Study Guide

During a tense period of Israel’s history, a powerful pagan commander—Naaman—finds himself in a place of need. Stricken by leprosy, Naaman is led by a series of events to the door of God’s prophet Elisha. Coming to the end of himself, Naaman takes a posture of humility, and God not only heals him, but changes his heart as well.
  1. Consider the king of Israel in this narrative—he is fearful, anxious, and unable to trust God in an overwhelming moment. Do you see these qualities in yourself? How can you cultivate a heart of trust in God?

  2. What can we learn from Elisha’s ministry to Naaman? What are some specific ways we can challenge those around us to consider the authenticity of their faith?

  3. Even though Naaman is in a position of power and authority, he’s able to humble himself and release his entitlement. What does it look like for you to lead a grateful life and not be entitled?

  4. When we demand access to God on our terms, we become spiritual blacksmiths—creating idols that are simply extensions of ourselves and our desires. How have you seen this play out in your life?

  5. Have you ever come to the end of yourself and reached a point of desperation for Jesus? If so, how has having more of Jesus and less of yourself produced life change in you?

Key Points
  • In an uncertain circumstance, Israel’s king is fragile. He collapses under the weight of leadership and is unable to trust God. In the same way, we are often stressed and anxious because we have not previously cultivated a heart that trusts in God.

  • In contrast, Elisha views Naaman’s request as an opportunity to see God work. He moves towards God with a heart of trust.

  • Although Naaman’s initial response to Elisha’s instructions is anger, he is able to humble himself and act in faith

  • Likewise, we must reach the end of ourselves and release our entitlement. Demanding God on our terms doesn’t work.

  • In Matthew 15, we see this same desperation for Jesus play out in the life of a Gentile woman. Even in the face of repeated rejection, she pursues Jesus with endurance and faith.

  • You either want more of yourself or more of God. True desperation for God results in persevering pursuit of him.

  • Namaan’s life is radically changed by God’s healing, both physically and spiritually. He becomes gracious, kind, and easy to lead. That same change should characterize us as God’s people.

Other Scripture References

Scripture: 2 Kings 5

Topics: Anxiety, Arrogance, Self Reliance