Friday, July 17
Further Study: “Centuries after Naaman returned to his Syrian home, healed on body and converted in spirit, his wonderful faith was referred to and commended by the Saviour as an object lesson for all who claim to server God. Many lepers ere in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet, “the Saviour declared; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. Luke 4:27. God passed over the many lepers in Israel because their unbelief closed the door of good to them. A heathen nobleman who had been true to his convictions of right, and who felt his need of help, was in the sight of God more worthy of His blessing then were the afflicted in Israel, who had slighted and despised their God-given privileges. God works for those who appreciate His favors and respond to the light given them from heaven.”-Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, pp. 252, 253.
Discussion Questions :
1. Over the years a great deal of discussion has ensued over what happened after the healing of Naaman. In 2 Kings 5:17-19, Naaman makes a powerful confession of faith, saying, :for your servant will no longer offer either burnt offering of sacrifice to other gods, but to the LORD,” (vs. 17, NKJV). However, right after, he says, “when my master goes into the temple of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow down in the temple of Rimmon-when I bow down in the temple or Rimmon, may the LORD please pardon your servant in this thing, “ (vs. 18, NKJV). What are the implications of Elisha’s reply? To what extent do Christian missionaries have to exercise patience and understanding to new converts, especially when they come to us from a different religious and cultural background?
2. How rapidly should enculturation of new converts take place? “The widow of Sarepta and Naaman the Syrian had lived up to all the light they had; hence they were accounted more righteous than God’s chosen people who had backslidden from Him and had sacrificed principle to convenience and worldly honor.” – Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 416.
3. Healing and salvation came to Naaman by a faith revealed in is actions. Discuss more the whole question of the relationship between faith and works. Why is it so important to understand the crucial yet distinct roles both have in the experience of salvation?