Naaman's Faith

The main focus here is on following Naaman's faith as he comes to "know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel." Along the way I take a few rabbit trails to learn from some other characters involved.


This portion of 2 Kings, seems to avoid talking about who the king of Israel was at this time, but it seems that it may have been Ahab or his son. Either way Syria was harassing Israel with their armies at this time.

2Kings 5

  1. Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.

    1. Naaman had one of the most feared diseases of his day. Had it not been for his fame, he would have been thrown out to live in solitude in the country.

    2. Naaman was a heathen, he did not worship or believe in God. God had used Naaman even though he was unsaved.

      1. Or to put it another way, Naaman's fame was only because of God.

      2. By expansion, God works and is sovereign in all the world, not just among Christians

  2. And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman's wife.

    1. What would your attitude be?

      1. As a child you are captured,

      2. maybe you see your house burned down, maybe you see your parents killed

      3. now you are forced to be a servant.

      4. In fact, a servant for the captain of the enemy army that plundered your home.

  3. 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.

    1. Her attitude:

      1. She cared about her master's problems. She wanted to help.

      2. In the face of great trials, she was still focused on caring for others, even her enemies.

    2. Her Faith - The maid had no doubt that God could and would heal Naaman through the prophet, we will see that much of Israel did not have that kind of faith.

    3. Her Witness

      1. I don't think this was an intentional, I want to share my faith, so that they too can believe.

      2. This sounds more like, her faith was real to her and so it naturally came out in her conversation.

  4. And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.

  5. And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.

  6. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.

  7. And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.

    1. The king knew there was a God, but did not know enough about God to do him any good.

      1. The king lacked faith, he had the knowledge, but never applied the knowledge to his life.

      2. He never believed all he knew, otherwise he would have established a relationship with God.

    2. The king recognized that God could heal Naaman, but had no expectation that God would.

      1. The king did not have a relation with God otherwise he could have gone to God and asked Him how to deal with this.

      2. The king was afraid of increasing tensions with Syria. This was his once in a lifetime chance to build a relationship with a hostile enemy. But he wasn't prepared.

      3. Do I have a close enough, pre-existing, relationship with God so that when I have the opportunity, I can allow God to minister through me? The little maid did, the king of Israel didn't.

  8. 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.

    1. What about the faith of the rest of Israel?
    2. We don't see any the kings court stepping forward and saying, God can do this, let's call His prophet.
    3. In fact it seems that only way Elisha heard about this was through rumor.
  9. So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.

    1. Now we begin to watch the small flame of Naaman's faith begin to flicker.
    2. He has been told that this prophet can heal him; he doesn't know for sure, but it might be so and he is willing to try.
  10. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.

    1. Now Naaman's faith is to be tested, Elisha didn't even come out, he just sent a messenger, with a silly message. Everyone knows that you can't wash leprosy away.

    2. Miracles often require some measure of faith. Mark 6:5-6

    3. Also, faith and works are tightly linked here. Naaman will act based on what he believes.

  11. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.

    1. Naaman's little faith begins to waver.
    2. Faith is believing what God has said, not what we think about God.

      1. Naaman had a picture in his mind of what he expected, when God didn't meet that picture, he refused to believe.

      2. This was very dangerous, because Naaman is about to walk away from faith and continue the rest of his life in misery!

  12. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.

    1. Now Naaman is thinking about bending God's directions, he can wash, but not in the muddy Jordan.

      1. Again Naaman would have continued as a leper.

      2. Just as we can not make up our own picture of God, also we can not bend God's commands to be more suitable to us.

  13. And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?

    1. Edification: Naaman's little flame of faith is just about ready to die. He is getting ready to return to a life of suffering. Then, his servant steps in with a word of encouragement.

    2. Simple faith: why not just do what God has commanded and see if it works.

      The servant was not convinced that what God had said was true, but he was willing to step out and try it.

  14. Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

    1. This time there is full obedience: a full 7 dips in the right river.

  15. 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.

    1. Naaman's little faith flames up and begins to grow.
    2. Small steps of faith and obedience lead to greater faith.

      1. It works the same way with us. We need to trust God with what we know He wants us to do. As we step out in a little bit of faith He will answer and build our faith.

      2. God you have said, fill in the blank. I am not sure how it works, but I am willing to step out and try it, trusting that you will do it.

  16. But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused.

  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.

    1. Now Naaman is ready to step out in full faith and change his life based on God's word.

  18. In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing.

  19. And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.

This is an exciting story as we think about God revolutionizing a life that was hopeless. God did the impossible, He was only waiting for a small measure of faith from Naaman and a few others. God is waiting to revolutionize our lives too. Which part is God waiting on me for?