Bible Ballistics: BBs #135 Just a Bag of Dirt????
The Old Testament story of Naaman is a familiar one, but I’d like to take a closer look at a portion of this story and consider what we see, with perhaps a new insight.
If you don’t remember, Naaman was a commander of the Syrian Army (Israel’s enemy), and he had leprosy. Yet he had a little slave girl (captured from Israel) in his home that told her mistress something interesting:
“And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.” 2 Kings 5:3
This little Jewish girl had confidence in her God, even though she was a slave in a foreign place. Our confidence in God isn’t affected by geography, when we keep our eyes on him! This unnamed girl’s faith in her God stood firm, as well as her confidence in the ‘prophet’ of God–a man she knew served God faithfully and powerfully. What does our service reveal to others? Does our service produce confidence in our God or ridicule?
Of course the word gets to Naaman, who winds up in Israel at the command of his king, seeking to be healed. He goes to the king and causes the king great fear and distress, because he can’t heal anyone—and certainly not of leprosy!
So? Elisha to the rescue:
“And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.” Verse 8
Elisha sent for the man to come to him, and he would “know that there is a prophet in Israel”. Not only know that there was a ‘prophet’ in Israel, but a ‘prophet’ of the one, true and living God of all creation. So Naaman goes to Elisha, who sends instructions by his servant, Gehazi, which completely offends Naaman and sends him off in a rage. (Ever been there?) But he finally concedes at his servants bidding, he obeys and is healed. And Naaman’s response?
“ And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant…... 17 And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules’ burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord.” Verses 15 & 17
God revealed himself and we learn a lot about true conversion from Naaman.
He KNEW that God was God and only God was God—
He offered a gift/blessing to Elisha in gratitude—
He made known his commitment—
To serve only God—
To offer sacrifices to God only–
He took a reminder with him–
Naaman couldn’t stay in Israel, so he took a little bit of ‘Israel’ with him–a bag of dirt. Perhaps to make a special place to offer his worship to the Almighty God of Israel—HIS God now!!!
So??? Here’s our shot for today.
Do you “know that there is no God” except
the Almighty God of the Universe,
and His Son Jesus?
Are you grateful for His revelation to you?
Is He receiving your commitment and sacrifices?
Do you remember the God who saved you?
Who keeps you?
Are you serving only HIM?
Maybe you need to get back down to ‘earth’ and reset your priorities. We’ll check out Elisha and Gehazi on Friday? We’ll look at two men with two different attitudes toward God, His service and toward Naaman.