There is a Prophet in Israel – 1

The two major stories of Naaman and Gehazi are complicated stories. They involve no less than ten characters, multiple themes, and many plots. My primary question concerns the reason for its inclusion in the book. Why did the writer include the blessing of Naaman and the curse of Gehazi?

The purpose of the writer of the book of Kings will help answer our question. He wants to show the failure of Israel’s kings to trust God and obey Him. Such disobedience is the cause of Israel’s current exile in Babylon. He also wants to demonstrate the role of the prophets in calling the kings and the nation of Israel back to the terms of the covenant.

There is another aim—to reiterate the Mosaic stipulation to love the stranger and welcome the foreigner (cf. Deut. 10:19; 1 Ki. 8:41-43). Naaman is an enemy of Israel. But he is a foreigner in need—somebody that the Mosaic law expects the kings of Israel to accommodate. Yet I think the ultimate aim of the healing of Naaman is “evangelistic.” A key verse is v. 8, “that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel.” That pagan Naaman later declares that the only true God is in Israel, shows that this aim was achieved. We see these aims achieved in the unfolding of the stories.

Today, we shall study the first major story—the miraculous healing of Naaman. The following outline reflects the plot and subplots of the story. . . . more

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