Summary: Naaman is a parable of the salvation story. His total obedience brought wholeness.
Seven Ducks in Muddy Water II Kings 5:1-19
Many years ago when Wesley and I were about the age of the preteens here, we had a guest evangelist who came to our large Mennonite church in Iowa. He included a children’s story as part of the worship that Sunday and spoke to the children about the Seven Ducks in Muddy Water. We never forgot that children’s story. This morning I’m going to borrow his title for this message.
The healing of Naaman has a deep spiritual truth embedded in it and that’s what we want to unearth this morn with God’s help. Our dig into this passage will be like what the Lima News reported in Tuesday’s paper. In Africa’s Sierra Leone a young 25 year old miner found a 182 carat diamond about the size and shape of a computer mouse worth millions of dollars.
Our dig into God’s Word will enable us to find the priceless treasure of Jesus our healer and it points us to the” immeasureable greatness of his power for us who believe” as Ephesians records.
The story of Naaman is really a salvation story and I want to look at Naaman as an example of how God grants his gift of salvation to all who are willing to follow his instructions and receive his cleansing. The Bible says in John 3:16—Repeat with me ---- Jesus also commands us that we are to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.”
Everyone needs salvation, it doesn’t matter how rich one is or how poor. It doesn’t matter if one is Muslim born or Jewish born or American or Africian. And it doesn’t matter if a person has high status like Naaman or no status like the slave girl. For us today, there is only one way to receive God’s salvation; it is through Jesus Christ. Naaman is an Old Testament example of how God loves the foreigner and is equally concerned about all people’s salvation. Naaman’s story is like Ruth’s in the Bible. Both were foreigners who were led to faith.
The chapter begins, “Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favor with his master… The man [was] a mighty warrior.” Notice the way Naaman is described. He was the TOP BRASS of Syria’s army. God also blessed his missions even though Naaman didn’t know God yet. “because of him the LORD had given victory to Aram.”
But Naaman had one problem. That was he had leprosy! Leprosy was not a minor problem like having a wart on his face that could have been covered with make-up or removed with surgery. It was a major problem that had no cure and would eventually demote him to a life of isolation from society and make him an outcast! It was a discouraging picture for Naaman.
Naaman’s condition of leprosy is a symbol of what we all suffer. Our leprosy is our sin. It doesn’t matter who we are or what position in life we have. We are all marked with the terminal plight of spiritual leprosy, called SIN. Sin in our lives will destroy us, body, mind and soul unless we go for the cure. Our cure for sin is not seven ducks in muddy water like for Naaman; it is going into the water of baptism as an act of obedience to Jesus who said “baptize them in the name of Father, and Son and Holy Spirit.”
Naaman, as a foreigner was totally in the dark as to who the true God is. He didn’t know that the One and only holy God said, “Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.” (Isaiah 44:6) or “I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake and I will not remember your sins.” (Isaiah 43:25). All Naaman knew was the puny god Rimmon-who was a Baal god So God in his infinite wisdom and his compassionate love pursued Naaman to make him his own just as he pursues us so that we” might not perish but have eternal life.”
What’s exciting is the way God pursued Naaman to bring him into the fold. God used a young Israelite slave girl, the very least in society to be a missionary. God worked through her trial of being captured and led away by foreigners. If God’s eye is on the sparrow, how much more does He care about his children and orchestrate what happens to them so that good will come from their difficult experiences.