Sunday, July 23, 2017

Elisha and Naaman - part 2

Bible 1
In part one of this Bible story, Naaman the commander of the Syrian army had visited the house of Elisha, the prophet of God. Naaman had leprosy and wanted Elisha to cure him of this terrible disease.
Bible 2
But when Elisha had sent his servant to tell Naaman to go and wash seven times in the River Jordan, the mighty army commander was livid. He rode away. ‘Why did he tell me to wash in the stupid River Jordan, the rivers of Syria are much better.’
Bible 3
Naaman had wanted Elisha to come out, call on the name of HIs God, wave his hands over his leprosy and make him well. He was furious!

Bible 4
As Naaman angrily rode away, one of his soldiers tried to reason with him. ‘Excuse me Sir,’ he said. ‘If the prophet had asked you to do something great, would you not have done it? Then why will you not do something that is easy to do, wash in the River Jordan and be made clean.’
Bible 5
Naaman calmed down. ‘I suppose you are right,’ he muttered. ‘What have I to lose?’ The army commander turned his chariot around and headed to the River Jordan.
Bible 6
When he got there, Naaman went into the river and dipped himself under the water. He surfaced again and looked at his skin. He still had leprosy!

Bible 7
He dipped and washed a second time. No change – he still had leprosy.
Bible 8
He dipped a third, fourth, fifth and sixth time. He still had leprosy. It looked as if he had been right all along. It was stupid thing to do.
Bible 9
Then he dipped for the seventh and last time. When he surfaced – his leprosy was gone. He had clear skin just like a young child.

Bible 10
He jumped up and down in the water shouting, ‘Look! The God of Elisha has healed me.’
Bible 11
Naaman got back into his chariot and returned to Elisha’s house. ‘Your God is the One True God,’ he declared. What can I give you to reward you for what you have done?’ ‘Nothing,’ replied Elisha.
‘But you must accept a gift,’ Naaman insisted. But Elisha refused.
Bible 12
So Naaman ordered that his men dig up a cartful of dirt.

Bible 13
Naaman wanted to take this dirt home and spread it around an altar in Syria so he’d be standing on the soil of Israel when he offered sacrifices to the One True God.
Bible 14
As Naaman rode away, Elisha’s servant was angry. ‘Elisha might not want Naaman’s rich and expensive gifts, but I do,’ he thought.
Bible 15
So he chased after Naaman and caught up with him. ‘Wait,’ he called. Naaman stopped and asked what Gehazi wanted.

Bible 16
‘My master Elisha has changed his mind,’ he lied. ‘He’d like some money and a change of clothes.’
Bible 17
Naaman willingly gave Gehazi what he wanted. Gehazi smuggled the gift into a house behind a hill and hid it well out of sight.
Bible 18
Gehazi then sneaked back into Elisha’s house. ‘Have you been somewhere?’ Elisha asked. ‘No’ Gehazi replied. ‘I’ve been here all the time.’

Bible 19
‘I saw you chasing after Naaman,’ Elisha declared. ‘And I saw him give you those gifts. As a punishment for your lies and greed you will have Naaman’s leprosy.’
Bible 20
From that moment Gehazi was covered in leprosy and his skin became as like white snow. He had to leave Elisha and live on his own away from people. How foolish he had been to tell lies and be dishonest. Do you think he was sorry for what he did?

Elisha and Naaman - part 2
Naaman washes seven times in the River Jordan.
2 Kings 5:13-27

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