Summary: Part five focuses on how what we believes directly impact our faith using the story of Naaman.
When Our Faith Fails Part 5
Scripture: 2 Kings 5:1-19;
This morning I will conclude my series titled “When Our Faith Fail”. This morning we will examine the last faith equation which states: Faith + Right Beliefs + Actions = Right Results.” In this equation we find that the full ownership of the right results comes back to each of us and what we believe. This morning we are going to examine a situation about how the right belief led to the ultimate result. As we examine this situation, I want you to consider this question: “Had this been you, would your beliefs have pushed you forward when the first answer was not what you were hoping for or would you have responded just as the character in this story?”
If you turn to 2 Kings 5:1-19, you will find the story of Naaman. Naaman was the commander of the Syrian army and was believed to be the one who delivered the mortal wound to King Ahab of Israel. Naaman is best known today as the general who had leprosy and visited Elisha to be cured. His spiritual and physical healing came about not because of his faith and belief, but the faith and belief of a young Israelite prisoner and the servants who traveled with him to visit Elisha. Let’s examine this story.
“Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. And the Syrians had gone out on raids and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, ‘If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.’ And Naaman went in and told his master saying, ‘Thus and thus said the girl who is from the land of Israel.’ Then the king of Syria said, ‘Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.’ So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said, ‘Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy.’ And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, ‘Am I god, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider and see how he seeks a quarrel with me.”
If we look at this from the beginning we find that Naaman had no clue who Elisha was and he was prepared to live with his leprosy for the rest of his life. What is very interesting is that he was of such importance to the king of Syria that he was allowed to carry out his function even with the leprosy. I am sure many of you have seen movies like “Ben Hur” where during biblical times people with leprosy were placed in separate colonies because of how contagious the leprosy was but this was not the case with Naaman. The bible says that he was a great and honorable man in the eyes of the king and a mighty man of valor. Maybe it was these qualities of Naaman that led the young female Israelite prisoner to express her knowledge that he could be healed if he visited Elisha. When this young lady shared this information with Naaman’s wife, she encouraged him to travel to Samaria to see Elisha. In preparation for his visit, Naaman visited his king for permission and his king sent a letter with Naaman to be delivered to the king of Israel. When Naaman reached Samaria and delivered the letter to the king, the king does not rejoice, but thinks it is a ruse to set him up for a war between him and the Syrian king and he responds accordingly by tearing his clothes in fear and worry.
At this point in the story the young lady was walking in her faith which was based on the belief that Elisha could heal Naaman. Her belief was based on some history that she must have known about Elisha for there was not doubt within her. Naaman took action based on the young lady’s faith and belief as he knew nothing of Elisha. The king of Israel, who should have known of Elisha had no faith at all. As a matter of fact, the king did not expect anything to come out of it except a war. This was the man who should have known Elisha extremely well. This is the man who should have been in counsel with Elisha because Elisha had the word of God. Instead, it appears that the king did not take any notice of Elisha. As a side note I want you to think about who you turn to in a time of crisis. Many people turn to the president. Many turn to other political leaders. The political leaders turn to themselves. What is so amazing is that because Christians are so tied to the world, no one turns to us because they believe that we have the word of God within us. No one comes to us and ask “What is God saying about this situation?” What makes it even worse is that we do not come to one another? When we are in a crisis we often to go an “expert” in the field who may give me advice based on their learned experiences. This must change, but let me get back on track. The king tore his clothes because he believed that the king of Syria was setting him up for a potential battle which he did not believe he could win. Let’s continue on with the story.