Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the voice of His Servant?

A Matter of FAITH

Elisha Refusing the Gifts of Naaman - Pieter de Grebber

This morning I was reading 2 Kings 4-7 and something unusual caught my eyes.  In chapter 5 the text speaks of a certain Naaman, a commander of the army of the king of Syria.  The pagan king of Syria “was leaning” on Naaman’s arm.

Chapter 7, on the other hand, speaks about another commander, the captain on whose hand the king of Israel leaned.

Both of these military figures are faced with difficult situations, and they are also confronted by the Word of God.  One is a leper (Naaman), and the other is facing famine and a siege.  For both the only hope is Elisha, the man of God who speaks the Word of God.

What makes this juxtaposition of characters somewhat shocking (and really a rebuke to Israel and its people) is that the foreigner, the one on whom the pagan king of Syria leaned, believed the Word, obeyed it, and lived, while the Israelite captain did not believe the Word of God spoken through Elisha and died in unbelief.

A fairly long passage is dedicated in the Bible to the foreigner Naaman who believed and was healed.  By contrast, the unbelieving Israelite captain (serving an unbelieving king – Joram son of Ahab) has a sad end, repeated twice in chapter 7 (vv. 17 and 20): … and the people trampled him in the gate, so he died, as the man of God had said

There are many trials and exceptional situations in a man’s life.  Help us LORD to believe you and your Word in a world and culture of unbelief.

Healing and life is only in a life of FAITH!

Pastor Chris

2 responses

  1. Cristian Dragoi

    Love this. I recently skimmed through the OT and found a bunch of these little gems myself.

    So it’s not only the Gospels that portray the gentiles as having more faith than those from God’s people? What about today, who are the gentiles and who are the people of God?

    July 8, 2009 at 1:36 am

  2. Sorry for the delay Chris. I was very very busy the past few weeks.
    It looks like the OT has a lot to say about the Gentiles…who are the Gentiles today?
    Maybe our neighbors!? 🙂

    P.S. Feel free to send your gems here so I can post them! Thanks!

    July 22, 2009 at 4:09 am

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