7/12/16 Behold, I Thought

Monday, July 11, 2016


2 Kings 5:13

Morning Meditation 7/12/16

Verse 13 says, “And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?”

The story of Naaman is one of those stories that slip into the Scriptures to let us know that even though God had picked a man like Abraham and his descendants as his chosen people, he also loved the Gentiles and would do great things for them also. Naaman was a leper which was a death sentence for anyone in that day. Nothing short of a miracle could cure a man from leprosy. This is brought out in the king of Israel’s response to the letter addressed to him by the king of Syria. He said in verse 7, “And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.” The king of Israel knew that nothing short of a miracle would help Naaman. And he knew he had no miracles to give.

When Elisha heard about how the king of Israel rent his clothes, he sent a message to the king and said in substance, “send him over to my house.” And when Naaman, that “mighty man of valor” came to Elisha’s house, Elisha did not so much as go out and meet this him. This is not the kind of man (Naaman) to whom you send your servants. But this is how Elisha did it. There is a good lesson in this. First of all, for God to heal leprosy is the biggest thing in the world to the man who has it. To God it is as nothing. Second, when you come to God you do not do it with pride. So Naaman is being shown how big a “nothing” he really is. When God does something for us it is not because we are nice guys. It is because God is a God of grace. He does it because this is the kind of Person he is. God will take all the strut out of Naaman and us. So Elisha just sent a message to the door through his servant and told him to go down to the Jordan and dip himself in the muddy waters of Jordan seven times.

Naaman goes ballistic! He is hurt and embarrassed. Hurt, because to him, hope just flew out the door. Embarrassed, because a man of his caliber had fallen for this. It is like a bad joke. Naaman’s immediate response is seen in the words: “Behold, I thought He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.” It makes you wonder if he had been watching Benny Hinn! Do you know that man’s hunger for the dramatic is not new? If you will appeal to the desire for the dramatic in people you can be a very popular, well supported, preacher. But of course, you are not a man of God, you are just a performer. The kind that even Hollywood makes fun of.

He said, “Behold, I thought.” God had a miracle for Naaman. It was the kind of miracle that is going to be recorded in the Word of God. But Naaman is about to miss his miracle. And the thing that almost made him miss it is revealed in the words, “Behold, I thought.” When you come before God with preconceived ideas, you are going to be so blind you will not be able to understand what God says. When a man is saved, he begins life. He does not bring anything into the life from the past that is going to help him. The rules are new and original in the Christian life. Let me illustrate. Say a man has been a lost Church member for twenty years. He hears a message, the Holy Spirit opens his heart and gives him ears to hear, and he responds in faith to the gospel. He is now a babe in Christ. What about all that information he learned in the Church when he was lost? Can he bring that learning and growth into his new Christian life? I think you know the answer. He is a babe. Anything he learned before he was saved, he must relearn, now that he is saved there can be real growth. Naaman was a lost man. He is as dead as a box of rocks. But God can operate on death and do things that will manifest his glory. He is going to do this in Naaman’s case.

Lets notice the progress of faith as it is illustrated in the incident. Faith begins in its elemental stages when a need arises (leprosy) and a possibility is suggested (healing). The little Jewish maid said, “ .. . . Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! For he would recover him of his leprosy” (verse 3).

Faith moves forward as one begins to believe that with God a miracle is possible. Naaman didn’t just shrug this information off. He began to reason, “Maybe there is something to what has been told me. I have heard of the great things that the God of Israel has done.”

Faith moves further still when action is taken based on ones consideration of what has been heard. “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Rom. 10:17).

True faith must deal with the right source. Naaman heard, considered, took action and came with rewards of money and clothes and a letter from the king of Syria. He was in the right country but he had come to the king who was helpless spiritually. Miracles were only things this king read about and heard old-timers talk about. But when Elisha heard about the king rending his clothes, he sent and ask the king to send Naaman over to his house. Now, Naaman was in the right country and standing at the right door (the door of the man of God).

True faith must set aside preconceived ideas. One does not come to God for help and tell HIM how to do it! God knew what was going on in Naaman’s mind. He knew that Naaman thought that this healing was going to be a drama acted out by the man of God. But God intended to deal with Naaman’s preconceived notions. He started by having to act on a servants orders. The man of God did not honor this “mighty man of valor.” Naaman had nothing that the man of God wanted. That is almost too much for the unsaved world to cope with. They think every man has his price. They are wrong. There are still men like Elisha who are here for one reason and that is to serve and glorify God. They are not for sale.

Naaman, had to come to terms with what he thought and act in obedience to what seemed to him to be absurd. “Dip seven times in the muddy waters of Jordan?” “Hogwash!” thought Naaman. But his servants said to him, “... My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? How much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?” Naaman put aside all his reasoning. He went to the river Jordan and did as the prophet had said. He came up the seventh time completely and instantly cured of his leprosy.

I won’t take the story further. I just meant to deal with one thought as it related to the whole. That is: “Behold, I thought.” That almost made Naaman miss his miracle. I wonder if God has miracles for me and you and we miss them because we are so set in our thinking that we can’t come before his Word without reading our opinions into the Scripture, and in doing so, destroy our chances of faith that will receive the miracle. Faith operates in response to what God says, not in response to our opinion of what he says.

May the Lord bless you.

In Christ

Bro. White

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