3D Devotional 07.08.19

Monday, July 8, 2019                  Don’t let your pride control you.                               2 King 5:1-15
Our 3D scripture today comes from 2 Kings.  It’s a long story about a war hero, Naaman, who asks the prophet Elisha to cure his leprosy. These  Old Testament verses read more like a script from epic movie. They are rich in symbolism and have a surprise ending that I will not spoil.  Instead, I strongly encourage you to read the dramatic conclusion to this incredible story yourself. You can find if in 2 Kings 5:19-27.
Biblical background:  As you read today’s scripture, notice how Naaman’s arrogance blocks him from seeking an easy cure. Read how Naaman feels rejected when the prophet Elisha sends a messenger instead of meeting with him personally.   In the end, you will see that Naaman’s pride actually delays his prescribed treatment.  Remember there is more to the story….so continue reading  chapter 5.
3D Scripture Reading:    2 Kings 5:1-15 (NLT) – “ 5 The king of Aram had great admiration for Naaman, the commander of his army, because through him the Lord had given Aram great victories. But though Naaman was a mighty warrior, he suffered from leprosy.  2 At this time Aramean raiders had invaded the land of Israel, and among their captives was a young girl who had been given to Naaman’s wife as a maid. 3 One day the girl said to her mistress, “I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy.”
 4 So Naaman told the king what the young girl from Israel had said. 5 “Go and visit the prophet,” the king of Aram told him. “I will send a letter of introduction for you to take to the king of Israel.” So Naaman started out, carrying as gifts 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold,[b] and ten sets of clothing. 6 The letter to the king of Israel said: “With this letter I present my servant Naaman. I want you to heal him of his leprosy.”
 7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes in dismay and said, “Am I God, that I can give life and take it away? Why is this man asking me to heal someone with leprosy? I can see that he’s just trying to pick a fight with me.”
 8 But when Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes in dismay, he sent this message to him: “Why are you so upset? Send Naaman to me, and he will learn that there is a true prophet here in Israel.”
 9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and waited at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.”
 11 But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! 12 Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” So Naaman turned and went away in a rage.
 13 But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “Sir,[c] if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’” 14 So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his skin became as healthy as the skin of a young child, and he was healed!
 15 Then Naaman and his entire party went back to find the man of God. They stood before him, and Naaman said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”

     Did you know Jesus used this very story as an example problem of unbelief?   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. In the same way, the Jewish followers of Jesus’ day were arrogant and prideful. Furthermore, like Naaman, the followers of Jesus were missing their cure by not following Jesus.
  Our 3D, next Monday will come from the Old Testament Book of Amos. It’s another remarkable story about a prophet who not only communicates with God, but debates the faith of the Jewish people with God. 
  Mark Condra
 Lay Leader

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