What are implications of the story of Naaman’s healing, 2 Kings 5.1-19, for you and I?  What could a story that happened 2,800 years ago have for us to learn and apply to our lives? A lot actually.  God is still in the blessing business.  God still heals.  He still cares for everyone.

In the ancient Near East, Israel, there were two kingdoms.  There was the kingdom of men, ruled by a king.  The Syrians beat this king of Israel.  He was a loser but still in control of the country…so long as he paid tribute to the king of Syria. He ruled by authority of a forging king, given just enough power to collect taxes and that was all.  The other kingdom was God’s kingdom.  God was the king.  He was undefeatable. He ruled with power and compassion.  His love knew no boundaries.  He even loved the enemy Syrians.  A prophet represented God in Israel.  So long as there was a prophet in Israel, the people following God could be sure He heard their cries, comforted their fears, and loved them.  Naaman saw both kingdoms; going first to the kingdom of man; but only finding what he needed in God’s Kingdom.

The kingdom of men represents some of the churches today.  It is powerless and ruled by external forces.  The kingdom of men desires to remain in power and will compromise with anyone they believe can help them. The kingdom of God will never compromise.  There are churches today that fit in this category as well.  Churches that seek to know God and make Him known.  It is not about power or position but about God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven.

God used the nation of Syria to correct His people, Israel.  The nation ran from God and His blessing.  The people chose to follow the gods of the people around them rather than the God who delivered the people from slavery in Egypt.  God’s people abandoned Him as irrelevant to their lives.  And God sent a nation to conquer His people, to show them that there is a God in Israel and He alone has the power to direct nations paths.  He alone protects His people.  He alone is God.

Sounds a lot like us today doesn’t it?  We call ourselves “Christians.”  But most likely we have pushed God to irrelevancy in our lives for 6 days a week.  “God can have Sunday morning but He will not see Monday through Saturday in our lives,” we say with our actions.  We have made God in our image.  We made Him weak and powerless to affect our lives.  He is good but a stranger to us today.  And we think we are Christian enough.  Gone to church…check.

We may even tithe; pay one-tenth of our income to the church.  But it is just payment for services rendered.  That was to original goal of the tithe, pay the priest for services rendered.  We continue to do that today.  We pay our pastor to be our spiritual representative so we don’t have to have a relationship with God.  Our pastor meets with us once a week and tells us how our relationship is going, usually pretty good.  And we think we are pleasing God because we gave.  The tithe was an indication of where our heart was: with God or against Him.  Now, it is a lifeless ritual, payment for services, given begrudgingly; truly showing our hearts are far from God.  Paid God for His favor…check.

Naaman had all these expectations.  He had a checklist of things he was expecting.  He went to Israel expecting to meet another healing man and pay him for this service.  But God always defies expectations.  It is never about a checklist.  It is always about real life.  God loves to show us that we expect too little from Him.  J. B. Phillips, a translator of the Bible into everyday common language, said it best with the title of one of his books, “Your God is Too Small.”

Your god is too small if you show him your face but never your heart!

Your god is too small if you pay for favor instead of giving your devotion!

Your god is too small…way to small if you think he loves you only when you are good enough, strong enough, when you give to the church, or only when you go to church!

Your god is too small if he wants the best for you but never impacts your life!

God, the one true God, wants to know you and for you to know Him.  He wants to restore you to the place He originally made for you: at His table in His heaven; a child of His, FOREVER.  He is a God of blessing not curses; a God of hope in the face of darkness; a God of healing in the face of pain, hurting, or illness.  God healed the enemy of His people to show the people God is God alone; Healer, Comforter, Counselor, and Friend.  God is still all of these things today.

It might sound a little strange to you, but I have seen God heal cancer (confirmed by a surgeon), heal allergies, even raise my puppy back to life after it was crushed by a load of bricks (confirmed by my father).  It may be so far out for you to think that there is a God much less that He loves you and can heal your sickness.  But it is true.  God loved Naaman.  God loves you.  God healed Naaman.  God will heal you. God’s ways may seem strange to you, just as they did to Naaman.  There was nothing special about the muddy Jordan.  There was something very special about a man with belief that even in a muddy river God will heal.  That is faith; simple, living faith.

That is the key: faith…simple faith in a God who can, and routinely does, meet you in your life, where you are, in your mess, and loves you, and heals your sickness, and gives you hope and life and joy!  Naaman met Him and it changed his health and his heart.  You can meet Him and He will do those things for you…and so much more!