It Pays To Obey by James Merritt

It Pays To Obey
James Merritt
II Kings 5:1-17


INTRODUCTION


1. So often in reading the Old Testament it is hard to see the forest for the trees. Many people steadfastly refuse to read any of the Old Testament because they think it is so old that it cannot possibly be relevant in the Twentieth Century.


2. But the story that we read here in II Kings chapter five is as up-to-date as today's newspaper. It is a simple story about a man named Naaman, a four-star general in the country of Syria who was afflicted with an ancient disease called leprosy. On the advice of the prophet Elisha he goes to bathe in the river Jordan seven times, and his leprosy completely disappears.

3. Now to show you just how relevant this story is to you, in verse one substitute your name for Naaman. Substitute the word sinner for the word leper. Then in verse ten substitute the phrase blood of Jesus for the word Jordan. Unless you are completely in spiritual blindness you will see very quickly how this story relates to you and to me.


I. Naaman's Prestigious Position


1. Now on the outside you would not think that Naaman had any problems at all. He was a virtuous citizen. He was "a commander of the army of the king of Syria." (v.1) He was a four-star general in one of the most powerful armies in all of the world. He was the Norman Schwarzkopf of his day. He had the prestige and prominence that went with such a powerful position.


2. But more than just being a military general, he was the king's right hand man. For we read, "he was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master." (v.1) He was highly respected by his people. His name was a key that could unlock any door in the country.


3. He was also a victorious captain. For "by him the Lord had given victory to Syria." (v.1) That is, he was a war hero. He had probably earned the Congressional Medal of Honor. Everybody likes a winner, and Naaman had never known what it was to lo ...


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