A widow's oil; her two sons are delivered from slavery (II Kin. 4:1-7). A childless couple have a son (4:8-37). Elisha sustains life (typifying Jesus, the Bread of Life) (4:38-44). Naaman is miraculously healed of his incurable leprosy (5:1-19) — foreshadowing Jesus, who alone can restore an incurable life of sin.
Desperate to be healed of his leprosy, Naaman appeared before King Jehoram in Israel with ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. And . . . the letter (from King Ben-hadad of Syria that read) . . . I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover (heal) him of his leprosy. And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God . . . that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider . . . and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me (II Kin. 5:5-7).
When Jehoram (Joram), king of Israel, read the letter that the king of Syria had sent, requesting that he heal Naaman of his leprosy, King Jehoram assumed that Naaman, the powerful captain of the Syrian army, was seeking an excuse to declare war. And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard (it) . . . that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel (5:8). When Naaman obeyed the words of the prophet, he was miraculously healed.
Like his brother Ahaziah, Jehoram failed to recognize the hand of God in his circumstances. However, he did not consult Baal-zebub, as his brother did (1:2); neither did he attempt to destroy the prophet of God, as his mother Jezebel did (I Kin. 19:1-2). Nevertheless, the king of Israel did not turn to God — even after Naaman was miraculously healed.
Pity the poor unbelievers who, like Jehoram, believe their conflicts are merely the arrangements of men who threaten them. How different are the "Elishas" who know the Living God and know that He has arranged our conflicts, adversities, and distresses according to His own will! (see Eph. 1:11).
It is not necessary to understand the reason God has for our trials and sufferings, but it is of utmost importance that we have faith in Him. He is able to perfect His plan for our lives. God often arranges our circumstances that we may realize how helpless we are. The Apostle Paul was inspired of God to write: My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).
Thought for Today:
For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against HImself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds (Heb. 12:3).
By the meal that took the poison out of the pot (II Kin. 4:40-41). Meal, made of crushed grain, speaks of Christ, who was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised (crushed) for our iniquities (Is. 53:5), thereby removing the poison of sin from us.
4:3 borrow not a few =b> get as many as you can; 4:6 stayed =b> ceased flowing; 4:10 candlestick =b> oil lamp; 4:27 vexed =b> deeply distressed; 4:29 Gird up thy loins =b> Fasten your loose, flowing arments with a belt.
Pray for Government Official: Government Official: Rep. Peter Welch (VT) • Country: Haiti (7 million) in the West Indies • Major languages: French and Creole • Religious freedom • 75% Roman Catholic; 17% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray without anger or resentment in your heart (I Tim. 2:8).
Optional Reading: Romans 5
Memory Verse for the Week: John 1:3