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The Shunammite's attitude to her problem truly is inspiring....also Naaman's attitude to God is somewhat puzzling...he realises that there is just one God,that bowing to other gods is a sin...yet he makes excuses for bowing down to other gods being under the authority of a heathen king...this is a miracle that should've changed his life and the kings...but he chose to thank God for his trouble...and move on without God in His life....
Comparing Naaman's servant and Gehazi....She served with her heart,touched by her master's condition she adviced him seeking no reward for herself...Gehazi on the other hand served because he wanted recognition...and reward....
Elisha went around blessing and feeding people in times of famine...I think it's a call to men of God to leave the call to "sow into fertile ground"ie giving to the prophet to get a prophet's reward....instead to feed the sheep....
God bless you all

I remember several years ago reading about Naaman in some class and learning that the Jordan river was FILTHY. Apparently there were several beautiful and clean rivers right where Naaman was. No one would ever bathe in the Jordan, especially someone of Naaman's status. Funny how God can push us out of our comfort zone in order to receive the forgiveness and cleanliness we need, isn't it?
As an aside, that Guy Rowe portrait is amazing! So detailed and real-looking and beautiful! Thank you for the work you do with this blog- it really is a blessing.

Mike,

It seems several of Elisha's signs and wonders foreshadowed what Christ did on a smaller scale.

Oil - Water into wine

Restoration of Life - Elijah and Elisha prayed and asked - Jesus commanded.

Feeding - as you said

Naaman - cleansing of leper - picture of salvation - great detail in the commentary from bible.org.


Biggest thing that struck me about Naaman was how he had to humble himself to go in the Jordan river.

"As long as Naaman was proud, he would never obey the Lord in humble belief or faith....Self conceit and the various ego trips of men are typical of the unregenerate heart and even of the carnal mind of the regenerate. It is so hard to realize just who we are, mere creatures, and to submit to God’s plan. We must let God be God!"
http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=836

To me, because I went through this process - and it was difficult, becoming humble and willing to submit your will to God's is an INTEGRAL part to the salvation process. I think it is enveloped in the thought that you must come to God with a "right heart" - and HE KNOWS if it is right or not.

Without that humility and abandonment of pride, in my opinion all the praying in the world will not help you achieve salvation. Because that praying will end up being lip service and mean nothing if the Heart is not right.

I can easily see myself as Naaman sitting on his horse saying - "I have to do what???? Hey, I am here am I not??? I showed up, and I am willing to do a lot of things for salvation - get on my knees, pray, acknowledge, but you want what? Complete submission?? I..I..I.. don't know about that???

I am just ever so thankful that God made me aware that what I did initially was not good enough. It was not until I got off "my horse" - was finally broken and submissive that the process of salvation was completed (in my case).

Anka,

Not sure Naaman moved on without God in his life.

"Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, "Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. Please accept now a gift from your servant....

...for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the LORD."

We just don't know. He proclaimed God, and said his sacrifices in future would be to God. But he wanted forgiveness if he got caught in a "state/official" ceremony. (Actually this is a good sign, as it shows a sensitivity and knowledge that it would be wrong to bow down to an idol.)

We don't know how God acted in his case. Maybe it was a needless worry in that after seeing Naaman cured and hearing the story - the king may have exempted Naaman from such ceremonies. The king cared enough to send him to Israel, needs his battle expertise - who knows what compromises for ceremonial functions the king would be inclined to favor.

Elisha's absence of a "yeah or nay" seems to indicate that he was willing to leave it in God's hands.

[commentary gave as an option, that Naaman may even have thrown some of the "earth from Israel" down on ground before kneeling in a ceremony.] - again, we just don't know.

2 Kings 4:18-5:27

I’ve always loved the story of Naaman for two reasons, the first reminds me of why it is important to keep a humble spirit no matter how high and mighty we get, and the second shows me that people who are honest and truthful see and hear the news about God and change their direction.

Naaman couldn’t understand why the prophet didn’t come out of his house to meet him and then became thoroughly offended when a “servant” gave him the message to go wash in the dirty Jordan river. Anger and being incredulous will not stop God from working in ones life if a teachable spirit is within. If Naaman’s men found him unapproachable and beyond reasoning, they would not have been able to encourage him to go do what the prophet told him to do. If Naaman had had a strong sense of “entitlement”, he would never have listened to the “lowly” servant girl and gone to Samaria. To be able to lay aside preconceived notions and to admit, even if only to oneself, there can be some solution to a problem other than the one already thought out means pride has to be set aside.

Too often, we look up to our church’s leadership instead of looking to God. Naaman went looking for an appointment with a prophet and failed to get one, what he did get was an appointment with God. I wonder how many of us miss God because we become offended when the preacher/pastor/priests doesn’t do what we expected him to do or say so we throw out the instructions because the “preacher/pastor/priests didn’t grant a personal meeting and wave his hands all around.

Acts 15:1-35

The verse that has captured my imagination is verse two,

2 Paul and Barnabas, disagreeing with them, argued forcefully and at length.

It is O.K. to disagree on matters. If we are willing to listen to what others have to say, disagreements cause us to think about what we really believe and help us to hone our reasoning skills. Yet some would call that rebellion. Truth will always stand firm no matter what is thrown it’s way. If we are willing to honestly debate an issue and are open to change if we are wrong, arguing forcefully, like Paul and Barnabas, will always yield serendipitous results for all parties in the debate. To take advantage of the find we just have to stop wearing our feelings on our fingertips and put them aside ‘cause how we feel about something and what is truth, more than likely is not synonymous.

Psalm 141:1-10

I wonder if David wrote this Psalm when he had a strong desire to take vengeance on his enemies, specifically when Saul was chasing him. When reading this for today’s reading I got a deep sense of desperation. David would not strike back at Saul because he said Saul was the Lord’s anointed. Although Saul was trying to kill him, David made no offensive attacks to strike back.

Because David was always on the run, he was unable to go to a formal worship service in the Tabernacle.

2 Accept my prayer as incense offered to you,
and my upraised hands as an evening offering.

When someone is attacking you for no reason, our nature is to “bad mouth” them, “talk them down,” but David writes,

3 Take control of what I say, O LORD,
and keep my lips sealed.

No matter what was being said about him or done to him, David seems to say I won’t do to him what he is doing to me, assassinating my character. When I am wronged, I have to fight a sense of entitlement that says I have the right to pay them back. I want to pay back evil for evil and it is a struggle that I don’t always overcome. In order to pay back evil for evil, I believe we take on the character of the currency we use, malevolence

4 Don't let me lust for evil things;
don't let me participate in acts of wickedness. Don't let me share in the delicacies
of those who do evil.

When we set our hearts to give “pay back,” unless someone stops us we go headlong to our destruction.

5 Let the godly strike me!
It will be a kindness! If they reprove me, it is soothing medicine.
Don't let me refuse it. But I am in constant prayer
against the wicked and their deeds.

David goes on to finish this Psalm by saying with a certainty, those who are pursuing him to destroy him will be themselves destroyed because their actions set traps that ensnare them.

Proverbs 17:23

I grew up with secrets, people keeping many secrets, and I will not participate in things done “under cover.” If you’ve got a secret, don’t tell me. Keeping secrets takes too much work and it tires you out trying to keep everything undercover. Eventually the cover will be blown off and what would have been a tiny little scandal if confessed when the incident first happened because a “Perpetrator” (Perp-walk) on the evening news for the world to see. Transparency is the only way to be.

I am still thinking and meditating on the devotional from yesterday, J. Hampton Keathley, III , Th.M. The Rebellion of the Moabites (2 Kings 3:1-12).

~~~
It is an honor for me to regularly minister and to be part of a group called, “In His Image” which is a men’s accountability group dedicated to helping one another walking in purity of heart, mind, marriage, and life.

The past is the present. The call to live in true purity of spirit, mind, life, and marriage is God’s call to Himself. If we do not live in purity, then we will be worshiping a false god. Just like the Moabites and many of the Israelites at the time.

I particularly like these notes by J. Hampton Keathley, III , Th.M. based on 2 Kings 3:

“In the passage before us, Jehoram was faced with the rebellion of the Moabites, one of the long-standing enemies of God’s people. It was Balak, king of Moab, who years before had sought the aid of the prophet Balaam in his attempt to get God to curse Israel.”

What is Baalism? This relates directly to the “Da Vinci Code”, as this book emphasizes a worldview that is consistent with Baalism. I found this most excellent information I wanted to share with you.
Source: http://www.leannepayne.org/home/index.php

“[Dan] Brown’s main purpose, precisely as Canon Dr. Michael Green writes in The Books the Church Suppressed: Fiction and Truth in The Da Vinci Code, is twofold:

1) to make the case for a revival of paganism, which embraces the “sacred feminine” and ... is very much the goddess Gaia concept of New Age thought….Such is the ideology of Monism, as much present in Brown’s book as it is in Eastern Hindu thought.

2) not only to advance the feminist principle of paganism, but to attack Christianity directly. In order to do this he has to undermine the authority of the New Testament records…making use of the Gnostic gospels.

In his comprehensive but wonderfully readable book, Dr. Green tells of debating Duncan Greenlees, a modern “real live Gnostic,” who stated on BBC Radio:

“Gnosticism is a system of direct experiential knowledge of God, the Soul of the Universe. In the early centuries of this era, among a growing Christianity, it took on the form of the Christian faith, while rejecting most of its specific beliefs. ITS WORDING IS THEREFORE LARGELY CHRISTIAN, WHILE ITS SPIRIT IS THAT OF THE LATEST PAGANISM OF THE WEST.”

NOTE THOSE FINAL WORDS: “ITS SPIRIT IS THAT OF THE LATEST PAGANISM OF THE WEST.” THAT IS A VERY ACCURATE ASSESSMENT. IT WAS THE SHREWDNESS OF THE EARLY FATHERS THAT SAW THE MAGNITUDE OF THIS THREAT, AND THAT IS WHY THEY ATTACKED GNOSTICISM SO ROBUSTLY.

Never since the early centuries of the Christian church has there been a greater attack on the holy Scriptures and the divinity of Christ as we in the West now see. Baal and Ashtoreth worship is now fully established, even in America.

NOW THAT GNOSTICISM AS NEW AGE PAGANISM IS SEEN FOR THE BLATANTLY PERVERTED AND SEXUALLY IDOLATROUS ENDS IT SERVES, SLEEPY CHRISTIANS WHOSE LAMPS HAVE RUN LOW ON OIL MUST BEGIN TO READ THE SCRIPTURES WITH NEW EYES.

CHRISTIANS MUST BE ENLIGHTENED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT AND BY THEIR OWN PRICELESS CHRISTIAN HISTORIES AND DOCTRINES THAT THEY HAVE, IN THE WEST’S MATERIALISTIC CULTURE, SO WEAKLY DEFENDED AND LOST SIGHT OF.

Our freedoms as Christians, hard bought in the West, are swiftly being lost, and people are waking up to the fact that our nations are at stake in this battle. We hardly recognize the culture we are now living in, the tower of Babel loosed by the paganisms that have so wantonly been allowed to come in.

Dr. Green sounds the warning all Christians must hear in showing where the “sacred feminine” is leading. These are only a few excerpts from this valuable book, and it is with thanks to Monarch Books that special permission is given to quote them:

We get nearer to the essence of Brown’s position in the most graphic scene in the book. It is what Brown calls the hieros gamos, the “sacred marriage”, where masked men and women engage in a sexual orgy. His hero explains that this is not really about eroticism but rather a very ancient ceremony designed by the ancient Egyptians to promote fertility. It was here that the participants encountered the god. The man could achieve knowledge of the divine through orgasm, and the woman through the miracle of childbearing. He says, “The ability of the woman to produce life from her womb made her sacred. A god.”

Leanne Payne
~~~

MY NOTE: The clarity of truth as well as emotional, mental, and spiritual freedom of the Gospel FOR ALL CHRISTIANS IN ALL LANDS is precious.

All Christians everywhere have a stake in knowing and defending the Truth of the Gospel against the lies of Baalism and sexual immorality.

I end with this quote by J. Hampton Keathley, III , Th.M. The Rebellion of the Moabites (2 Kings 3:1-12).

“Many today have a knowledge of God; they believe that He exists; they may even believe in His Son, but they just do not take Him at His word. Many play at their religious life. During the week, by their own viewpoint, priorities and language, they act as though God were not even involved. On Sunday they do their little ‘nod to God,’ but for the rest of the week it is business as usual.”

Vance

Psalms 141:3 really stands out to me this morning, “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord. Keep watch over the door of my lips.” Through the lips of my mouth can come gossip, lies, slander, hateful or sarcastic words, or words said in a tone of voice that can invoke hurting another person’s feelings. I think this is a verse that I need to include over and over again in my daily prayers!

God Bless!
Pat

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