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Christ Lutheran Church of the Deaf
Silver Spring, Maryland

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#6
Naaman's Slave
The girl who forgave
2 Kings 5
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OLD TESTAMENT LESSON: 2nd KINGS 5:1-4 
     1.  The king of the country SYRIA respected and liked  the chief officer in his army named NAAMAN, and the Lord God gave him many victories in battle.  NAAMAN was famous, but he also had the sickness LEPROSY.
     2.  Many times the army sent small groups to destroy and steal in the country ISRAEL, and once they took a little girl and gave her to be the servant for NAAMAN'S wife.
     3.  One day the little girl said to the wife, "I wish your husband would go visit the prophet living in the country SAMARIA.  He would heal his sickness LEPROSY."
     4.  NAAMAN told the king the things the girl said.  The king told NAAMAN, "Go and visit the prophet."
 
EPISTLE LESSON: Romans 12:14-21
     14. Those people who hurt you?  You bless them.  Don't curse them.
     15. Those people who are happy?   You rejoice with them.
            Those people who are sad?  You grieve with them.
     16. Live in peace with each-other [fellowship].
           Don't be-proud and stuck-up [nose in the air], but make friends with people who seem unimportant. 
     17. If someone does wrong to you, do not pay him back by doing wrong to him. Try to do what everyone thinks is right.
     18. Try to live in peace with everyone, if you can.
     19. My friends, when people do wrong to you, don't try to punish them.  Wait for God to punish them with His anger. The Lord says, "I will punish those who do wrong.  I will get-even."
     20. But you should do what?  If your enemy is hungry, feed him.  If your enemy thirsty, give him a drink. When you do this, he will feel like you are pouring burning COALS on his head.”
     21. Do not let evil defeat you, but you defeat evil.  How? Doing good.
 
GOSPEL LESSON:  Matthew 6:9-15
9.  Jesus said: When you pray, you should pray like this:

       "Our Father in heaven,
       YOUR name is holy.
10. YOUR kingdom come
        and what YOU want done,
        happen here on earth same-as in heaven.
11. Give us the food we need for each day.
12. Forgive us for our sins,
      the same-as we forgive people who sin against us.
13. And do not lead us to become tempted,
      but save us from the Evil One."

14. Yes.  If you forgive other people for their sins, your Father in heaven will also forgive you for your sins.
15. But if you don’t forgive other people, your Father in heaven will not forgive your sins.




Many of you know the true story about SAINT PATRICK.

Patrick was born, where? Ireland? 
    No. Sorry.
    He was born in England.

His father was a Christian pastor.

When Patrick was a teenager, some PIRATES from Ireland captured Patrick and they forced him to become their slave.

Later Patrick escaped.

But he went back to Ireland, because the Irish people didn't know Jesus.  And Patrick want to tell them.

Patrick is like the Jewish slave girl in our story.

We don't know her name.
We don't know her age.
The Bible says that she was "a young girl."
She was old enough to know about the prophet ELISHA.

We don't know anything about her parents.
But we know that they taught her wisdom,
    good character,
    respect,
    and concern for other people.

Imagine how the parents felt when foreign soldiers stole that girl from her family.  Grief!

Imagine how that girl felt, now a slave in a foreign country.
"Not fair! Not right!"

That girl easily could become angry and bitter.
She could serve only because they forced her.

She could easily say,
    "My boss is sick with LEPROSY?  Good!
    God is punishing him!"

But that's not her attitude.

That man who captured her and forced her to become a slave,
    she felt pity for him.
    She wanted what was best for him.

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What lessons can we learn from this young Jewish slave girl?
What does she teach us?

First, this girl teaches us how to forgive.

Remember when soldiers crucified Jesus.
On the cross, His first sentence was what?
    "Father, forgive them. 
    They don't know what they are doing."

One of those two men crucified with Jesus screamed curses.
But Jesus prayed for his crucifiers.
Jesus prayed for their salvation.


The second thing that this girl teaches us
    is to feel concern for other people,

She felt concerned for her master's health.

When she forgave Naaman, and showed true concern for him,
the most wonderful thing happened --
    Naaman became saved!

God healed not only his body.
    God also saved his soul.

That little Jewish slave girl told him,
    "The prophet will heal you."
But after Naaman became healed [finish],
    he rightly understood that GOD healed him.

Naaman told the prophet,
    "Now I know that the God of Israel,
        HE is the only God -- none other.
    I will not offer any sacrifice to any other gods
        but only to the LORD."


Many years later, in the New Testament --
    remember when STEPHEN preached about Jesus.
    That made SAUL mad.

Saul led a group that threw rocks on Stephen.
The minute before Stephen died,
    he forgave Saul,
    and he prayed the same as Jesus prayed on the cross --
        "Lord, don't blame them for this sin."
        Forgive them.
   
Then Stephen died.

That prayer had great success.  How?
    Jesus touched Saul,
    Saul became a Christian,
    and changed his name to PAUL,
    and he traveled over the world preaching about Jesus.


Forgive!
Show concern!
That has great influence that we can't imagine.

Naturally, ourselves alone, we can't forgive.
    We don't-know how to forgive.
    We don't-want to forgive.
 
But Jesus in us can do what He always does.
    He loves.
    He forgives.
    He feels concern for other people.
    He gives us a new heart for becoming like Him.

--------------------

We pray:

Lord, Jesus,
    Thank you that You already forgave us.
    Now help us truly forgive.
    Help us feel true concern.
    Help us introduce people to You.
Amen.

 
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Notes for more study

2 Kings 5
Matthew 5:38-48
Mark 11:25
Luke 23:33-34
Ephesians 6:5-9

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Who was NAAMAN.

Who is he?
The Bible says that he was the chief army officer in Syria.

And, it is very interesting that the Bible says that GOD help him win battles against Israel. 

That seems really strange.
The God of Israel,
    helping Israel's enemies
    defeat Israel.
Why?
Because, during that time, the people of Israel ignored God,
    and they worshipped false gods -- idols.
So God used Syria for "spanking" Israel.

Again we see that God doesn't want us to only have religion.
God wants us to have a relationship with Him.
God is jealous when we focus on false gods.
He will do things to help us wake up and focus back on Him.
But what does the Bible say about Naaman's attitude?
    ...his character?

We see two things.

First, we see that Naaman, the chief army officer,
    he understood that he also is a servant.

His boss is who?  The King.

Naaman saw that he had the responsibility for making the King successful.

Naaman did everything for helping the King
    ...the same attitude that the Jewish slave girl had
        for Naaman and his wife.

The King saw that humble servant attitude in Naaman,
    and the King appreciated that.
    So the King respected and supported Naaman.

The second thing we see in Naaman is that he accepted advice from people below him,
    first from his Jewish slave girl,
    then again later from his servants who went with him
        to visit the prophet Elisha.

Naaman was not a harsh boss.  He was kind.
And his kind attitude for his servants
    won their support, their LOYALTY.

Naaman is a good example for all who have authority.