told the king what the young girl from Israel had said. 5 “Go and visit the prophet,” the king told him. “I will send a letter of introduction for you to carry to the king of Israel.” So Naaman started out, taking as gifts 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, (16 million dollars at today’s price of gold) and ten sets of clothing.
• What does all this money tell us about the preservation of life?
• It pretty important to us, even today we will spend enormous sums to preserve our health and hinder the aging process
• 6 The letter to the king of Israel said: “With this letter I present my servant Naaman. I want you to heal him of his leprosy.”
• How would you like it if your big nasty neighbor who is constantly invading your country sends you his most valuable asset and demands you heal him!