2 Kings Chapter 5:1-19

“God Gives Grace to the Humble


V.1 Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper.


Intro: He was a man’s MAN! Consider the description:

#1 He was a great man: Naaman means pleasantness


A) He was from Damascus in Syria – a beautiful place


B) In fact when the Mohammed first saw Damascus – it was so beautiful he refused to enter

1) Explaining that a man could only enter paradise once in his life – He was going to wait until heaven


2) He should have entered Damascus – Missed heaven


C) The name Damascus means to be busy working


What an interesting Picture this presents: This great man from this great place – Busy working

A) We are told in the text that he was the commander and chief of the Syrian army


B) He has risen to that position: Hebrew tradition says that he was the man that shot the random arrow that killed King Ahab {Only tradition


C) But one way or another he has come thru the ranks – climbed the ladder

1) He is the picture of the self made man


D) Hard working/ disciplined individual

1) When people saw NaamanThere goes a great man!”


E) A dad might have told his son – That is the kind of man you want to be!

1) Mother her daughter- Marry someone like him


What a title: A great Man – but it doesn’t stop there

#2 An Honorable man!

A) Webster’s: A man Characterized by integrity


B) Of Great renown: Deserving of or winning respect: Having a good name


C) attesting to creditable conduct: consistent with an untarnished reputation guided by a high sense of honor and duty



D) Often times Kings had to worry about their generals leading a possible insurrection – over throw

1) With Naaman King Benhadad had no such worry – He was an honorable man!


E) Loyal to the core!



#1 He was a great man: #2 An Honorable man!

#3 A mighty man of Valor!

A) He was a man who possessed great bravery and fortitude


B) He was daring and fearless – the kind of man that other men would readily follow into to battle.


C) So here is this great man living in this great place

1) Man of Power / Position / Popular


D) He has it all going for him – except for that last phrase – He was a leper!


E) Somewhere along the line he contracted this incurable disease-

1) That eats away your flesh and destroys your immune system & paralyzes your nervous system


A disease that would ultimately take his life!

A) No matter how impressive his awards / his medals for bravery/ his uniforms and armor


B) Underneath it all he is a leper

1) He can cover that up from everyone else’s eyes but he goes to bed w/ it & he wakes up w/ it everyday!


C) The sentence of death is upon his life!



There are millions of Naaman’s today: 1,000’s in our own community.

A) Self made men & women- who don’t just get by they climb to the top


B) Hard working / self assured / self sacrificing/ self confident/ disciplined / task oriented people

1) Who are ready to pay the price?


C) They stay up late burning the midnight oil – they get up early – to get a head start on the competition

1) They rise to the top.


D) Problem: They are lepers! What do I mean?

They are still sinners – Incurable disease


Leprosy is that illness that the Bible likens to sin

A) Starts small but it spreads – throughout the whole body.


B) Contagious – passed on to others

1) Inherited from Adam


C) Incurable: Lepers were not healed they were cleansed.

1) Sin incurable disease: No pill or doctors prescription - CLEANSED


D) Terminal: Sin is terminal – Soul that sins will surely die!


Now no doubt Naaman tried everything to find a cure – Exhausted every possibility

A) Best doctors in Syria – NO ANSWER!


B) Sooner or later every Naaman comes face to face with fact of their own MORTALITY.


C) Interesting when people come to that conclusion: Start to think – might die.


D) I have seen it a couple of times on a plane – heavy turbulence – Once had to turn around

1) Something is wrong – are we going to make it


Suddenly here are people who haven’t prayed in 30 yrs – Praying – Never acknowledge God –

A) Now He is their best friend – God help them land this plane


B) When it finally does land – everyone claps – someone says – Thank God we made it


C) Times like that make for a level playing field

1) The guy in the economy section who paid $350 for his seat – same boat as the guy in 1st class $3,000


D) Fact – All sinners – all are going to die –

1) All are going to stand before God




There was an epitaph written on a tombstone once that said:

Remember, friend, as you pass by, as you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, soon you will be, Prepare for death, and follow me.

Someone had written underneath it:

To follow you I'm not content, Until I know which way you went.


Naaman – although a great and honorable man – He had a great need – Terminal disease {No cure

A) Interesting that phrase: by him the LORD had given victory to Syria.


B) It seems that God had sovereignly singled this guy out – to bless him


C) Perhaps it was for this very reason – work a Miracle in his life.

                                              RD V.2-4


So here was a little girl that was taken away from Israel that was serving in the house of Naaman

A) NOTE: She could have been bitter for having been taken from her home and parents.


B) But instead of becoming BITTER she became a BLESSING.

C) She was in that place because she was going to be the INSTRUMENT that the Lord would use to tell Naaman that there was hope


D) She said: I wish you were with Elisha the prophet, for you would be cured.


V5 Then the king of Syria said, "Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel." So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing.


Now it is interesting to see his approach here because he does it like he does everything else:

A) Grand fashion – pomp / 2 million in gold another 2 million in silver – huge entourage


B) He is going to buy himself a miracle – Buy himself a Cure.


C) That is what the self made man does – I will fix this. Use all my power – all my wealth


V. 6 Then he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which said, Now be advised, when this letter comes to you, that I have sent Naaman my servant to you, that you may heal him of his leprosy.


D) Normal attitude of a pagan King – think a king controls his priest & prophets

1) Just say the word – they have to do it

7 And it happened, when the king of Israel read the letter, that he tore his clothes and said, "Am I God, to kill and make alive, that this man sends a man to me to heal him of his leprosy? Therefore please consider, and see how he seeks a quarrel with me."


Jehoram king of Israel freaks out – trying to pick a fight – he is trying to find a cause to go to war



8 So it was, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, "Why have you torn your clothes? Please let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel."


Elisha says send him down here – what are you so upset about? He has a completely different perspective!        


9 Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha's house. [Hut]

And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean."


So Naaman goes down to Elisha’s hut – Servant comes out – Does the prophet live here? Yes

A) Tell him Naaman the General of the Army of Syria is here to see him.


B) Elisha doesn’t come out – tells his messenger – tell him to go down to the Jordan River

1) Jump in 7 times & he will be made clean.

Well Naaman is furious – filled w/ Wrath

He is ticked by this

11 But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, "Indeed, I said to myself, 'He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.' 12 Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a rage.


A) Naaman goes off – I thought surely he would have come out to me –


B) You bring two million bucks and that is what happens – the Prophet comes out

1) He waves his hand, does some sign – seen it on TBN

2) Says some magic words or something.


C) Instead he sends his little mucky muck servant to tell me to go bath in the dirty Jordan River

1) There are many rivers in Damascus beautiful rivers


You know why Naaman flies off the handle?

A) He wanted to be treated like a great man who happens to have leprosy


B) Instead – Elisha treats him like a leper who happens to be a great man.



C) Naaman is more concerned about his dignity

Elisha is more concerned about his disease.


D) So Naaman is willing to sacrifice the hope of being cleansed – the hope of life – to save his dignity

1) His own pride –


That is what Naaman’s do!

A) They want to approach spiritual matters – the same way he does everything else.


B) He has gotten ahead because of his hard work

1) His discipline – his ingenuity


C) A Naaman’s approach to God is the same way

1) Religion becomes just another mt to climb


D) Attitude: Give me something to do. Give me some Mt to climb

1) Give me some penance to do.


E) Don’t tell me to do something as simple as going and jumping in a river seven times

1) Naaman doesn’t like that because it puts him on the same plain as everyone else –


F) He wants to be treated differently

   1)V.11  I said to myself - That was his first mistake


G) That’s always the mistake of any leper... Any

Sinner: “I thought it should be this way or that way.

Naaman’s today: Don’t tell me it is as simple as believing in Jesus. Not that easy!

A) Too many the gospel of Jesus Christ – wash and be cleansed is INSUTLING.


Religion says – DO / Jesus says DONE


B) The name Jordan comes from the Hebrew word that means to SUBDUE. It speaks of judgment.

1) The number 7 is the number of perfection and completion.


C) How are we to be cleansed from our spiritual leprosy?

1) We are to immerse ourselves in the judgment that Jesus took for us on the cross of Calvary when He cried out: “It is finished.... I have taken your sin”.


D) We are to realize that Jesus took the penalty for OUR sin


Isaiah 53:5; 10-11  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed....... Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

2 Corinthians 5: 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.


A Sinless Jesus became sin- filled so that sin filled people could become sin free!!!


A) There are a lot of people who think that this is just too simple.


B) That is why Jesus said in order to enter the Kingdom of God – must become as a Child


C) Willing to believe – simply act on the word of God


Here is the thing we need to see – Elisha didn’t need to come out – power wasn’t in the messenger

A) The power was in the message: Responding to God’s word.


B) There was nothing magical about the Jordan River

1) There was nothing important about dipping 7 times


C) All that mattered was that Naaman responded to the word of God


Same is true for every situation.

A) Marriage –


B) Friendships

1) Children obey Parents

C) Fruit bearing: Abide let my words abide in you

1) Recurring theme – It really is that easy


D) Takes God’s word at face value and do it – watch what happens


Quit making excuses – quit rationalizing that your situation is different – It is not!

A) God’s word is enduring – Faithful and when it is followed it works


B) What has God been saying to you in his word?

That you have been reluctant to follow


C) Quit making excuses – follow



And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean'?"


A) What do you have to lose?  Answer a little dignity

A little pride!           Reap - Huge dividends


14 So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.


Can you imagine the first time he dips – he comes up looking at his servants – look – I am going to kill you if this doesn’t work –

A) They wave to him to keep going – 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7


B) I wonder about the emotion of that 7th time – he comes up clean – skin is like a baby’s

1) Pink and soft


C) Most soldiers don’t want that kind of skin

1) Naaman was elated! He was born again – he was a changed man!


15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, "Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel; now therefore, please take a gift from your servant."


So Naaman returns to Elisha – he & his company!

A) This time he goes right inside the hut – last time he waited for Elisha to come out


B) This time he runs in and stands before Elisha and Calls himself Elisha’s servant – Changed man


C) He declares – Now I know ……In V.11 – He said I thought! – Now He says – Now I know ……..


                            RD V.16-19


Suddenly Naaman has a whole new set of values

A) He wants to take some dirt with him back to Syria


B) Imagine what his wife and friends must have thought showed up with this dirt


C) He is a man whose Value system has changed

1) Encounter with the one true God – now he wants to honor him


D) Plant this dirt in his back yard – Jewish star


E) He knows that he has to honor his commitment to the king – Yet he wants grace

1) I might be bowing – but I am not worshipping


Elisha tells him to go in Peace – That is what Naaman’s need

A) See it is hard for a Naaman- A self made man or woman – because hard work is a good thing


B) Discipline is a good thing – Self Sacrifice is an admirable trait

1) Being committed and dependable are good things


C) But without forgiveness / w/out Jesus it doesn’t amount to anything – NO PEACE





Wrap up: Believer here today

A) Reminder – the power is in living in simple obedience to the Word


B) Just do it – go for it –

1) No excuses -


C) We were all lepers – Cleansed by the blood

1) Blood bought person sitting next to you.



But maybe you are here today & you are a Naaman

A) Need to be cleansed


B) Come to the Cross –


C) President / Congressman / Junkie – equal plain