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October 6, 2021 12:00 am
None will respond to the servant message again.
A typical illustration of humanity.
To this day. Mammon was furious and went away said I thought he will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord is God and wave his hand over the place and cure the library. You know some hocus-pocus that be how it happened.
I am that you cure leprosy. I thought it would come. Everyone just so hard to believe. What if God wanted you to do what felt strange and awkward well working to look at a story like that today. God often called his prophets in the Old Testament to do impossible and sometimes even bizarre things in order to reveal his glory. This is wisdom for the heart with Stephen Devi. Stephen continues his series on the life of Elisha with this message, called seven steps to forgiveness. There are certain words in the English language to conjure up immediate thought mental pictures images carry with them without hearing any other word associated with it. Only a volume of meaning some words bring vivid colors.
They create their own sense of emotion as you hear the word. There are other word the opposite, that is, they bring their there is a word that we don't hear very often, but it carries with it that gloomy horror that lead immediately with coils from it is the word leprosy.
Although we don't know all the facts in our minds are probably a little foggy as to why that word immediately conjures up images in our minds and hearts. It automatically warns us clean stay away. I was reading in preparation for this study.
Again, I remembered a chapter in a book I have been titled where is God when it hurts. Philip Yancey Yancey had a number of conversations and visits with Dr. by the name of Dr. Brand a man like India working in the leper colonies. Let me try to clear a little of the football that was in my mind at least in regards to leprosy Yancey rights of what you discovered conversations like we have we been conditions of you. Leprosy is one of the most cruel diseases imaginable. It is cruel, but not all the way other diseases are primarily acts as an anesthetic numbing the pain cells of hands, nose, ears and eyes. Most diseases are feared because of their. What makes the pain these horrible well thousands of years people thought leprosy because the ulcers on her hands and face, which eventually led to writing/loss of lives mainly Dr. Graham, personal research, it has now been established that 99% of the casing, the destruction physically followed solely because the warnings system of pain is gone.
How does the decay well in villages of Africa and Asia. A person with leprosy has been known to reach directly into a charcoal fire to retrieve a dropped potato nothing in his body: not patient in India would work all day gripping a shovel that had a protruding nail or extinguish a burning wick with bare hands or walk unknowingly on splintered glass. On one occasion Dr. Brent tried to open the door. The little rusty padlock would not yield a patient, undersized, malnourished, 10-year-old said let me try Sahib Dr. Lawford and reached the key with a quick jerk of his head. He turned the key in the lock brand was dumbfounded. How could this week. Youngster out exert him the telltale clue drop of blood on the floor, examining the boys figures brand discovered the act of turning the key – open the bone boy was completely unaware to him cutting his finger to the bone was a stonework turning the coin leprosy including his death by degrees, bodily injury, physical scarring, ignorant abuse of thousands of different disorders. All because the person cannot deal patient we call there is a very brief biography of a man with this in the Old Testament, we have been studying the prophet Elisha's ministry in their paths now intersect is with this leper were not told in the book of second Kings chapter 5 why this man had leprosy only told that he had and we will learn as God crosses his path with the healer some wonderful lessons that are true then and all.
So let's pick our study backup gorilla for the second Kings chapter 5 111 Capt. of the Army of the King of Rome was a great man with his master and highly respected because by him.
The Lord had given victory to around the man was also a valiant warrior but he was leper of the Bible doesn't give us any chronological clues that we can sort of deduct from this from his life story that is leprosy did not surface until later in life. Till this point here. Brief description of delivers one very clear message apart from his current condition of terminal leprosy. I had had it made.
He was at the top of he was the respected, trusted confidant of his personal friend because of his victory over Israel that the Bible greatly implies he would be every soldier's title, the prophet Jeremiah is right, rather thickly, almost slowly. He wants us to to pick up probably the contrast between the highest achievement that this man had one and now his hopeless despair.
Just let your eyes wander over the description of what the phrase is a great man, highly respected, valiant warrior within this shocking declaration of a valiant man who would soon be unable to grant is for a trusted leader of soldiers who would soon be unable to grip the horse with strong legacy would as Capt. of the Army be unable to lead the charge off somewhere where they'll he was now all leper of all the titles that had attached to this great soldier the title that he would go to his grave with that everyone would remember is the title now naming the left on the course of his skirmishes captives. One of them is young Israelite girl in verse two tells us that she becomes the personal attendance of life.
In verse three she said were Mr. slick there. I wish my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria that he would cure him of his leprosy in our next discussion, I want to really take a closer look at this little girl. In contrast with the other servant in this chapter Elisha gave but for now it's at least amazing to our thoughts as we study this little girl would would it all be concerned for her. Dr. see the text in the case in a nagging fashion said I wish my master could go to Israel there's a man must been so unusual to Naaman and his wife achieving care probably gives credibility to your message they believed her plans to go look at verse forces Naaman went in and told his master the King say thus and thus spoke the girl who was from the land of Israel and the king of Rama said go now. I will send a letter to the king of Israel, and he departed and took with him 10 talents of silver and 6000 shekels of gold and 10 changes because at this point the analogy becomes very clear. God told us the Old Testament was given for our example and instruction in some passages are just really obvious. Naaman becomes a perfect example of humanity here lost disease with an incurable sin is his plan for physical healing now provides a perfect illustration for what people are doing today for spiritual healing and it makes a couple of typical rational errors. Number one the first error is this healing can be bought with good intentions and valuable gifts.
There isn't any doubt that David had good intentions. Your Bible tells you that the gift included 10 talents of silver approximately 850 ounces in today's market. He was bringing along about $40,000 worth of.
I learned that a shuffle of gold laid off point for Troy ounces had 2400 ounces $500 an ounce. This man is carrying with him about $1.2 million is about to discover.
You do not by cleansing. It is a gift from God.
The second mistake he made it, I believe, was in the believing that healing could be provided by somebody else. Verse six and he brought the letter to the king of Israel not to quote directly from the letter quote and now as this letter comes to you behold I have said Naaman my servant to you that you may cure him of his leprosy girl and clarified it was a prophet and is really good. The prophet, and you can be healed well.
These pagan idolaters believe that a prophet somebody down there pretty low in the spectrum could heal and certainly the king would have access to that magic wand and the king could heal will seven strongly fortifies that implication because the king's response came about when the king of Israel read the letter that he tore his close and said my God to kill and to make alive that this man is sending word to me secure a man of his leprosy was, I can't do that in the next phrase indicates if I tried and failed, or if I don't try there and fail to start a full-scale war between Austin and Syria were ripping his clothes and lamenting word finally makes it. Elisha when it happened that Elisha, the man of God heard the king of Israel toward his close that he sent word to the king saying why torn or close the lid and come to me and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel words, why would God be so limited to provide healing through the agency of just one prophet. Why be so narrow the world today resists the exclusive statement by the greater Elisha who said I am the way, the truth and the life. No one. The original indicates, not even one can come to the father except by me is that mean if you believe in good you are wrong.
According to the statement yet that if I follow the Dalai Lama that I am wrong. Yes, I mean if I create my own religion that makes me feel comfortable or superstition that creates a habit of my own making. Are you saying that I can be lost forever. Yes I am will imagine the entourage that now pulls up in front of the prophets humble little I can just imagine the rumbling of the chariots made his house.
Shaken dishes all the little shelves verse nine to Naaman came with his horses and chariot. Imagine that I'm still out of the doorway of the house of Elisha and Elisha sent a message saying go wash in the Jordan seven times in your fly shall be restored to you and you shall be clean.
Imagine famous powerful finalized. Naaman doesn't even get a personal handshake from the humble prophet Elisha is implying that where God is concerned is no respecter of person it doesn't matter if you are wealthy or poor, whether you are idolized work on the ground is level and that message was now Naaman will respond to the servant message again as a typical illustration of humanity. To this day with a couple of responsibility summarize response number one this way. I think healing should come the way I imagined it would look at verse 11. Naaman was furious and went away and said, behold circle.
These next words I will not.
I thought he will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord is God and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper you know some hocus-pocus combined with his long robes, and maybe a few candles or something a wave his hands in the air and shared with God and and your heel. I thought that be how it happened. I am, and that that's how you cure leprosy. I thought it would come the way I imagined. Response number two, summarize this way. I think something from my past should really be good enough look at verse 12 are not gonna bar par the rivers of Damascus better than all the waters of Israel, could I not wash in them and be clean. So we turned and went away, and no the rivers of my learning will do as good as the muddy water of this insignificant profit is not going to have anything to do with a silly prophet in his muddy water. Verse 13 is the hinge verse and his servants came near classic and spoke to him and said my father had the prophet told you to do some great thing we do not of done it. How much more than what he says, do you wash and be clean, simple code and perception into the human heart. These slaves that if the if the magic formula had been Mammon go conquer a kingdom all right, although it Naaman give your life on some battlefield $1.2 million that muddy water so hard about that part about it takes the loss of all pride and pretend to say to God, not so verse 14 he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of gonna stop here. Don't go any further with you to imagine the scene. Here's this magnificent man takes a breath and he goes under the murky water completely comes up quickly wipes the water from his eyes and looks is also rated hands change goes under again the second time comes back up everybody's watching breathlessly looks again. No change. The third time under the fourth time under the fifth time under no change nothings happening the six-time under and in nothing but was racing through his mind. We are not told what I have every reason to believe that he took a longer breath than ever before, and he went under. Knowing this was if this doesn't work on this doesn't heal.
I will last much longer I will be Naaman, the leper, but he obeyed even after six what he would consider failed attempts. He went under the seven times I think he stayed under a long time came bursting to the coping breath disturbance directly the soldiers that were there. Look carefully closely wipes the water from his eyes and he looks at his trembling hands. The Bible says in his flesh was restored at the flesh of a little child and he was clean leper taught me a few lessons I would share with you. For those of you that have taken the bath, according to God's prescription for healing spiritually, you will understand there are those this morning here who are struggling with God's prescription for me, Lord. I'm going everything of myself aside, what about everything I've done for them doing what about what I just gave what about my morality.
What about my standing in my position, my friend. I did tell you you are's virtually like I was leper, and there are three lessons this leper can teach you. First of all, it is much easier to work for our spiritual healing than it is to simply receive it were hard, there would be people standing in line matching up shared a story with you sometime ago. I apologize for repeating it, but it came back to my mind, Gary Tober Cope story Pastor but a little boy with his family came to see the Washington Monument. He said there it is located in amazement, looking at this monument and he saw the guard standing nearby walked over to the garden. He said Sir I want to buy this. The guard said how much do you have reached into his pocket and he pulled out 1/4 and $0.25 guard sits on the not enough boy side back anything I thought she did say that he pulled at the nine since he been hanging on to the hearing, a 34 said the guard said to him, so you need to understand a few things. Number one $0.34 isn't enough $34 million wouldn't be enough.
Second of all you need understand if the Washington Monument is not for sale, which also need to know that if you're an American citizen. It already belongs to you. The truth is, when it comes to forgiveness and cleansing.
You cannot buy it to try to buy it from God would be like that kid trying to buy the Washington Monument 30 force. It's not for sale but if you come to Jesus Christ in faith, claiming his cure and his method he discovered that forgiveness is already yours by virtue of second thought or lesson that I learned from this leper. It is difficult to accept a plan of salvation, of which we were never consulted nor fully understand. You mean to tell me that God has a plan for me and he never asked me what it would take us right is this plan of salvation and he never asked my advice. That's right, that's Thomas's point when he understands all of a sudden his ignorance along with the other disciples as Jesus is talking about going to the father and Thomas blurts out lard.
Although the way they are. The father and Jesus Christ told Thomas and the others.
I am the way, the truth, the life. No one comes to the father except through me.
Come to me and you get to the I think that's what Jesus Christ is referred to most often not helper but give you little power to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, Savior, Savior saves people who are lost and cannot save themselves. Maybe you said, Lord, I want you to help me get into heaven he takes leper's only Lord I can't get into heaven by anything I do or give or say or become. I want you to become my Savior, like a drowning man can't save himself, third point or lesson I learned from this leper is this, it is impossible to experience God's forgiveness without following God's plan. God's method God cure. I walked into the study with a question mark. Many? Typically one because I've known the story for some time was why was Naaman told to go under the water.
Seven times with just some figure that Elisha pulled out of the hat and said I think that really embarrassed enough to go under seven times and really get them wet part name and you go under seven times. Well, I pulled out all of my Bible encyclopedias pictures reading on the subject of leprosy, and I found an interesting point in the Old Testament system. If a person had leprosy. They were to go to the priest if they claim to have been restored or healed. There was a simple practice priest was to take a bird until it an empty the blood of that bird into a basin and intake running water and pour it into the basin and make a mixture in the neck priest was to anoint that leper with this water 7×7 discs for forgiveness. Seven times cleansing ladies and gentlemen, I invite you this morning not to a river filled with water, but to a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins and sinners plunged beneath that one lose all their guilty state been there. If you have than the apostle John writing in the last book of the New Testament. The final chapter of God's story writes to them in chapter 1 of of God who is the holy one of the one who loved us and washed us from our sins by his one and is made us to be a kingdom of priests God and my father whom be glory and dominion forever. Thanks for joining us today here on wisdom for the heart. Wisdom for the hard features the Bible teaching ministry of Stephen David and is a ministry of wisdom international. You can learn more about us. If you visit our website which is wisdom online.org. Once you get to our homepage will be able to access the complete archive of Stephen's 35 years of Bible teaching ministry. We also post each day's broadcast the link to each days message is right on the homepage. If you ever miss one of these lessons, you can go to our website and keep caught up with our daily Bible teaching ministry the Bible teaching archive and the current broadcast message are available free of charge. In addition, we give you access to Stephen's printed manuscript for all of these messages. So, if you prefer reading the message or reading along as you listen you can do that as well. You will find us email@example.com. Thanks again for joining us today are so glad you were with us and I hope you will be with us next time.
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