2 Kings 5* Naaman's leprosy. (1-8) The cure of it. (9-14) Elisha refusesNaaman's gifts. (15-19) Gehazi's covetousness and falsehood.(20-27)1-8 Though the Syrians were idolaters, and oppressed God'speople, yet the deliverance of which Naaman had been the means,is here ascribed to the Lord. Such is the correct language ofScripture, while those who write common history, plainly showthat God is not in all their thoughts. No man's greatness, orhonour, can place him our of the reach of the sorest calamitiesof human life: there is many a sickly, crazy body under rich andgay clothing. Every man has some but or other, something thatblemishes and diminishes him, some allay to his grandeur, somedamp to his joy. This little maid, though only a girl, couldgive an account of the famous prophet the Israelites had amongthem. Children should be early told of the wondrous works ofGod, that, wherever they go, they may talk of them. As became agood servant, she desired the health and welfare of her master,though she was a captive, a servant by force; much more shouldservants by choice, seek their masters' good. Servants may beblessings to the families where they are, by telling what theyknow of the glory of God, and the honour of his prophets. Naamandid not despise what she told, because of her meanness. It wouldbe well if men were as sensible of the burden of sin as they areof bodily disease. And when they seek the blessings which theLord sends in answer to the prayers of his faithful people, theywill find nothing can be had, except they come as beggars for afree gift, not as lords to demand or purchase. 9-14 Elisha knew Naaman to be a proud man, and he would let himknow, that before the great God all men stand upon the samelevel. All God's commands make trial of men's spirits,especially those which direct a sinner how to apply for theblessings of salvation. See in Naaman the folly of pride; a curewill not content him, unless he be cured with pomp and parade.He scorns to be healed, unless he be humoured. The way by whicha sinner is received and made holy, through the blood, and bythe Spirit of Christ, through faith alone in his name, does notsufficiently humour or employ self, to please the sinner'sheart. Human wisdom thinks it can supply wiser and bettermethods of cleansing. Observe, masters should be willing to hearreason. As we should be deaf to the counsel of the ungodly,though given by great and respected names, so we are to have ourears open to good advice, though brought by those below us.Wouldst thou not do any thing? When diseased sinners are contentto do any thing, to submit to any thing, to part with any thing,for a cure, then, and not till then, is there any hope of them.The methods for the healing of the leprosy of sin, are so plain,that we are without excuse if we do not observe them. It is but,Believe, and be saved; Repent, and be pardoned; Wash, and beclean. The believer applies for salvation, not neglecting,altering, or adding to the Saviour's directions; he is thus madeclean from guilt, while others, who neglect them, live and diein the leprosy of sin. 15-19 The mercy of the cure affected Naaman more than themiracle. Those are best able to speak of the power of Divinegrace, who themselves experience it. He also shows himselfgrateful to Elisha the prophet. Elijah refused any recompence,not because he thought it unlawful, for he received presentsfrom others, but to show this new convert that the servants ofthe God of Israel looked upon worldly wealth with a holycontempt. The whole work was from God, in such a manner, thatthe prophet would not give counsel when he had no directionsfrom the Lord. It is not well violently to oppose the lessermistakes which unite with men's first convictions; we cannotbring men forward any faster than the Lord prepares them toreceive instruction. Yet as to us, if, in covenanting with God,we desire to reserve any known sin, to continue to indulgeourselves in it, that is a breach of his covenant. Those whotruly hate evil, will make conscience of abstaining from allappearances of evil. 20-27 Naaman, a Syrian, a courtier, a soldier, had manyservants, and we read how wise and good they were. Elisha, aholy prophet, a man of God, has but one servant, and he proves abase liar. The love of money, that root of all evil, was at thebottom of Gehazi's sin. He thought to impose upon the prophet,but soon found that the Spirit of prophecy could not bedeceived, and that it was in vain to lie to the Holy Ghost. Itis folly to presume upon sin, in hopes of secrecy. When thougoest aside into any by-path, does not thy own conscience gowith thee? Does not the eye of God go with thee? He that covershis sin, shall not prosper; particularly, a lying tongue is butfor a moment. All the foolish hopes and contrivances of carnalworldlings are open before God. It is not a time to increase ourwealth, when we can only do it in such ways as are dishonourableto God and religion, or injurious to others. Gehazi waspunished. If he will have Naaman's money, he shall have hisdisease with it. What was Gehazi profited, though he gained twotalents, when thereby he lost his health, his honour, his peace,his service, and, if repentance prevented not, his soul forever? Let us beware of hypocrisy and covetousness, and dread thecurse of spiritual leprosy remaining on our souls.
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