16 March 2014

Naaman: Faith and Expectations


2 Kings 5:1-15

Halley's Comet passed by the earth in 1985. One person, who had seen the comet 75 years earlier, was disappointed. He said it wasn't like before, he distinctly remembered hearing it go "WHOOOSH!" as it passed by. In 1996 the comet Hyakutake passed close to the earth. Appearing as a blur in the sky, it disappointed those who expected a fiery display. Our expectations of faith often resemble our expectations of comets. We hunger to see God do spectacular things, but instead, God will act is a way much different from our expectations and prayers.

1. How have you been blessed by someone in a way that you were not expecting?

2. 2 Kings 5:1-7. Who is Naaman and what is his situation? What contrasts or differences can you see between Naaman’s social and political positions and his physical condition?

3. How did the answer to Naaman's problem present itself (2 Kings 5:2-3)? What are some of the contrasts or differences that can you see in this encounter?

4. Why do you think the King of Syria (Aram) sent Naaman to the King of Israel (2 Kings 5:4-6)? What did he expect to accomplish with all this wealth?

5. Why did the king of Israel's respond this way? Could it cause problems for Naaman (2 Kings 5:7)?

6. 2 Kings 5:8-12. Why did Elisha the prophet get involved in Naaman's problem? What was his reason for getting involved in this issue?

7. Elisha never appears, he never meets Naaman. You do not see him.  Why does Elisha do this?

8. Why did Naaman react to Elisha in such a strong way (2 Kings 5:11-12)? What are his expectations?

9. 2 Kings 5:13-15. How did Naaman's servants show wisdom (2 Kings 5:13)?

10. Naaman begins to immerse himself seven times in the Jordan River (2 Kings 5:14). What principles do these two actions show us? a) He turned around and went back; b) he did what Elisha commanded him to do.

11. What are your expectations of God? What do you want him to do? Are your expectations preventing you from hearing and obeying him?

Ask God for wise friends like the servants of Naaman who can give you wisdom and wise advice in your life.