Lesson Ten | Devotion #1: Naaman
Caleb Combs | Gathering Pastor
The world changer we are going to look at today is a pretty obscure character found in 2 Kings; his name is Naaman. Naaman is described as a great man, who had high favor in the kingdom. He was also a mighty warrior and had great victories, but had a huge weakness; he had the disease of leprosy. According to webmd.com, “leprosy is an infectious disease that causes severe, disfiguring skin sores and nerve damage in the arms, legs, and skin areas around the body. The disease has been around since ancient times, often surrounded by terrifying, negative stigmas and tales of leprosy patients being shunned as outcasts. Outbreaks of leprosy have effected, and panicked, people on every continent.” At the very least, if you do not get anything else out of this devotion, you learned some new medical information.
Naaman heard that the God of Israel could possibly heal him of this horrific disease, so he received permission from his king and went on his way. He came to the prophet Elisha’s house and Elisha sent this message, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean” (2 Kings 5:10). The Bible tells us that Naaman responded in anger and refused to follow the instructions, but his servants pleaded with him. So, he followed the words of Elisha and went as instructed to the Jordan. 2 King 5:14 tells us, “So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” Naaman was healed in his weakness by the one true God. He returned to Elisha and said to him in verse 15, ‘“Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel.”
This story brings 2 Corinthians 12:10 to mind, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” I know what you are thinking, yes this is Paul talking about his thorn in the flesh and begging God to take it away three times, but God decided not to do it. The context is someone being weak and staying weak to show their inherent need for Christ to be strong in their life. Yet, I want to give you a different angle. How about the fact that in Naaman’s weakness, he was able to be made strong and healed by finding the one true God? Naaman worshiped other gods before being healed and committing his life to God. However, in his weakness, he realized his need for God and was made strong by God in those weaknesses. Maybe today you are dealing with some sort of weakness, and God is just waiting for you to bring it to Him. Is it possible you are refusing to bring it to God and want to handle it on your own? God wants to make us strong and whole, not on our own, but in Him and through Him.
I am sure you have heard the statement, “God will never give us anything we can’t handle.” Well, I am here today to tell you He will. This statement is not in the Bible and is contrary to the main message of the Bible, WE NEED HIM IN ALL THINGS! You see, we cannot handle this life without Him. We cannot deal with our sin without Him. We cannot handle our marriages without Him. We cannot handle our kids without Him. We cannot handle anything without Him. Naaman found his desperate need for God, in his weakness. As we walk through our lives, we are weak and need the power of God in all things. Today may we realize our need for God in our weakness so that He will make us strong!