In the first post on Scars, stains, Scandals, and Stars, we dwelt on the subject of Scars.
Text: 2 Kings 5:1
Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, accepted [and acceptable], because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.
There is an Urhobo name I admire so much: “Onojakaroma”; it means, “who is without some form of suffering”. Usually when women, in particular, quarrel in a typical Urhobo polygamous family, your opponent will look for a defect or an issue you are ashamed of to insult or belittle you. Sometimes, some can even deliberately get drunk and pick a quarrel with you just to insult you or release an offensive information he/she has about you.
In the text above, Naaman was described as a Commander of the army of the King of Syria. He was said to be a great man with his master. He was even used of the Lord to defeat Israel’s army. He was a mighty man of valour. Then the word but was introduced into the description; he was a leper.
Leprosy is characterized by ugly facial features, particularly with lepromatous leprosy.
There were only two types of people that wore bells as part of their clothing in the Old Testament. The priest wore bells at the helm of his gown so that when he is busy in the Holy of Holies, the jingling of the bells signaled that he was still alive. When those outside didn’t hear the jingling of the bells, they tugged on the rope that is around his waist. If there was no response from him, the rope is used to drag him out. A leper also wears a bell round his waist, he announces his approach with the bell and screams, “Leper! Leper!! Leper!!!”
Leprosy affects the nerves so there is loss of sensitivity in the extremities like the toes and fingers. The resultant loss of toes leads to loss of dynamism and speed. The loss of fingers reduces the ability to grip objects firmly. Sometimes, there is a collapse of the bridge of the nose and this affects their speech.
1. Lepers were not expected to mix with people. Why was Naaman commanding an army?
2. Why did Naaman have access to the king and even be held in high esteem by the king?
3. With lost extremities and loss of sensation in his fingers, how was he able to grab a sword, spear, or bow and arrow?
4. With loss of toes, how was he able to ride a horse and be dynamic?
5. With the possible collapse of the bridge of the nose and the resultant effect on his voice, how was he able to command the army?
6. Why would God use a leper to give victory to Syria over Israel?
7. If God did not love Naaman, why did Jehovah eventually allow Naaman to be healed?
There are some things that happen in your life that are perceived as stains in your perfect history; you wished they never happened. Single mothers are usually tolerated by the Church. Sometimes the child born could be out of wedlock or the father absconded.
You might be very anointed but there is a history of divorce in your life as a Man of God.
Solomon was born out of an adulterous relationship between David and Bathsheba. Steve Jobs of Apple was born out of wedlock to a Syrian father. The father of the mother, Catherine, said they should put “that thing” up for adoption. He was adopted by Clara and Jacob Jobs, and he turned out to be one of the richest and greatest humans that ever lived. Solomon turned out to be one of the wisest kings that ever lived.
There is no unwanted child. There is no illegitimate child. There is no single mother. There was, most likely, a father irresponsible for the pregnancy. A single parent is a responsible huswife—a fusion of a husband and wife—or a famther—a father and mother fused in a mother. Many great men and women were raised by single parents and grandparents. Barack Obama is a great example; his mother married twice and his father had other children.
Don’t let your bad family background hold you to the ground. You did not create it; you can create a new history.
A 15-year-old girl got pregnant for a 55-year-old widower. In those days it was a taboo amongst the Salvation Army folks. The young girl prayed, “Oh Lord, I was born to be an international evangelist, but today I can’t preach; give me a baby girl that will preach the message I was to preach.” That girl was born and named Amie. She got married, her husband died, and she was divorced twice. But she is Aimee Semple McPherson, the founder of the Foursquare Church.
If you trace the lineage of Jesus, you will see a lot of stained people—Ruth, Rahab, Tamar—but the God of mercy still used them. Mercy is from the Hebrew word, ‘Hesed’; it means that when God finishes handling your case, it is as if what went wrong never existed. God is not as unforgiving as Church folks; he has what is called Prerogative of Mercy.
Who would have used a man like Saul, called Paul?
Who would have used a boy called “Charlie Pokes” to become Rev. Dr. Apoki Charles?
It is now fashionable to dig up the past of people. God does not have such records once you get born again.
There is even something better. Naaman was healed by Jehovah after he dipped himself into the River. There is an endless and limitless flow of the blood of Jesus that can still cleanse that stain. I hear clearly in my spirit that you must forgive yourself, walk away from your past after shutting the door of grace against them. His finished work on Calvary is enough. We are who we are by His grace.
Remember the Urhobo word, Onojakaroma.
God bless you.
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