Introduction Michael Ngubane
We thank the Lord who has allowed us to meet on this Sunday morning. I trust that each one has a longing to sit at the Lord’s feet, to look to Him, hear from Him and receive that with which He wants to enrich our hearts and lives. We welcome you and praise the Lord that we can worship together.
I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. To those who are listening in, we wish you a blessed day. To those who could not attend because of ill health, may the Lord be with you.
The Lord is at work and His work is progressing. There are people from far and close by who come for help and leave after being helped. My soul thanks the Lord for that. Something great for me is that we still have enough food. The Lord supplies our needs and we do not go hungry.
Devil worshippers have been at the mission for help, and they have been set free from bondage. When I visited one of the mission branches, a woman asked me to pray with her because she was in love with the devil. ‘He comes to me as a snake and I sleep with him,’ she said. If we do not live for the Lord, many spirits can attack us. What brings us the most joy is that the Lord’s work is growing.
We will read a portion that has greatly blessed me. We pray that the Lord will speak to us. We will read how Elisha healed Naaman, how the Lord healed him from his disease. We read that the commander was highly regarded by his king, was a valiant soldier, but a leper.
Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favour, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valour, but he was a leper. 2 Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman's wife. 3 She said to her mistress, “Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” 4 So Naaman went in and told his lord, “Thus and so spoke the girl from the land of Israel.” 5 And the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. 6 And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, “When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Naaman my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy.” 7 And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me.” 8 But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.” 9 So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha's house. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” 11 But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. 13 But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” 14 So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 2 Kings 5:1-14
Let us look at this matter in a spiritual light. Leprosy is symbolic of sin. If we look at it in that way, we will understand.
When the Syrians had conquered, they took this girl along to be in Naaman’s house. She was in exile. But she did not have a vengeful heart. See how respectfully she spoke about her master. ‘Would that my lord would be helped …’. Her mistress did not reprimand her by saying, ‘You are just a child, keep quiet. I won’t trouble my husband with that.’ No, she listened and informed Naaman. Naaman reported the matter to his king. The Syrian king listened and said he would write a letter to the king. However, he did it in the wrong way, he wrote the letter to the king, rather than the Lord’s prophet. The king was distraught when he read the letter, ‘Am I God?’ he said. He was furious and tore his clothes. However, the prophet of the Lord heard about the king’s actions and said to the king, ‘There is a prophet here in Israel, send him to me.’
7 And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me.” 8 But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, “Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.
When Naaman came to Elisha, he just sent Naaman a message to dip himself 7 times in the Jordan river. Naaman became upset. Are you like this? You ask a child of God for advice, you get it and then you are upset, but the Lord gave that person that message for you.
Naaman named the rivers in Damascus, and he was upset that he had to wash in the Jordan. This is where his position as a commander becomes obvious. He left in a rage. Children are often like this. The parents give an instruction, and they walk away upset.
Then his attendants addressed him.
13 But his servants came near and said to him, “My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”
There are people who can help you. Some of us live in areas where there are chiefs. Men can advise their chief and say, ‘We thought to do it this or that way.’ After considering his men’s advice, a chief can accept it. There are people in positions who cannot listen to anything from anyone. The Bible says that there where there is no vision/ideas from others, there is death. (Proverbs 29:18,19) Naaman listened to his men and dipped himself 7 times in the Jordan river.
You may oppose the advice of your counsellor or pastor. A parent can oppose a child who advises the parents about the evil of his/her actions, but the child was sent by God. The Lord has taught us to listen whether something comes from God or from Satan. When someone tells you young man, that your trousers are too tight, or young lady that your dress is not right, you get upset. You only want to be seen. If you would be obedient that leprosy in your life would leave. This young child noticed that her master had leprosy. People watch you. ‘Yes,’ they say, ‘so-and-so believes, but they get angry.’ They notice that when they advise you, you do not listen. When you are told to not do something in a particular way, you get angry. The leprosy they see is stubbornness or anger and you will not be helped.
The work at KSB is growing because we had a leader who listened. He asked the coworkers for their input. ‘Someone has said this, others that, now what do you say?’ he would ask. I realised that he is like the chief who calls his people together and asks them for their views. The husband can ask, ‘Wife, things are like this, what do you say? Children, the matter is like this, what do you say?’ Do not be like a person who has no time to listen. He always does things his way.
Saul was known for the persecution and murder of Christians. He thought he was doing the right thing. You may be known for your tongue that only breaks down. Your works may not be good and that is what you are known for. Yes, they are managers, but they have leprosy. They are preachers, but their way of doing things is not good. You are a mother but the way you go about things is not right. What do people say about us? You may read God’s word and the Lord speaks to you, but you push it aside but that is the word that the Lord wants to bless you with.
Once Naaman was healed and his skin was restored like that of a little child, he wanted to thank the prophet with a gift, but he did not accept it.
20 Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, “My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.” 21 So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. “Is everything all right?” he asked. 22 “Everything is all right,” Gehazi answered. “My master sent me to say, ‘Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.’” 23 “By all means, take two talents,” said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the two talents of silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. 24 When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left. 25 When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” “Your servant didn’t go anywhere,” Gehazi answered. 26 But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? 27 Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow. 2 Kings 5:20-27
Let us consider Gehazi’s sin and judgement.
Elisha did not accept the gifts Naaman offered him, but Gehazi ran after Naaman to take it for himself. Naaman got off his chariot to speak to him. When he got back home, he told Elisha that he had been nowhere. Do you see the lies? This was a person who lived with the prophet of God and when he was asked something, he lied. Lies like these: ‘My boy, why are you so late?’ ‘The taxi broke down, or I was at the neighbours.’ It is astonishing that Gehazi lied to the prophet of God.
26 But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves?
Was not my spirit with you… In today’s terms: I was thinking about you; I saw you on your way to Naaman. At that point Gehazi should have responded with, ‘Oh prophet of God, you have spoken the truth. I took the things and put them in my room.’ The Lord Jesus says that if you speak the truth, it will set you free. Inquire from a girl whether she is having a relationship and she will cry crocodile tears and deny the truth but the boy will say, ‘I know, we are in love.’
27 Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.
You might say that when you tell lies, you do not experience leprosy but spiritually speaking, before God, you have leprosy, and it will affect the generations that follow you. Parents be careful. If you do not repent of your sin, it will enter your children. Right in front of the prophet of God, his face turned white and he became leprous. If the Lord has not been gracious to you and you have not been saved from the leprosy, it will follow you and your children. Gehazi left as white as snow. What is it like in your life? Did you overcome sin in your life before you got married? Are those sins still in your marriage? Have those sins been passed on to your children? Just by lying and saying there was no evidence, Gehazi contracted leprosy. What did the people think when they experienced him turning white as well as his children?
Daniel confessed the sins of those in power, of his fathers, and even his forefathers.
6 We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. Daniel 9:6
People have asked me how they can confess the sins of their father if they do not know them. Confess that you know your parents were not believers and therefore confess their sin of disobedience. Do you see what work you must do? Confess the sins of your fathers. In Nehemiah we read that he confessed the sins of the elders, the priests, and their fathers. You may be troubled by spirits and things that oppress you because you have not confessed the sins of your fathers and those before you.
The small child in his home was aware that Naaman was a commander and he had conquered her nation, but she could pass on the message to his wife who then passed it on to her husband. A child can reprimand the parents about the way they fight at the table, but the parents take the child as nothing when the Lord prompted the child to speak.
Achan caused the nation to suffer because of what he did. (Joshua 7:10) He had taken what was cursed from Jericho and hid it in his tent. Joshua called the nation together to purify themselves and then it came to light that Achan had taken what was cursed and brought it into his home. What happened to Achan’s family? They were stoned and burned. Everything that belonged to him, even his children. Is there nothing in your home that you have received via the back door? Maybe you have received a curse into your home. What you have been given might be stolen and you have a curse on your life. If the Lord comes, you will be like that Samaritan woman who said, ‘Jesus has told me everything I have done.’ If the Lord is at work, He will not hide anything from you.
In Acts 5 something amazing took place with the apostles. This is the story of Annanias and Sapphira.
3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it.
This couple sold their land and took a portion of the sales and laid it at the apostle’s feet. The apostles were filled with the Holy Spirit. A person can lie to people – your siblings or parents, and he can lie to the Holy Spirit. You can lie to a servant of the Lord, a preacher, but you are not lying to them but the Holy Spirit. Brethren, this should shake us so that we live lives that bring honour to the lord. After Ananias lied, he fell to the ground, dead. He was taken out and buried. His wife then came and said the same thing because they had plotted together. She lied and died too.
‘I have been lying for a long time and I am still alive,’ you might say but spiritually you are a corpse. People notice that you do not have what you used to. You are like a corpse before the Lord. There are people who sing, testify or preach so that others can see that they are Christians. You have shown everyone that you want to be seen – a peacock is alive in your life. If we lie, we are spiritual corpses. Even though your face is not white with leprosy, it is obvious that things are going wrong spiritually. Ananias and his wife were exposed before the apostles as liars. May God help us, that when God sends a person to us that we welcome and accept it. This will help us to live in the right way and in the truth.
3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?
When a person lies, it is a sign that Satan has filled his/her heart. If you say that you live for the Lord but you lie, people notice it. They see that your life has changed. This will help us live a life to glorify God in what we do.
Look at Naaman’s pride. He was offended when Elisha sent a message and did not even come out and speak to him. This infuriated him. When someone speaks to a child or his wife and anger springs up, understand that the person is troubled by evil spirits.
In Samuel the Bible says a stubborn person is like an idol worshipper. If you are stubborn and cannot be told, you serve idols.
I am not surprised at how the cell phone is working amongst children. They look at images and it does something to them. A child does not like to be told and they look at these images that have been prayed over by satanists. The sin of disobedience is like the sin of sorcery. You cannot speak to a witchdoctor because he is filled with that spirit and these spirits confuse people. They haunt and fill people. Where did it begin? Disobedience.
If Gehazi had been wise, he would have said, ‘Oh my Lord, I have sinned, what I have taken is already in my house,’ But Gehazi lied to Naaman, and then to Elisha who said that Naaman’s leprosy would be on him and on the generations that followed him. There was no sorrow, no apology from Gehazi. It stuck to him. Leprosy as a symbol of sin. It will help us to wash 7 times in the Jordan.
The Lutherans sing a wonderful hymn about a fountain of the Lord’s blood in which a person may come and wash him/herself. I once said to my mother I wanted to be preacher and the Lord did this for me. If we want to live a Christian life the Lord must enter, and His blood must cleanse us. Let the Lord work in your life.
Conclusion Michael Ngubane
We thank the Lord for opportunities like these. We thank the Lord for a living Gospel. We thank the Lord for the truths that are spoken to us. The crux of the matter is where you wash.
This commander was given instructions and he had to obey. It does not help if we enter and leave with our sin. Each one knows the leprosy within them. We must be thankful that we live now and not at the time when Ananias and his wife did. Do we still lie today? Gehazi lied and he received Naaman’s leprosy.
Young people, do you hear this? If you see that things are not going well, look back. Has it not come from your disobedience and its consequences that follow you into the generations forever?
Gehazi was so close to the prophet Elisha but he had the sin of stealing. Do you want to bring that sin, and curse onto you? Is that what you want to live with? May the Lord grant us the opportunity to cleanse ourselves. Sit down with a child of God and cleanse your life. Make your matter right with God. For how long will you live with your leprosy? That leprosy will also affect those around you until the area around you is infected with the disease. If what comes out of your mouth always has a bitter sting to it and it hurts people, will you keep that forever?
Are you ready to meet the Lord? Today you must be born again to experience eternal life. If you are still busy with your sin, return and be cleansed.