Monday, 4 May 2015

Young And Unashamed

It's a NEW month, meaning a NEW POST. I thought I'd write a Post on a young girl...well, she's very much overlooked, she isn't even given a name in this story, but when the Pastor at Church was going through this story yesterday, I learned that she is actually very significant. She made a large impact on a certain man's life. This man was stubborn, full of pride, highly respected and rich (I am presuming).

This story is about Namaan. It is told in 2 Kings 5. Let me just give you a background of this whole Book (Kings) before I get into the story. God punished his Chosen People (Israel) because they rejected Him and chose to worship other gods. But, nobody can escape God's judgement. The message in this Book, TO ME, is that we have a choice. We have to stay connected to God through studying His Word, praying and staying close to other believers.

2 Kings 5

The Story of Namaan

The King of Aram (we are unsure of his name), admired Namaan, who was the commander of his army, because through him, the Lord had given Aram great victories. But, even though Namaan was a mighty warrior, he suffered from leprosy.

Let me just stop there. Namaan was a COMMANDER. He was highly respected, highly favoured and in high position. So, he probably had a bit of pride there. Leprosy, however, was a horrendous disease back then.

Anyway, at this time, the Aramean raiders had invaded the land of Israel and among their captives was a young girl (by young, I'm guessing she was a teenager), and gave her to Namaan's wife as a maid. 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".

So, Namaan's wife obviously told her husband, who told the King what the young girl from Israel had said. The King gave him his authority to go and even told him, "I will send a letter of introduction for you to take to the King of Israel".

So, Namaan, definitely excited (I can imagine, because he would finally be cured of his leprosy) carried gifts, money and some clothes. The letter that the King of Aram had written said, "With this letter I present my servant Namaan. I want you to heal him of his leprosy."

When the King of Israel read the letter, he was greatly distressed. He was so stressed that he said, "This man sends me a leper to heal! Am I God, that I can give life and take it away? I can see he's trying to pick a fight with me?"

So, when Elisha (the Prophet) had heard that the King had torn his clothes and that he was distressed, he sent a message to him, 'Why are you so upset? Send Namaan to me and he will learn that there is a true prophet here in Israel."

So, Namaan went with his horses and chariots, waiting at the door of Elisha's house. I find this funny. A Commander of an ARMY waiting at the door of the Prophet. Elisha didn't even go out to see him, he sent his messenger out with a message. This messenger tells him to wash himself seven times in the River Jordan and his skin will be cleared.

Well, Namaan was not too happy about that. He was angry. He was upset that Elisha didn't even come to see him or greet him. HE had expectations. He thought that Elisha would wave his hand over the spot and cure him. He was even complaining, 'What's so special about the river Jordan? Aren't the rivers of Damascus, better than the waters of Israel?'

He was so offended. But in the end, his friends and officers tried to reason with him saying, the Prophet told you to do it, just do it. I mean, what's the worst that can happen?

So, Namaan was like, "Oh, fine, I will go..."

He did exactly what Elisha had told him to do and he was.

Anyway, I don't want to focus this story of Elisha and Namaan. I want to focus on the slave girl. She was a young girl from Israel. She was obviously a Christian, a believer in God, she had faith. Namaan and his wife probably weren't. I mean, in those days and at those times, these people, most especially the Kings, were involved in idol worship. The slave girl had a lot of NERVE to even bring up the Prophet. But she carried a message, she had faith. She didn't think of herself as inadequate.

There are four principles (that my Pastor went through yesterday) that this slave girl had and we should definitely live by:

1. She was CONCERNED - she wasn't worried about how she would be perceived, she didn't think about her position. She was motivated by love and she had compassion (just like Jesus did)

2. She was CONFIDENT - she was confident in what she believed in. The message she believed in and the gospel she carried.

3. She was COURAGEOUS - some of us are scared to even utter the name Jesus. We are ashamed of our faith. Even I am, to be honest. I am trying to maintain my faith in a world and a culture that just seems to be backsliding and goes against my beliefs, OF COURSE it's tough. But, if this slave girl had not been courageous, Namaan would not have had his faith restored. He would not have been healed of leprosy. I can actually imagine him being so happy, that he spreads the message along and others come to the knowledge of who GOD is. What God had done for him.

4. She was CREDIBLE - she was a good example. She definitely gave her best and what she did and she seemed to have a good attitude and well mannered. I mean, Namaan could have just ignored what she had said but he listened for a reason. It's in the way she carried herself. My pastor said something that hit me. For some people, YOU are the only bible they will read. People are watching you. The way you react to certain situations. How you endure hardships. You are their BIBLE. The slave girl was credible because of the way she carried herself. She was young but it's just how she was. We are never too young to tell others about the Gospel.

I will leave you with this (which is the way the Pastor ended it): 1 Timothy 4:12 -15

"Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given to you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be DILIGENT in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers"

Enjoy your month and may God bless you.

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