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A Proud Man and a Suffering Girl

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Truth Network Radio
September 14, 2021 9:00 am

A Proud Man and a Suffering Girl

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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September 14, 2021 9:00 am

When everything seems to be going wrong, we might start to wonder if God has abandoned us. But Pastor J.D. is helping us see God’s greater purpose in our pain.

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Judy returns to a story about God and suffering name and was not looking for God name and was looking for a cure for leprosy. But God used his search for a cure to leave him something even greater than the cure itself that is a relationship with God himself in the knowledge of God that Naaman failed was so valuable that when he finally met Elisha for the first time he forgot to even mention the another Dave, my pastor and author Jamie Greer. I'm your host Molly benefits as we are all painfully aware. Like always go according to plan. Doesn't. Sometimes things go wrong because of a reckless or an unwise decision but much of the time it's not anything that we could've possibly controlled or done differently, and when everything seems to be headed downhill.

We might start to wonder if God has abandoned us.

Or, quite frankly, if he even exists or cares today pastor JD addresses those doubts by helping God's greater purpose in our pain. He's titled today's message from the Old Testament, proud man in a suffering girl.

Let's join him right now Five Bible. I hope you do segregation number five were in the middle of our series called the whole story and in this story. Today you were going to hear the stories of two people who are suffering. One is a follower of God and the other is not, but neither of them can figure out why they are suffering, the nonbeliever discovers that he has a terminal disease in the house, only a few years to live.

The believer is a 14-year-old girl whose parents had just been murdered, and she has been kidnapped and put into human trafficking to see God. We bear two stories together and thereby giving us a quick snapshot of what he is doing in the world and what he is doing in your life you see as we go through this series called the whole story you get these insights into what God is up to, not just in the days of the stories are written invoice up doing it in our day. You see, I know that some of you have situations where you look at something in your life and you wonder what God could possibly be up to. Or maybe it's even made you wonder whether there is a God at all based on how things are going in your life. I remember as a kid that was this painting show that would come on after all the good cartoons on Saturday morning or over the kind of thing you'd watch when you totally given up on your day and you're not even watching TV for entertainment anymore.

You're just watching it for distraction, otherwise known now as the HDTV channel and my vengeance. But this show this guy Bob Ross if I remember his name correctly would take these pictures and he would explain as he went along at a very soothing voice. What he was doing better. Remember this, I thought I did start by slapping these amorphous blobs of color onto the canvas and you would think. What is he doing, you know, do a couple of strokes or add a couple of dots and you'd see I got the cloud happy little clouds or if someone's a happy little trees are, or whatever it was that he was lazy. What a way that's what you see God do in this story. You got a couple of things are to feel like accidental chaotic blobs of color that God is going to suddenly add a couple of strokes to and then all of a sudden the transforming of these beautiful works of art is to give you a glimpse of the what is happening in your life saving fibers 1 to 18 is the story of Naaman y'all this is my favorite story in the entire Old Testament.

I'm serious. I love it more than David and Goliath.

I love it more than Daniel and the line stand. I love it more than left-handed beehives sticking a knife in the fat man's belly that whole story.

I love you more than all the stories and here's the thing. If you did not grow up in church, I guarantee you that you have never heard this story, but it contains the answer to those questions of what God might be doing when you can't see any evidence of his lovingkindness at all in your life. Chapter 5 verse one Naaman, Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria was a great mighty man with his master, and in high favor because by him. The Lord had given victory to Syria. Now hold on for a minute, Israel and Syria are enemies. So when it says that God a given victory to Syria through Naaman was a victory over his victory over Israel. If you remember from last week because of their persistent disobedience and idolatry.

God set in people and Syrians to punish them and eventually there to be driven off into captivity.

While this is a story from that era what it was his man Naaman. It was this mighty captain of the enemy army. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. Now that's a huge bite. Leprosy was the most feared disease in the world. It began as the small white powdery patch of skin, almost like a rash that would very quickly spread all over your body and wherever it spread the nerve endings in your skin would die. These Boyles would break out all over your body and leave these gaping wounds of raw flesh eventually body parts would lose feeling in falloff your facial features would lose their shape and it would become grotesque. Essentially, you would turn into a character on the walking dead in those days there was no cure. Leprosy had a 100% death rate and in those days it was regarded to be highly contagious so the moment. One of these spots was discovered on you. You were immediately banished. We would spend the next 10 or 20 years in isolation until you die mighty Naaman was on top of the world sit up ahead of the mightiest army in the region of the time discovers one of these spots of death on him first Syrians on one of the raids and carried off a little girl from the land of Israel. She worked in the service of Naaman's wife.

She said were mistress would that my wardrobe with the prophet who was in Samaria she's talking specifically about Elisha was one of the mightiest prophets of this of this era he he. Elisha could cure this man of his leprosy here Naaman of his leprosy, burst forth the name and when told his lord the king of Syria doesn't start for the girls in the land of Israel, the king of Syria said go now.

Also, the letter on your behalf of the king of Israel, so Naaman went, taking with him 10 talents of silver and 6000 shekels of gold and 10 changes of clothing as a gift that he can give Elisha this would have been by the way an enormous sum of money 750 pounds of silver and 150 pounds of gold clothing might seem like an odd addition, $50 million and some shirts.

But in those days, clothing was handmade and it was very expensive and this would've been medical party quality. Most people would never even own a single set of these kinda close to having 10 sets of these closed would be like having a garage full of Rolls-Royce is put it this way, the man of God going to be blinking after Naaman shows up verse six and brought the letter to the king of Israel. The letter said when this letter reaches you know that I sent to you, Naaman, my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy. When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his close and set out my God to kill and make alive that this man sends word to manicure a man of his leprosy only consider and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me other words, he thinks the king of Syria is looking for an excuse for him and asked you to heal him and you didn't so down, to destroy you, per se, but when Elisha, the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his close he sent to the king why you join your close let them come now to me that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel. Elisha UC perceives a bigger purpose in this leprosy, God is wanting to do something in Naaman's life is going to show something to the entire nation of Syria verse nine. So Naaman came with his horses and his chariots, and you can imagine what this would look like this mighty cavalcade of horses and chariots showing up at little Elisha's house. Verse 10 Elisha sent out a messenger to him, saying, go and watch the majority seven times in your flesh will be restored and you shall be going well.

I should not even go out to see him. He sends a messenger to an intern he sends an intern outdoing, by the way, how would you like to bend this kid.

I deliver that message. I'm sorry Mr. Naaman powerful man in the world, most powerful, and Dr. Elisha cannot see you.

Today he is no room in the schedule. I know you traveled all this way, but he just is too busy being what you know Elisha's house cannot been a big so Naaman can slip in there and see him sitting on the couch with his feet up on the coffee table, watching the Bob Ross paving show or whatever he was doing.

I read this week, Steve Jobs got really upset Steve Jobs, the Apple dock when after they released the first iPad, Rahm Emanuel, the president's chief of staff called to congratulate Steve Jobs instead of Pres. Obama himself, and that totally sent Steve Jobs into this like mild depression. Here, you got the most powerful man in the world come into the hold of a relatively unknown prophet and probably will come to the door he sends out an insert what you think God is doing here.

Verse 11.

Naaman was angry. He felt disrespected and he went away, say, behold, I thought surely he would come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord is God wave his hand over the place and Carol ever bother me like a ceremony. Elisha would run out of the smoke-filled tunnel jets with flyover then Beyonc would sing and the walk on hot coals and do a dance and drama snake and Batmobile.

Furthermore, are not a bond for part of the rivers of Damascus better than all the waters of Israel could not wash. One of them in the claim.if you been Israel not been one time and tell you the most unimpressive thing you will ever go to the Jordan River. I'm thinking like baptism of Jesus is going to chill but it's like most of the creeks that are in Raleigh-Durham are bigger than the Jordan River is so unimpressive. Make sure your whole body and in the Jordan River to be honest, plus another 15 miles out of the way where this guy is like this is a waste. So we turned anyone off in a rage.

The word for rage in Hebrew means literally super ticked off these already plotting his revenge about what to do, but his servants were 13 notice more servants come near and say to him. My father if it was a great word prophet spoken the when you've done that all he said he was washing because you know the words of the told you get the berries off of a plan at the top of Mount Everest told you to click the toenails off of the Dragon, you would've done that right now I told you was going watch what you got to lose Naaman try it will swing by the Jordan way all the work. When you come back and open up a can of trash on these people and will help you. Verse 14. So when Downey himself seven times in the Jordan picture the scene, and he's seething with rage and he gets in the Jordan River targets. His whole body and muddy nasty little creaky he stands up and when he stands up. It's no different than he was and so we may just shake his head serves a dual wartime ghetto 72 times in J 3.4 66 Tommy is just the meatiest is angry when he goes down at seven. Tommy comes up cost than what he comes up and says he looked, and behold his flesh was restored like a flexible little child was clean looks at his arm and install this baby scabies totally completely healed. Verse 15 then he returns to the man of God Elisha all this company came and stood before him, and he said stop he's meeting Elisha for the first time depending on what he has a terminal disease that this man has just healed him from if you were meeting the man who healed you from a terminal disease. For the first time what would you say to come out something like thank you for saving my life.

Thank you for giving me by my family, my kids about what he says 50 behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but Israel. He makes not the first mention of leprosy. Naaman was not looking for God. Naaman was looking for a cure for leprosy. But God used his search for a cure to lead him to something even greater than the cure itself and that his relationship with God himself in the knowledge of God that Naaman failed was so valuable that when he finally met Elisha for the first time he forgot to even mention the healing all he talked about was God number one God uses your pain to bring you to himself, he see here's the question I want you to think about in your life. What if God had a much bigger purpose in your pain.

You see, up until the moment that Naaman discovered this spot on him. He had felt like he was on top of the world. It says that he was on the king's arm, which meant that he was the king's right-hand man is that he was highly regarded, which meant he was a celebrity with a lot of Twitter followers and everybody loved him all that was taken away in a moment by one small spot one small spot, maybe even realized how fragile and fleeting. Everything was what if God was saying that to you through your pain or your problem.

What if that problem that is there in your life have been put there by God not to punish you, but had been put there to try to wake you up. Here's my question. What if God in your pain had something for you beyond far better than the cure that you seek for that pain. What of what he had for you was better than a professional athletic career. What if it was better than riches.

What if it was better than health. What if it was better than a relationship. And what if this thing that she had for you was so valuable that after you found it like Naaman he's got even mention the healing that you received. Let me ask you where has a spot been revealed in your life that tells you that you're not us together as you might have thought maybe you just encountered a problem in your marriage. I can see how many men I know in this category. They conquered everything in their lives and all the sudden they go to a problem in their marriage and starts falling apart and you fly for the first time in your life.

You can't do anything about it. Or maybe it's a problem with your kids and you now feel helpless and in light of this problem. Maybe it's a habit that you can't break alcoholism, pornography maybe a temper problem. Maybe it's a fear that is paralyzed you. Maybe it's a personal failure. You just convert many as a health scare the for the first time in your life is made you realize your own fragile nature. Your mortality maybe it's a guilt for something you don't you just can't get rid of this thing about Naaman in his spot. What I think of as that isn't seen in Macbeth relating to Beth after the murders trying to wash her hands to get this spot of guilt off of her and she's like out cursive spot. I can get rid of it.

Maybe it's a dull aching unhappiness. You just can't get rid of that sense that you've never really found that love their acceptance or purpose. You've always craved them in looking for, you see that spot those spots point to a bigger problem was spot on your soul. You see leprosy throughout the Bible symbolizes sin like leprosy send deadens that grows in you and corrupts you more more overtime you lose feelings in different part of your life.

Part to be die, your innocence dies your joy dies your compassion for other people die. Your soul as a disease and it is terminal. Scripture says for all have sinned and all fall short of the glory of God and the wages the penalty, the result of sin is death. These lesser spots that come into your life can wake us up to the ultimate spot that we really gotta deal with in light of that when all the others are rather insignificant. Go to this before, but before I became a full-time pastor was a part-time pastor at the little church that could afford to pay me full-time as a student pastor and so to make ends meet. I worked as a golden architectural landscape engineer and south part of the crew that went around Port South Florida. We mowed yards and all the sensible chief of our crew was this guy who was about 6 foot seven I never knew his real name. We always just called and Ivan look like Ivan Drago and Rocky Ford in that movie look like the Russian from Rocky Ford.

We told him I'm on the dude could cost like nobody I had ever heard in my life.

I don't cost but acknowledged that it was art what came out of his mouth was like that, but I don't.

That was impressive and so I one day after been about three weeks. She let out a string of words that were very artfully put together, but he use the Queen Mother of all curse words that you, JD, and I don't know what I'm assuming it was the Holy Spirit but I just felt the sudden sense of like holy righteousness. He 647. I put my finger in his face and I said I wanted you sample God and on the days you have a record everything you ever said or done, and believing in the last thing you want in your record when you stand before God as a bunch of accounts of you taking his name in vain in the Holy Spirit totally left and it was just me. I'm pretty sure I heard one of the guys say if you guys you guys so I turned his house.

I cannot stop relieved Holy Spirit left him out. Soon as I turn not, I Bigfoot sift comes around. He stands in front of these is what you say and I said it again, but this much more timidly and respectfully and he said you really feel like God's will be angry at me because of the way I talk or what I live in is Amana.

The Bible says when he got a given account and yes you should not take his name in vain. All the sudden we get into this really deep conversation that I would never in 100 years of guest were about to get into, but two days before this he just got a report from the doctor because they found a spot on his skin, and they figured out it was melanoma and he said we don't know yet how bad it is a could be something they can take care of it might be something that's too far advanced in I may not have that long to live and he said I'm scared. I'm scared and so we started to talk the rest of the day we used our breaks or lunch. We talked about the gospel the very end right before we all before we all got off the we were the field. We are working on the yard were working on was an accident at the place in history right next to it and I'm a long story short, when the cars are flipped over and said there was a kid trapped on the inside and he goes out there and he pushes this car.

It was impressively beast of a man flips his car right side up, and others as kid in there that he wouldn't dad but he was definitely very messed up because he and I worked in the witnesses to the accident that made us wait there until the police got there and so we waited about 20 minutes of the first 10 minutes we stood there in silence. We just gonna and eventually, after about 10 minutes. He looks over at Miriam, look at me after speaks done out of the corner of his eye never makes eye contact is a man said two days ago I get a diagnosis of melanoma. He said today you simply put your finger in your face and tell Mama stand before God said, now I see an accident where kettle was dies, he said, many thought, God is trying to speak to me said no man cometh not screaming at you. And if I were you I would listen.

We continue on conversation with through three days and putting your trust in Christ but the reason I share that with you is because I imagine that you different scenario, but I just wonder if there are people listening to me right now that there've been spots that have revealed themselves that are simply God's way of asking you.

Are you ready for the ultimate questions. You see the point of this story is not that every leper who heads out of the Jordan River is confined healing for skin disease. The point is to show us that God uses these kinds of things to bring us to himself. This story is about how God pursues centers, not just then only for Susan today. If I before I move on earth. I don't want to show you how the story ends. Mama says were 15 except now a present from your servant. But Eli just said, as the Lord lives, before whom I stand, I will take none of it, name and urge them to take it, but he refused. Now you got a fabulously wealthy guy trying to give a gift to a pastor and the pastor refuses. I do not know of a single other situation in history where that is ever rapid with the Elisha knows that you received this gift might confuse everybody watching name and had started this process thinking that he could purchase the miracle because of his riches, and if he ends up receiving this gift, even a gratefulness. People might assume that he had been able to purchase it and the one thing one thing that has to be understood about the gospel is that it is a free gift of grace.

It cannot be one. It cannot be earned.

They cannot be purchased. It has to be received as a gift.

Verse 17 the name and said I would not. We got there, be given to your servant to mule loads of earth or from now on, your servant will not offer burnt offering or sacrifice daily God, but the Lord now. That's quite a job and it will take my multimillion dollar offer. You could at least have some dirt what is going on with that his plan is spread out underneath him whenever he sacrifices to God back in Syria was herself or sacrifice of the God of Israel the globe at Israel with him and offer sacrifice of the God that is never commanded in the Bible, not one place you just totally made that up. But it gets better for safety in this matter. May the Lord pardon your servant when my master goes into the house of Ramon. That's a false god to worship there leaning on my arm and I found myself in the house of Ramon the false God to the Lord pardon your servant in this matter seems to be asking Elisha for permission to be a coward and bow down before false God, I would expect Elisha at this point to go customer profit on knows about Jesus but the first 19 Elisha says go in Naaman's obedience is imperfect, but it's a start and he's coming God for about God will you're listening to Senate Jeannie Greer if you tuning a little late today or if you've missed any of the previous programs in this study. You can find them all so in this series the whole story. We are moving our way through the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation out dating once the main thing you're hoping listeners will take away from the study to one of the challenges of studying the Bible is at 66 individual books written on. I think it's three different continents by 40 different authors. Sometimes it's hard connecting them all to this one story because the whole Bible Jesus. It was all about him was all about how he was coming his love for us in his salvation plan. I'm hoping that through this series, you'll get a picture of the whole story here and realize that everything really connects that these are not primarily stories of of sayings that were supposed to emulate their stories about a Savior. God wants us to hope in and a door to go along with this and to help them out were given you something here with a series called the books of the Bible cards.

It's a set of cards that will help you as you read to make connections between whatever book your study and with the big picture, historical contacts, but even more importantly help this particular book of the story. Jesus is a wonderful little resort friend Mary Wiley getting community Bible study the Bible to make sense of the get these in your hands are connected to other resources that may help you.

JD cards are our way of thinking you for your financial partnership with this ministry. We give the gift of $25 commit to ongoing support. You are more people learn program Bible card reminder today. I 1526. I 25 apart sign up I'm only inviting you to join us tomorrow we will study Senate might

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