Summary: God opposes the proud.
Narrowing Down Focus. Last week we talked about the fact that “Hidden Sin Hinders Revival” and learned that unconfessed and unrepentant sin in our lives as Christians can, will and does prevent revival from coming upon us because revival is the work of the Holy Spirit in us and active sin in our lives, as the Bible tells us, quenches/grieves the Holy Spirit whereby, it is not that He cannot bring revival but He will not bring revival when those seeking revival are not serious enough about it to repent of sin that we may be hiding. I spoke about sin in general terms last week trusting that the Lord would reveal those specific areas of our lives that He is looking to do work with us and in us over. This week, however, I’m not going to be speaking about sin generally but more specifically as we narrow down our focus and hear from the Lord this message entitled “Pride Prevents Revival.”
As I set this all up for us let me say this…There may be some of you here who are in desperate need of revival but do not recognize and/or admit it and that could be because of your pride. There are others of you here who have been asking for revival and you may be getting frustrated because it seems like the Lord is not responding and it could very well be that the reason for His apparent lack of response is because that which is “under your tent” and hindering the process of revival in your heart is pride. PRIDE PREVENTS REVIVAL..
Naman: “The Man!” Naaman was the commander of the king’s army. The king may have been the one who sat on the throne and got all the publicity and attention, everybody knew that Naaman was the man who got things done. The king could pronounce that his army was going out to battle, and he may even join in the fight from time to time, but it was Naaman, the commander of the king’s army, who came up with plans and strategies of attack that could result in victory. Naaman was the man and at this particular time his popularity was at a peak because he had just been successful in leading the Syrian army in battle against another Israel (1 Kings 22). God used the Syrians as rods of discipline upon His people because of their ungodly kings who led the people in ungodly ways.
However, do not get this all twisted for Naaman nor the Syrians were God worshipping people. They were pagan and worshipped a multitude of false gods. What we are seeing here is what it means to have a God-Centered worldview (the lens whereby we see and interpret the happenings of life) because the writer of this book knows that regardless of who the victor did or did not worship, victory was granted by God and God alone even if it was given to those who did not worship Him.
The “Man” Has a PROBLEM. Not only are we introduced to Naaman as one who was “the man” it is also revealed to us that “the man” has a problem. Naaman may have been the most popular and prominent man in Syria but every day Naaman rolled out of bed and looked at his arms, legs, chest and back and was reminded of the fact that he had leprosy. For an Israelite, leprosy was a big deal and rendered one unclean, unfit for corporate gatherings at the Temple, and unwanted by others lest they contact, if possible, such a dreadful disease. While the Syrians would not have shared the full extent and reasoning of those views regarding leprosy they would have still looked down upon one who had leprosy possibly viewing it as a curse capriciously handed down from one of their false gods thus resulting in the leper being a social outcast.
The Solution to Naaman’s Problem is Revealed. Naaman has an Israeli girl living in his house most likely as a servant taken from Israel as a “spoil” of war. The young girl, knowing the work of God through His prophet in Israel, makes known that if Naaman could just go see the prophet in Israel (Samaria) then surely he could be healed of this dreadful and incurable disease. Apparently Naaman is desperate because he takes the suggestion of a young Israeli girl and requests permission to go see the Prophet in Israel. The king of Syria grants Naaman’s request and sends a letter to the king.
The Pathway to Healing. This is where the story gets really, really intriguing because the path that Naaman has to take in order to be healed reveals the point and purpose of the whole story. Consider the path…