2 Kings 5:1-19 (Part 1) – Pride, “You Have Got to Go!”

Posted: April 24, 2019 in 12-2 Kings

2 Kings 5:1-19 (Part 1 of 4)

The Healing of Naaman

One of my favorite female comedians is Angelah Johnson. She is cleverly funny and she has some characters that she steps into during her comedy routines that are just hilarious. One of those characters is a young girl that is this combination of black hip-hop girl and a Latino gangsta girl and her name is Bon Qui Qui. The origin of this character for Angelah was during an episode of the sketch comedy show that’s no longer on the air but its name was MADtv. This character is an employee at a knock off of Burger King called King Burger. The scene goes like this:

Bon Qui Qui is shown at the register for King Burger, talking on her cell phone]

Bon Qui Qui [on phone]: So Marcus was supposed to meet me yesterday and he didn’t even show up. Girl I will cut him. Girl yes I will, remember last time alright when he had said he didn’t hook up with Tracy…

[Customer #1 is seen approaching the register]

Bon Qui Qui [on phone]: …girl I cut him. Oh yes I did girl!

Customer #1: Excuse me…

Bon Qui Qui [on phone]: Yes I did! Yes I…

[sees Customer #1]

Bon Qui Qui: Uh, do you see me in the middle of a conversation? Don’t interrupt. Rude.

[Customer #1 looks baffled]

Bon Qui Qui: Girl I’m gonna have to call you back.

[Annoyed, Bon Qui Qui hangs up the phone]

Bon Qui Qui: Welcome to King Burger, where we could do it your way…but don’t get crazy.

Customer #1: Sorry…can I get a number 6 with a cookies ‘n’ cream milkshake?

Bon Qui Qui: *groans*. You sure you don’t just want a Coke?

Customer #1: …Pardon?

Bon Qui Qui: Now I gotta get the ice cream out, gotta get all the cookies in it, I don’t even know how to use that blender – I gotta be pressin’ all these crazy buttons…no. You could have a coke. [on loudspeaker] Lemme get a #6 with a large coke. Next.

Customer #2: Hi, I’ll have a #3 with no cheese, no tomato, and no lettuce.

Bon Qui Qui: Dang, anything else?! [on loudspeaker] I got a complicated order. *glares at the customer*. Lemme get a #3 with no cheese, no tomato…

Customer #2: Wait, wait, wait – I’m sorry, I…

Bon Qui Qui: Um, excuse me, sir. You see me tryin’ to put in my order? Don’t interrupt. Rude. [on loudspeaker] …and no lettuce. That’s it. [to customer] What?

Customer #2: I changed my mind about the cheese.

Bon Qui Qui: Oh, now you want some cheese?

Customer #2: Yes!

Bon Qui Qui: You see me puttin’ in the order. Why didn’t you say nothin’ in the first place?

Customer #2: I tried to, but…

Bon Qui Qui: Uh-uh! No, sir! Don’t get loud with me sir, do NOT get loud with me! Oh no! SECURITY, security, this dude needs to go.

Mr. Williams: Bon Qui Qui…

Bon Qui Qui: Oh hey Mr. Williams. How you doin’ today, sir?

Mr. Williams: I’ve had better days, Bon Qui Qui. This is the fifth time you’ve called security today. Now how many times do I have to tell you, you cannot call security just because someone has a complicated order.

Bon Qui Qui: Is that what you had said?

Mr. Williams: Yes, that’s what I had said.

Bon Qui Qui: Oh, ok…you right, Mr. Williams. My bad, i’m sorry. Next, please.

Customer #3: Hi, can I get a number five with a boneless skinless chicken that is slightly seasoned.

Bon Qui Qui: HAHA! No. SECURITY! Security, this chick needs to go. Needs to go.

Mr. Williams: Bon Qui Qui, what?

Bon Qui Qui: Sir, she was tryin’ to fight me, sir.

Customer #3: No I wasn’t!

Bon Qui Qui: I will CUT you.

Mr. Williams: I’m sorry, she’s with our “out of the hood” program.

The reason I bring this up is that one of my favorite parts of this spoof of the worst customer service EVER is when she says “You have got to go!” in her best young thug girl accent.

In this passage, we see pride in action. As Bon Qui Qui would say, “You have got to go!” Pride has got to go. How often do we let pride get in our way of our relationship with God? We want God to do things our way. We don’t want to go out of our way. Here, in this passage we see a man suffering from a skin disease but he gets miffed because he was not treated with honor and then he didn’t want to do what he was directed to do because the river was small and muddy. How many of us act that way in our relationship with God?

We want a relationship with God but don’t make us change. We want a relationship with God but don’t make serve him when it’s inconvenient. We want a relationship with God but don’t make it a complicated order! We want a relationship with God but on our terms. We don’t want God to teach us anything. We don’t want God to stretch beyond our comfort zone. We just want a convenient, easy relationship with God where we are the ones in control. Just as Bon Qui Qui didn’t want to be bothered by customers and wanted things all her way, so too do we often let pride get in our way and it has “got to go!” We want all the blessings of God but none of the hassles of having him reveal our shortcomings to us or stretching us beyond what we want to give. We want God’s blessings but we don’t want to get dirty or messy. We want an easy relationship with God that does not require us to humble ourselves below our idea of what we deserve.

Aren’t you and I like that with God? We want him to answer our prayers but in the way that we want and think we deserve. We want him to change us as long as it doesn’t hurt or require any sacrifice. We want to grow in him but as long as it doesn’t cause us to see ourselves as we really are. I know that I often have let pride get in the way of my relationship with God.

Here recently, God has revealed that I still have pride issues and he has humbled me to see that I do not know it all. He has revealed to me that I still have much to learn. He has revealed to me that I am not the most talented guy on the block. He has revealed to be that I will not always be the best and the brightest. He has revealed to me that I must be patient, too, as He teaches me what I need at this moment in my growth in Christ. He has revealed to me that I must put in the work in my spiritual growth just as I do in my physical exercise. Spiritual growth sometimes requires pain for the gain. He has revealed to me that I must humble myself before those whom He has put over me and say “I don’t know” or say “You know better than I”.  The only way that we grow deeper in our relationship with God and move into to the blessings that He has for you is to humble yourself before the Creator and say, “Lord, teach me what I need to know about myself and what you want me to learn so that I am ready for what you have next for me!” Sometimes, this process is painful. When God reveals the reality of our own shortcomings to us is an humbling experience. However, it is necessary for us to receive what God has in store for us next. And it never stops. When we are truly seeking after God and to become more and more like Christ, He reveals our pet sins, our hidden corners of pride as we mature in Him.

It was that idea of having humility so that we can grow into what God wants us to be, having humility to learn what God wants us to learn, having humility to let God have His way instead of our own way is what I thought of this morning when I read 2 Kings 5:1-19 this morning. We want to grow in Christ but we want it to be convenient to us. With that idea in mind, let’s read the passage now:

5 The king of Aram had great admiration for Naaman, the commander of his army, because through him the Lord had given Aram great victories. But though Naaman was a mighty warrior, he suffered from leprosy.[a]

2 At this time Aramean raiders had invaded the land of Israel, and among their captives was a young girl who had been given to Naaman’s wife as a maid. 3 One day the girl said to her mistress, “I wish my master would go to see the prophet in Samaria. He would heal him of his leprosy.”

4 So Naaman told the king what the young girl from Israel had said. 5 “Go and visit the prophet,” the king of Aram told him. “I will send a letter of introduction for you to take to the king of Israel.” So Naaman started out, carrying as gifts 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold,[b] and ten sets of clothing. 6 The letter to the king of Israel said: “With this letter I present my servant Naaman. I want you to heal him of his leprosy.”

7 When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes in dismay and said, “Am I God, that I can give life and take it away? Why is this man asking me to heal someone with leprosy? I can see that he’s just trying to pick a fight with me.”

8 But when Elisha, the man of God, heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes in dismay, he sent this message to him: “Why are you so upset? Send Naaman to me, and he will learn that there is a true prophet here in Israel.”

9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and waited at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.”

11 But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! 12 Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” So Naaman turned and went away in a rage.

13 But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “Sir,[c] if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’” 14 So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his skin became as healthy as the skin of a young child, and he was healed!

15 Then Naaman and his entire party went back to find the man of God. They stood before him, and Naaman said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”

16 But Elisha replied, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept any gifts.” And though Naaman urged him to take the gift, Elisha refused.

17 Then Naaman said, “All right, but please allow me to load two of my mules with earth from this place, and I will take it back home with me. From now on I will never again offer burnt offerings or sacrifices to any other god except the Lord. 18 However, may the Lord pardon me in this one thing: When my master the king goes into the temple of the god Rimmon to worship there and leans on my arm, may the Lord pardon me when I bow, too.”

19 “Go in peace,” Elisha said. So Naaman started home again.

In this passage, we see that Naaman, a great hero, was used to getting respect, so he was outraged when Elisha treated him like an ordinary person. A proud man, he expected royal treatment. To wash in a great river was one thing, but the Jordan River is not a mighty river – it’s rather puny when compared to the great rivers of the world. Further, not only is it is a small river but the water is also muddy and not clear. To wash in the Jordan, Naaman thought, was beneath a man of his position. Yet, he was suffering from leprosy. He was sick but was letting his pride get in the way. But Naaman had to humble himself and obey Elisha’s commands in order to be healed. Obedience to God begins with humility.

We must believe that His way is better than our own. We may not always understand His ways of working, but by humbly obeying, we will receive His blessings. We must remember that (1) God’s ways are best since He is God and we are not, (2) God wants our obedience more than anything else, and (3) God can use anything to accomplish his purposes.

Let us, Oh Lord, humble ourselves before you and realize that you are God and we are not. Help us to see that we are your children and You are our Father. Help us to accept your discipline when we need it to grow into the child of God that you want us to become. Help us to lose our pride that prevents us and blinds us from what we need to see in order to grow in our relationship with You. Help us to trust You even in the hard things that you have to teach us about ourselves. Help us to learn so that we can be more useful to you in your Kingdom. Help us to step into the muddy rivers that you ask us to step in even when we think it is beneath our dignity. Help us to realize that everything that we go through is being used by you for our good. Help us to see that even the tough things that you ask us to go through are preparation for what you have prepared for us. Help us to do the things that we don’t want to go through so that we can come out on the other side and see the blessings that you have in store for us.

Amen and Amen.

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