Desperation leads to humility, humility leads to obedience, and obedience leads to victory.
A general in the Syrian army, name Naaman, had leprosy. He was the highest ranking officer in the Syrian army. Naaman was a man of high social standing and importance, even to the king himself.
2 Kings 5:1 NKJV
“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.”
Despite Naaman’s great importance, his leprosy could eventually lead to his separation from society. Leprosy was contagious and incurable causing Naaman to be in a hopeless situation. Even though Naaman was a man of high rank, influence and riches he was still a desperate man.
2 Kings 5:2-3 NKJV
“And the Syrians had gone on raids, and brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, ‘If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.”
A young girl that was taken captive from Israel was a servant to Naaman’s wife. One day this young girl told Naaman’s wife about a prophet in Samaria that could help Naaman.
2 Kings 5:4-6 NKJV
“And Naaman went in and told his master, saying, ‘Thus and thus said the girl who is here from the land of Israel.’ 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. 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.”
Naaman told the king what the young girl had said about the prophet. The king instructed Naaman to go to the prophet for help.
II. Desperation leads to humility:
When you are truly desperate you will do things that you normally would not do.
2 Kings 5:9-10 NKJV
“Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha’s house. 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.’ ”
Instead of meeting Naaman himself, Elisha sent his servant to tell him to wash in the Jordan River seven times. Naaman became angry and his pride was insulted.
2 Kings 5:11 NKJV
“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.’ ”
Before going to the prophet (Elisha), Naaman had preconceived ideas of how he would be healed. When Elisha did not do things the way Naaman thought he should, he turned around to go back home, unhealed. There are times that we have preconceived ideas of how God should do something. We put limits on God when we do this. Today there are people that are still waiting on their healing (or an answer to a desperate situation) because they have their mind made up about how God should do it. Naaman let his pride get in the way of receiving what he desired (healing.)
2 Kings 5:12-13 NKJV
“ ‘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. 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 than, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean?’ ”
Finally, Naaman humbled himself and listened to the good advise of his servants.
III. Humility leads to obedience:
Naaman decided that he would swallow his pride and obey the prophet, Elisha, by doing what he was told.
2 Kings 5:14 NKJV
“So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God;….”
IV. Obedience leads to victory:
When Naaman stepped out in obedience he was healed of his leprosy.
2 Kings 5:14 NKJV
“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.”
Naaman was healed because he swallowed his pride and obeyed the instructions that he was given. Sometimes we stay in desperate situations because, we hear the voice of God but, we do not want to do what He tells us. There are times that people throw out the message (their answer) because they don’t like the messenger. They won’t receive an answer from God because they don’t like who or what God may use to bring the answer. We must allow God to be God and not set limits or conditions on Him.