Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3


Wash and Be Clean


II Kings 5


Introduction:

·         Second Kings is often called the ''book of dispersion.'' In 1Kings we read that Solomon succeeded David, and we saw how Israel reached the peak of her earthly splendor. But Solomon failed. He sinned, and the kingdom was divided.

·         This was God's hand of chastening. This is expressed best in the key verse of 2Kings, ''In those days the Lord began to cut off a part of Israel'' (10:32).

·         But, our story this morning is not about Solomon, or even the nation of Israel, but about a pagan general called Naaman

 

I.                    Naaman’s problem- v. 1

a.      Who was this man?

                                                              i.      Naaman was the chief military commander of Syria- a persistent enemy to Israel

                                                            ii.      He is described as "a great man with his master, and honorable" (II Kings 5:1).

                                                          iii.      This means Naaman was a man of influence, and prestige. He was "a great man" like George Washington or Douglas MacArthur. He might be on Mt. Rushmore in Syria!

                                                           iv.      Naaman was a 5-star general- he would be decked in various medals, ribbons and badges today.

                                                             v.      V. 1- by him, the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria- God’s sovereignty (He wasn’t the God of Syria- or was He?)

1.      God places leaders, and displaces them too!

2.      God used all types of men (Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, etc.) and He still uses leaders today!

b.      The Bible says Naaman was this great man…but he was a leper

                                                              i.      Naaman, a great man, honourable, gracious, exalted, a victorious captain, a mighty man of valour-- but he was a leper. There is that conjunction, that ''but'' inserted in every life that has not come to Jesus Christ for cleansing.

                                                            ii.      The leprosy of sin, no matter how slight/small, still hears God's declaration “unclean!'' ''If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with Me'' [John 13:8].''If any man keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all'' [James 2:10].

                                                          iii.      There are people today that we might say: they are so wonderful, accomplished, attractive, intelligent- however if they have not come to Christ for cleansing we must add: but- they are lost and unclean in the eyes of Almighty God!

                                                           iv.      This blot on one’s record is enough to condemn him to Hell for all of eternity!

c.       How many leper spots to be a leper? How many sins to be a sinner? This morning you might have a problem just like this man Naaman did!

d.      He was a leper, which meant that he had a horrible, incurable disease that would slowly result in his death. No matter how good and successful everything else was in Naaman’s life, he was a leper.

e.      Ancient leprosy began as small, red spots on the skin. Before too long the spots get bigger, and start to turn white, with sort of a shiny, or scaly appearance. Pretty soon the spots spread over the whole body and hair begins to fall out – first from the head, then even from the eyebrows. As things get worse, finger nails and toenails become loose; they start to rot and eventually fall off. Then the joints of fingers and toes begin to rot and fall off piece by piece. Gums begin to shrink and they can’t hold the teeth anymore, so each of them is lost. Leprosy keeps eating away at your face until literally the nose, the palate, and even the eyes rot – and the victim wastes away until death.

f.        Leprosy is a vivid picture of sin in the Bible

                                                              i.      Leprosy meant exclusion from the camp and distance from our fellowmen. It was hideous and revolting and poisoned man’s very existence!

                                                            ii.      Leprosy also represents defilement. This disease eats away at one’s body

                                                          iii.      Sin is far worse- it decays the soul!

g.      No one likes to preach on sin anymore!

                                                              i.      Lust- the sensual music you listen to will defile you, what you look at, the thoughts that you dwell on in your mind will defile you!

                                                            ii.      Lies- defile your character and your reputation

                                                          iii.      Pride, anger/bitterness, covetousness/greed, etc.!

                                                           iv.      Illustr- The addict

h.      Illustr- Men with leprosy might as well hold the sign “Dead man walking” just like lost sinners

i.        You’re in trouble with God if your still in your sin!

II.                  Naaman’s search for a cure- v. 2-8

a.      (2Ki 5:2-3) The testimony from the slave girl. She was a captive – taken from her home, but they couldn’t take the Lord out of her heart!

b.      She was a witness! She became an unwilling missionary- even through this circumstance of her captivity- illustr- hospital evangelism

c.       Contrast with this great man and the little maid. Amid all these discouraging circumstances she possessed a secret which Naaman, with all his greatness, was a stranger to. She knew of God and God’s healing grace. Naaman felt the disease, she knew the healing. This made all the difference between her and Naaman. This makes all the difference between a Christian and one who is not.

d.      The only difference between a born again believer and a lost person is cleansing!

e.      Her simple message: There is a prophet in Israel…

                                                              i.      I have a simple message for you that are lost in your sin today: There is still a prophet! He prophesied of his own death and resurrection, and of His return

                                                            ii.      He is also a priest! He ever liveth to make intercession for us!

                                                          iii.      He is a King! Coming again one day to rule and to reign!

                                                           iv.      Jesus alone can wash you and make you clean!

f.         (2Ki 5:4-7) Naaman comes to the king of Israel looking for healing.

g.      And took with him ten talents of silver: Some estimate this would be millions of dollars today! All this together shows how desperate Naaman’s condition was. But you can’t buy your way into heaven! It’s by grace through faith!

h.      Satan in the book of Job, “Skin for skin; all that a man hath will he give in exchange for his life.” Men will spend fortunes and navigate the world in order to rid themselves of disease and prolong life. We place a great value on physical health. All to the neglect of spiritual health, you ever noticed that?

i.        When the king of Israel (Jehoram) read the letter, he was upset. It was obviously out of his power to heal Naaman’s leprosy, and he was suspicious that this was simply a pretext to attack Israel

III.                God’s prescription- v. 8-15

a.      Elisha then got word of this and sent a messenger to him: Naaman took the trouble to come to the home of Elisha, but Elisha refused to give him a personal audience. He simply sent a messenger. This was humbling to Naaman, who was accustomed to being honored.

b.      Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you, and you’ll be clean: These were simple, uncomplicated instructions. Yet as Naaman’s reaction demonstrates, these were humbling instructions.

c.       (2Ki 5:10-12) Naaman got angry at Elisha’s instructions.

d.      Naaman had it all figured out. In his great need, he anticipated the way God would work, and he was offended when God didn’t work the way he expected.

e.      Naaman had a preconceived idea of the way his cleansing should be accomplished. How like human nature to want some show of the flesh, some spectacular demonstration, rather than simply believing the Word!

f.        Many are going to churches and being bamboozled by their own wrong expectations! They go looking for a feeling, and a trained showmen is up there giving them what they want- providing that emotional rush- but they never come to true salvation!

g.      There is simplicity in Christ. We must follow God’s plan of salvation

h.      So many try and try and try- instead of trusting God’s promise!

i.        If the answer was in washing in a river, Naaman knew there were better rivers in his own land.

j.        Jordan River- is not a picturesque river. It is a muddy stream compared to the rivers Naaman were used to

                                                              i.      We’d rather follow man’s ways than God’s ways

                                                            ii.      Many would rather have religion than God’s way of salvation- follow a “Church” rather than the Word of God

k.       Jordan River was important in the Bible

                                                              i.      Crossing the Jordan River was a major turning point in Israel’s history (On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand…”)

                                                            ii.      Christ was baptized here (our example!)

                                                          iii.      Means to descend- flowed from MT. Hermon to the Dead Sea

                                                           iv.      Going into the Jordan River signified descending into death and coming out a new man

                                                             v.      When we come to Christ for salvation and cleansing our old man is crucified and put to death!

l.        You can’t clean yourself up before going into the River- dive in with all you of your sin and defilement, and Christ will make you clean. Don’t be foolish!

m.    “Just as I am without one plea, but that thy blood was shed for me…”

n.      Verse 2 goes:

Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot;
To Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

 

o.      Eventually Naaman did exactly what Elisha told him to do. Therefore we can say that each dunk in the Jordan was a step of faith, trusting in the word of God through His prophet.

p.      After 6x’s nothing had changed- some people can get so close to the gates of Heaven and not find the way in!

                                                              i.      Some come so close (coming to a church like ours, hearing the preaching) yet make excuses (not yet, etc.)

                                                            ii.      Judas kissed Christ, but is in Hell right now!

Conclusion:

·         V. 13- Naaman needed to be healed of 2 diseases: leprosy, and pride!

·         V. 14- He came up out of Jordan with new skin, and a new heart!

·         In Luke 4:27, Jesus tells the crowd in the synagogue of Nazareth, “There were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” The lepers of Israel overlooked the healing that could have been theirs through Elisha, so God healed a Syrian instead. In the same way, the Israelites of Jesus’ day were missing the Power right in front of their eyes, and many continue today!

·         V. 15- Naaman’s declaration

·         Before his cleansing, Naaman said ''I thought'' [v.11]. Now he could say ''I know'' [v.15].

·         Like Naaman, we may hear the message of salvation from a very humble source. No good deeds or riches of our own can purchase it. No earthly rivers of reformation or culture can remove the guilt of sin. There is only one thing in all the universe that can do it: ''The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin'' [1John 1:7].