In this sermon, we explore Naaman’s security trap—seeking security through possessions. As we follow along in 2 Kings 5, we’ll discover a new and better identity as a child of God.
1) Naaman’s Hardship
Naaman’s story is somewhere in the middle 60 years of Elisha’s ministry. Naaman means “gracious.” He is the commander of the Syrian army, a war hero, and held in high favor by his king. In fact, Naaman had everything you could possibly want in life, exempt one thing: he was a leper. While he possessed a great deal in life and used it to secure himself against life’s vulnerabilities, there was one thing he did not possess: his own health.
But through an Israeli slave girl, Naaman learns of a prophet with the gift of healing. So, he brings his extensive wealth with him in the hopes of buying restoration.
Naaman is seeking security through possessions.
2) Naaman’s Humbling
When Naaman arrives in Israel, he is vexed by the prophet Elisha, who doesn’t treat him as expected. Naaman is told to wash seven times in the dirty Jordan River. Naaman wanted something money couldn’t buy, and to his dismay, he learns that possessions cannot secure his health.
Naaman’s illness ran more than skin deep. On the outside he was leprous, but inside a far deadlier disease had taken hold—his heart was infected with pride. Naaman came in search of healing, but his need for healing ran far deeper than he realized.
And God so loved Naaman that He chose to heal not just his body but his soul as well.
3) Naaman’s Healing
Naaman is faced with a choice: to hold onto his pride and ride off unhealed; or, to swallow his pride, climb down from his chariot, take off his military raiment, set aside his possessions, and in nakedness enter the waters like a helpless child with nothing to offer and everything to receive.
Naaman’s healing ultimately came through humility. In losing his pride, he gained his purity. In contrition, he was cleansed.
When he stood naked before God, vulnerable and exposed without all his adornments of wealth and privilege and accomplishments. When he went into the water with empty hands with nothing to his name, it was then that the Lord healed him and made him whole.
Notice: the inner healing came before the outer healing. His pride died when he in faith entered the waters, letting go of everything but the promise of God. And the healing that began in his soul was then mirrored on his skin. Only then is Naaman reborn!
Naaman finds security as he learns to receive grace with open hands.
The man whose name means “gracious” learned what grace is all about: that when it comes to God, we bring nothing but our empty, dirty hands. And in His grace, He cleanses and fills our hands with his abundant gifts of life!
Takeaway: Ultimate security comes by the grace of our Father.
To be possessed by Jesus is better than all the possessions of earth. To be secure in Him is, in the end, the only security that matters.
2 Kings 5