24th of the 4th month 2020/2021.
As part of this week’s Torah portion from Wayyiqra/Leviticus 12:1-13:59, we will also be reading the account given to us in Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 4:42-5:19, which primarily takes a look at the miracle healing of Na’aman. It is with this passage in mind, that I would like to explore some of the wonderful lessons that we can take from the accounts that surround the miracle healing of Na’aman..
In Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 4 we are able to see the blessings that came about for those who had aligned themselves with the true prophets of Elohim, as we see 4 different events that highlight the resulting actions of listening to the true prophets of Elohim.
1 – The wife of a deceased prophet of Elohim receives a miraculous provision of oil, which took care of her debts and equipped her and her sons to live and not be held captive to enslavement. (Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 4:1-7)
2 – A prominent Shunammite woman provided a room and food for Elisha and after her son died, she received him back from the dead. (Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 4:8-37)
3 – During the scarcity of food, the pot of food that was cooked by the prophets had become poisoned because of the wild cucumbers that were put in it. They cried out to Elisha, who has instructed them to put some flour in the pot and it was miraculously transformed and made edible. (Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 4:38-41)
4 – Miraculous provision of 20 barley loaves of the bread of the first-fruits being made sufficient for 100 men. (Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 4:42-44).
In all of these accounts, all the people had listened to the instructions of Elisha, the prophet of Elohim, and these events set the scene for that which took place in Chapter 5, with the healing of Naʽaman’s leprosy.
This last miracle, in Chapter 4, with the bread of the first-fruits being sufficient for 100 men, is a wonderful shadow picture of the provision of יהוה, as pictured through the miraculous provision of bread for both the feeding of the 5000, where 12 full baskets were gathered up afterwards, and the feeding of the 4000, where 7 full baskets were gathered up afterwards.
In Mattithyahu/Matthew 14, we are given the account of the feeding of the 5000 thousand taking place, after which Messiah sent His taught ones off in the boat and he went to up to the mountain by Himself to pray. During the night He came walking on the water and entered the boat. And when He came to Genněsar, he healed all who were sick.
In Mattithyahu/Matthew 15, we are given the account of the feeding of the 4000 taking place, after which He warned His taught ones, in Mattithyahu/Matthew 16, to be on guard against the leaven of the Pharisees..
The reason for me highlighting these events, is to show how we can see a flow from the accounts that take place in Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 4 and that which takes place in Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 5, being a wonderful shadow picture of the events that we see being recorded in Mattithyahu/Matthew 14-16, where Messiah, the Bread of Life, came to give the necessary provision for life and heal all those who were sick..
The account of the healing of Naʽaman’s leprosy is one that can teach us some very valuable lessons and highlights the Good News of Messiah, the Bread of Life and the Lamb of Elohim who takes away the sin of the world.
As we know, leprosy, in Scripture, is often a representation sin and teaches us our need to be healed of sin and be cleansed to serve the Living Elohim, by accepting His redemptive work and being obedient to His Word, which equips us with newness of life..
In these events that flow from Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 4-5, we can see a clear message of how the Provider and Bread of Life, brings the Good News of the Good to the nations, and highlights the clear reality of the fact that all who call upon the Name of יהוה shall be saved. By calling on His Name, we know that this entails a proper obedience that submits to walking in the Torah of Elohim, having been cleansed and redeemed from all lawlessness!.
As we consider the accounts surrounding the healing of Na’aman, we are able to see the contrast between true active belief versus unbelief, produced by doubt and fear.
What is interesting to see is how the king of Aram and the Hebrew slave girl, clearly showed that they believed in Elisha’s abilities, as being a true prophet of Elohim, while Na’aman and the king of Yisra’ěl did not believe that healing was possible.
After his healing, of course, we know that Naʽaman’s heart and mind was renewed and he committed to worshipping Elohim, wherever he would go..
The name of נַעֲמָן Naʽaman – Strong’s H5283 means, ‘pleasantness’ and we are certainly able to learn a great lesson on the pleasantness of the Good News of Messiah, our Saviour and Healer.
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 10 tells us that the events in the Tanak (O.T.) happened to them as examples for us and were written for our instruction; and I want to tell you, that this text is truly filled with much to learn from..
Please read Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 5:1-19.
Just to recap the story, because it really is worth telling a second time.
Naʽaman was the commander of the Ashshurian army.
He was very rich and successful; he had a wife, servants and slaves.
In the world’s eyes, he had made it, as he had all that he could ever ask for; except for one serious problem – he had leprosy!
This, in most circles of the day, would have made him a social outcast with no hope to live for. Then, in this story, there appears a little slave girl from Yisra’ěl, who was captured on an Ashshurian raid and was now serving Naʽaman’s wife.
This brave Hebrew girl told Naʽaman’s wife the solution to his problem – ‘go and find the prophet in Shomeron (northern territory in Yisra’ěl).
It is quite strange to see a mighty commander of the king of Aram’s army listening to the instructions of a slave girl, yet Naʽaman goes to his king for permission to go and be cleansed by the prophet in Shomeron.
The king of Aram sends him, not to the prophet for healing, but to the king of Yisra’ěl.
At this, the king of Yisra’ěl, being a weaker king, was terrified and only thought that the king of Aram was provoking them to war.
Yisra’ĕl’s king’s response is very interesting – he had a famous prophet, Elisha, right at his doorstep and he didn’t consult him, as clearly being Elohim’s spokesman.
Instead, he just worried about a threat that was being delivered and looked to solve the problem in his own strength.
Elisha, the prophet of Elohim, heard what was going on and told the king to send Naʽaman to him.
Naʽaman goes to meet Elisha and he is only met by Elisha’s servant Gěḥazi, with the message from Elisha to go and wash 7 times in the Yarděn, in order to be healed.
At that point, a very proud Naʽaman isn’t impressed with all of this at all and was pretty ticked off and it was definitely not what he had in mind.
He questioned why he should go and wash in a muddy river, when there were cleaner rivers in Dammeseq.
Once again, at the voice of a servant, Naʽaman listens and he goes to the Yarděn and washes 7 times. Picture for a moment what must have been going through his mind; 6 times in the river and still no change, but then, at the 7th time – complete healing!
As we know, the number 7, in Scripture, is a picture of fullness or completion and herein lies a valuable lesson on guarding to do the Word of Elohim, completely, and not only half way or even 95%. It is all or nothing!
If Naʽaman had only dipped 6 times, he would not have been healed, for it would not have been according to the instructions that he was given by Elisha.
Naʽaman obeyed the Word of Elohim, by obeying the words of the prophet of Elohim and he received Elohim’s healing from leprosy. Belief in the Word of Elohim must be applied in a proper action of complete obedience, for works without belief are dead works.
Here Naʽaman experienced the result of a living belief, in action, and his heart was changed.
It is in the doing of the Word, that a proper and more fuller understanding of the Word is achieved.
While there was a severe lack of belief going on in the midst of Yisra’ěl, due to disobedience, this Ashshurian commander experienced the results of obedience that bring about the blessing and removal of impurity and curses.
You see it was only when Naʽaman had humbled himself and obeyed the Word of Elohim, given to him by the prophet of Elohim, that Elohim healed him.
He experienced the hand of Elohim and it changed him forever..
This was such an incredible story, one that יהושע Messiah makes mention of this, in:
Luqas/Luke 4:27 “And many lepers were in Yisra’ěl in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Na‛aman the Aramean.”
Many lepers in Yisra’ěl in the time of Elisha, yet none of them were cleansed, except Naʽaman. This, in itself has got to highlight for us the state of Yisra’ěl at that time, where there was little belief, due to the increase in lawlessness and sin..
Naʽaman, now healed and full of faith, went back to Elisha and offered him a gift, which Elisha refused! This highlights for us the clear truth that Elohim cannot be bought, even after a miracle, and Elisha sends him of in peace..
As we look at Naʽaman, we can truly see some valuable lessons, in how Elohim can heal you no matter who you are; it is simply a lesson in surrender and submitting to Elohim and His Word.
And by that, I mean obeying and guarding to do all that He has commanded us to, for that is righteousness for us!!!
Elohim had provided Naʽaman servants (first the Hebrew slave girl and then his own servants) to lead him to his healing.
We must be very careful to never reject the true servants that יהוה sends our way, in order to bring healing, restoration and deliverance. we must certainly test the Spirit of prophecy and must be on guard against being led astray, which we can only do when we are truly meditating on the Word, day and night, learning to make a distinction between the clean and the unclean and between the set-apart and the profane, for then we will be able to rightly divide the truth and recognise the clear truth being presented by others.
We must never reject the Word of Elohim, especially when we are at a weak point in our lives and are in need of help, encouragement, healing and deliverance..
Naʽaman’s initial pride produced anger and, in anger, he did not desire to do Elohim’s will, because it seemed out of the ordinary and ridiculous!
Let me ask you, how many times have you, when you are not in a good mood or are disgruntled over something, felt like you don’t want to do what you know you ought to do? Pride has a way of causing us to not walk in the simplicity of the truth of His Word and, as a result, may cause one to reject His guidance.
Naʽaman was tested here, with a lesson in humility.
Think about it for a moment: firstly, Elisha sends out his servant to relay a message to Naʽaman. Naʽaman was a commander, why should a servant come to speak to him, he thought. יהוה, as we know, is not a respecter of persons; all are equal in His sight and Naʽaman’s pride, in his position of authority, was certainly being tested.
Then, to top it off, he gets told to go and wash in a muddy river.
Naʽaman had come with preconceived ideas, as he thought that Elohim and Elisha would do things the way he wanted them done, as he expressed how he thought that Elisha would just ‘come and wave a wand’ and all would be done.
We must learn that we must never deny יהוה’s instructions through His Word, just because it may seem, at the time, that what He is asking of us, is out of the ordinary, in our own eyes. And we must certainly give up on any preconceived ideas that we may have on ‘how’ יהוה will do things and therefore, we would do well to learn that we are to simply just obey Him by belief, guarding to do what He tells us to, for in doing so, our understanding of the ‘why’, will grow..
Before looking at the healing of Naʽaman, I would like to take a look at a couple of lessons that we can also learn, from the actions of the unnamed Hebrew servant girl and the king of Yisra’ěl.
Unnamed Hebrew servant:
This Hebrew servant girl, who had been taken captive on one of the Ashshurian raids, did not lose her faith in יהוה, and in faithfully serving as a captive servant, she was able to be a true ambassador of the True Healer.
With her name not being made known to us, teaches us a clear lesson that we do not need to have our identity made a big deal of, as we are simply ambassadors of the Name that saves!
If you are trying to serve Elohim in order to get a name for yourself and become widely known and popular, then this called for walk of set-apartness is not for you.
As true ambassadors of the Most-High, we are called to proclaim His Name, not our own. We who are in Messiah, have died to self and have been raised to new life in Him, through our immersion in His Name. We have been bought at a price and we are not our own – we are His and it is His Name that matters, not ours!.
This captive slave girl was not restricted in her declaration of who could heal and what we can learn from this, is that יהוה and His Good News is not restricted by our position or circumstances. Where you are at, is where you can and should serve and proclaim the reign of Elohim, bringing the Good News to all you come into contact with.
As we look at the example of this unnamed girl, you need to ask yourself whether you are bringing the Good News to the lost and sick, that you may be working for?
She had been taken captive and declared the Good News, which highlights the clear character of set-apartness amidst depravity, as she clearly did not hold a grudge for being taken captive, but rather saw the ability of highlighting the truth of who could heal.
She was, in many ways, a true light to the nations, which is what Yisra’ěl were called to be, yet failed and as a result, many who had leprosy in Elisha’s days were not being healed, except Naʽaman..
Are you shining the light amidst the darkness or are you hiding your lamp, so to speak?
At times, it may seem like where you are at is mundane and it may feel as though you are ineffective. I want you to know this – where you are at is not an ineffective position or mundane in any way. The effect of your witness and testimony before others, as you live out every day, in complete set-apartness before our Master and Elohim, יהושע Messiah, can have far reaching effects, that go beyond your imagination. He simply asks to believe in Him, for without faith it is impossible to please Elohim.
He simply asks us to accept Him and follow His teachings and walk in His Torah as we guard His commands and bear the witness of Messiah, which we will not be able to do if we hide our lamp, simply because we assume that the current circumstances do not allow us to speak up and be bold.
יהוה expects us to live in this world and that, as salt and light, we may influence sinners around us, through our uncompromised set-apart lives.
This does not mean that you do what they do or go where they go and conform to their ways; no, it simply means that wherever you are, you must live out your belief every day, as you interact with unbelievers, whether it is in the work place, or in all your spheres of influence, which is everywhere you go!
She did not keep quiet, but spoke up and spoke the Truth!
How many times have you kept quiet when you should have spoken up?
How many times do you correct someone when they blaspheme in front of you?
How often do you confess יהושע Messiah; not just with your lips, but with your lives?
Her words were taken seriously, for her character and conduct in her everyday life, was in line with her identity as a child of the Living Elohim, being clearly marked as one who was chosen royal and set-apart, even though she was a captive servant girl in a foreign land!
Her identity in Elohim was secure and therefore her bold declaration could be done with great confidence of power.
Can people take you seriously when you speak of יהוה?
Are you living a life that is devoted 100% to Him or is it an 80% effort, because you are unwilling to let go of come compromise – which, by the way, nullifies your witness?
She was an unnamed girl that יהוה used, to set a chain of events that would bring about healing and salvation, to a commander of an army and through this, his entire house would have been saved.
Another example of what we are not to do, can be seen through the actions of the king of Yisra’ěl. As mentioned earlier, this king feared the request brought by the king of Aram, as he assumed that this was a tactic being used to attack and this highlights for us that he lacked the proper trust and faith that he should have had in יהוה.
When he received the letter from the king of Aram, he tore his garments and this is where Elisha heard that he had torn his garments and came to ask why..
There is, I believe, an interesting play on words, contained in verse 7:
“And it came to be, when the sovereign of Yisra’ěl read the letter, that he tore his garments and said, “Am I Elohim, to kill and keep alive, that this man sends a man to me to recover him of his leprosy? For consider now, and see how he is seeking an occasion with me!”
In the Hebrew text, we see this verse being written as follows:
וַיְהִי כִּקְרֹא מֶלֶךְ־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־הַסֵּפֶר וַיִּקְרַע בְּגָדָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הַאֱלֹהִים אָנִי לְהָמִית וּלְהַחֲיוֹת כִּי־זֶה שֹׁלֵחַ אֵלַי לֶאֱסֹף אִישׁ מִצָּרַעְתּוֹ כִּי אַךְ־דְּעוּ־נָא וּרְאוּ כִּי־מִתְאַנֶּה הוּא לִי.
I have highlighted two words in this verse, which we are able to see how this king responded in unbelief and showed that he was not leading the nation of Yisra’ěl to seek יהוה.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘read’ is כִּקְרֹא – kiqro, which comes from the root word קָרָא qara – Strong’s H7121 which means, ‘to call, proclaim, read, make a proclamation, summons, read aloud, i.e., to speak aloud something, reciting what has been written down’.
It is from this root word קָרָא qara – Strong’s H7121 that we get the Hebrew word/phrase וַיִּקְרָא vayyiqra, which means, ‘and He called’, and is used as the name of the 3rd book of the Tanak – Wayyiqra/Vayyiqra (Leviticus).
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘that he tore’ is וַיִּקְרַע – vayyiqra and comes from the primitive root verb קָרַע qara – Strong’s H7167 which means, ‘to tear, cut, split apart, tear away’.
I hope that you are able to see something unique here, as we see these two root words that have the same phonetic expression, yet are 2 completely different root words.
Both are expressed as ‘qara’, with the one that means ‘read or proclaim’, ends with the letter ‘aleph’ (א), while the one that means, ‘tear or split apart’, ends with the letter ‘ayin’ (ע).
The king, who should be the one who is calling people to follow Elohim, was tearing his garments, for his eyes were not fixed on יהוה, but were fixed on his perception of his circumstances and he tore his garments in fear. The phonetic rendering of ‘and he tore’ is וַיִּקְרַע – vayyiqra, when he should have called upon יהוה, after reading the letter he had received – וַיִּקְרָא vayyiqra – and he called!
He didn’t call, he tore.
How many times have you found yourself in a situation where you should have called יהוה, but didn’t, and instead, you ‘tore your garments of set-apartness’, so to speak, as you looked to the flesh and reacted in the flesh, instead of walking in the Spirit and sought יהוה?
The tearing of one’s garments is often seen as a sign of mourning and weeping, because of fear. He was afraid and he tore and did not call!!!
His face broke down in fear and this we should not do!
Yirmeyahu was warned by יהוה to not break down before those he was sent to speak to, lest יהוה break him before them!
The reaction of the king is a lesson for us to learn from, that we should not react in haste to imminent threats, or that which we may perceive as a threat, but should always be seeking יהוה and His righteousness and never allowing our garments of set-apartness to be torn by compromise and fear!.
Having then seen the clear difference between the actions of the faithful Hebrew slave girl and the unfaithful king, let us be on guard to not let go of the hope we have in the Master, always being ready to give a reason for the hope we have, and being on guard against breaking down in fear of circumstances, when our eyes should be constantly fixed on our Master, and always calling upon Him, in our time of need, giving thanks in all circumstances!!!.
Coming back to Naʽaman, we are able to learn a great lesson on him doing down to the Yarděn, where he dipped 7 times.
Herein lies a wonderful lesson on our healing and equipping that we receive in our Master, when we are immersed in Him!
When we recognise this, we are able to understand more fully how important ‘immersion’ is!!!
Immersion in His Name cleanses us from all our sin!
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:27 “For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah.”
The Greek word that is translated as ‘immersed’ is the verb βαπτίζω baptizō – Strong’s G907 which means, ‘to baptize, immerse, to dip, sink, ceremonially wash, to cleanse by dipping or submersion’.
What is interesting to take note of, is that this Greek verb is used in the LXX (Septuagint) in the following verse, and is translated as ‘dipped’:
Melaḵim Bět/2 Kings 5:14 “Then he went down and dipped seven times in the Yardĕn, according to the word of the man of Elohim. And his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”
It was Na’aman, commander of the army of the sovereign of Aram, who had leprosy and at the advice of his wife’s Hebrew servant girl who had been captured on one of the Aramean raids on Yisra’ĕl, went to Elisha the prophet at Shomeron..
He was told to go and wash in the Yarděn, which he refused to do at first, but after having done as instructed, he was cleansed!.
He dipped 7 times, picturing for us a complete cleansing, and with 7 being a significant number for us, in representing the complete work of Messiah, as pictured through His 7 Feasts, we recognise that our immersion into His Name, is critical as it cleanses us from sin, in order that we partake of His Feasts and are grafted in to His House and built up in Him as Living Stones that the Living Waters has cleansed!.
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘dipped’ comes from the primitive root verb טָבַל taḇal – Strong’s H2881 which means, ‘to dip, plunge’..
In the ancient Hebrew pictographic alphabet, this word looks like this:.
Tet – טָ:
The original pictograph for this letter is , which is pictured as ‘a container made of wicker or clay’. Containers were a very important item among the nomadic Hebrews.
They were used for storing grains and other items. Wicker baskets were used as nets for catching fish. The meaning of this letter is ‘basket, contain, store and clay’. It can also mean surround as a basket is used to ‘surround’ something to be protected and secure..
Beyt – בַ:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures ‘a tent floor plan’ and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself..
Lamed – ל:
The ancient script has this letter as , and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority..
When looking at these pictographic letters we can get the meaning:.
SURROUND THE HOUSE WITH AUTHORITY
GATHERED INTO THE HOUSE OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD.
In terms of understanding this word, in representing a ‘dipping’ or ‘immersion’, we can see the understanding of the function, and purpose, of our immersion, in Messiah, and that is, to gather us, as an ĕphah basket, into His House and be under His authority, as we take on His easy and light yoke and ‘stay in Him’, and be the ripe basket that submits, as opposed to the rotten one that rejects His Authority and His Torah for His House!.
The first time that this Hebrew word טָבַל taḇal – Strong’s H2881 is used, is in:
Berěshith/Genesis 37:31 “So they took Yosĕph’s robe, killed a male goat, and dipped the robe in the blood”
Here, we are able to see the clear shadow picture of Messiah’s immersion and death, that would bring life to those who are immersed in Him!
Messiah Himself went to Yoḥanan to be immersed, as pictured here, in Yosĕph’s coat being dipped, in preparation for His work of deliverance!.
Yosĕph’s coat was dipped, and this shadow pictures יהוה, the expectation of Yisra’ĕl, coming in the Flesh and being immersed, as preparation for His work of deliverance that would come through His Blood, as He would die for our sins and cleanse us completely, and be raised to life so that we too can have newness of life.
Mattithyahu/Matthew 3:13 “Then יהושע came from Galil to Yoḥanan at the Yarděn to be immersed by him.”.
For more on יהוה being our expectation, please see the notes of the message called, “THE EXPECTATION OF YISRA’ĔL! Immersion unveiled” under the sermons 2020/2021 menu or by clicking on the following link:
Our need to be immersed, in the expectation of Yisra’ĕl, is critical to us walking in newness of life, lest we reject an immersion into His Name and die in our sin!
Romiyim/Romans 6:3-4 “Or do you not know that as many of us as were immersed into Messiah יהושע were immersed into His death? 4 We were therefore buried with Him through immersion into death, that as Messiah was raised from the dead by the esteem of the Father, so also we should walk in newness of life.”
The Hebrew word טָבַל taḇal – Strong’s H2881 is used 16 times in the Tanak, and besides being used in reference to Yosĕph’s coat being dipped in blood, it is also used in describing the hyssop that was to be dipped in blood and then used to strike the lintel and the two doorposts, so that יהוה would pass over the door that had done this and not allow the destroyer to enter in!
It is also used in describing the work of the anointed priest, that would ‘dip’ his finger in the blood of the sin offering and sprinkle it seven times before יהוה, in front of the veil of the Set-Apart place.
We know that the blood of bulls and goats could never take away sin, hence it being sprinkled in front of the veil of the Set-Apart place!
But now, through the blood of Messiah, who, having offered one slaughter offering for sins for all time, has torn the veil, so that by His Blood we may come boldly to the throne of favour in our time of need!
But our access to His presence, begins with our repentance and immersion into His Name!.
The cleansing of Na’aman is a wonderful lesson for us on our cleansing that we, who were once far off from the covenants of promise, have been brought near and grafted in, by the Blood of Messiah, through our immersion in His Name!
Let me repeat the following:.
Romiyim/Romans 6:3-4 “Or do you not know that as many of us as were immersed into Messiah יהושע were immersed into His death? 4 We were therefore buried with Him through immersion into death, that as Messiah was raised from the dead by the esteem of the Father, so also we should walk in newness of life.”.
Having died to self and raised in Messiah – do not let the leprosy of the past grip you in any way. As we consider the cleansing that we have received, we are to be bold ambassadors of the Good News, so that others may receive the cleansing too, if they will turn and submit the Truth and be immersed in Messiah!
Do not let circumstances cause you to tear away set-apartness in any way, but walk in the cleansing of our Master, keeping your feet on His path, wherever you find yourself!Are you walking in newness of life or are you being plagued by past? Hear the truth through, these lessons on Naʽaman’s leprosy and be transformed by the renewing of your mind, and do not be confirming to the ways of the world, but shine the light of the truth and be a bold ambassador that guards the commands of Elohim and possesses the witness of Messiah!
Walk in the newness of life that the cleansing of our Master brings and let the pleasantness of יהוה our Elohim be upon you, as you stay in Him!!.
יהוה bless you and guard you, יהוה make His face shine upon you and show favour to you, יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you peace, aměn!..