"BEHOLD, I THOUGHT"
2 Kgs. 5.
1. Our thoughts, many times, will lead us astray if we do not watch.
A. Especially is this true concerning our obligations to our almighty God.
1) Note the following scriptures: Gen. 6:15; Prov. 15:26; Isa. 55:6-9.
B. God knows our thoughts: -- Psa. 94:11.
C. Our thoughts can condemn us: -- Acts 8:;22; Prov. 24:9.
D. We are to guard our thoughts: -- Phil. 4:7.
E. Out of the heart come evil thoughts: -- Matt. 15:9; Mk. 7:21.
2. Some things that have to do with our thoughts:
A. Think on the loving kindness of God: -- Psa. 48:9-14.
B. Think upon the name of God: -- Mal. 3:16-18.
C. Think on the ways of God: -- Psa. 119:57-60.
D. "As one thinks in his heart, so is he." Prov. 23:7.
E. The successful farmer thought about his goods, but made the wrong decision about their use: -- Lk. 12:17.
F. If any man thinks he knows anything, he knows nothing as he should know it: -- 1 Cor 8:2.
G. "Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall." 1 Cor. 10:12.
H. "If any man thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself." Gal. 6:3.
I. "I think it meet as long as I am in the flesh, to stir you up by reminding you." 2 Pet. 1:13.
J. If there be any praise...: -- Phil. 4:8.
K. "Beware that there be not a base thought in thy heart..." Deut. 15:9.
L. Also note: Prov. 12:5; Jer. 6:19.
I. WHEN ISRAEL CAME UP OUT OF EGYPT, GOD PLACED TEHM UNDER JUDGES.
A. He was their king.
B. Judges were raised up to help the people in time of dire need.
C. But the people, in their minds and thoughts, felt like they needed earthly kings to rule over them like those of the nations around them.
D. Even though Samuel disagreed with them about having a king, God allowed them to have such.
1. Hosea says concerning kings: "I gave you a king in my anger, and took him away in my wrath." Hos. 13:11.
E. Saul was the first king of Israel. He reigned over the united kingdom for 40 years.
1. David was the second king, reigning over the united kingdom for 40 years.
2. Solomon, David's son, was the third king who reigned over the united kingdom for 40 years.
II. THE KINGDOM WAS DIVIDED WITH JEROBOAM, THE SON OF NEBAT, BEING GIVEN TEN OF THE TWELVE TRIBES, REIGNED OVER THEM FROM THE CITY OF SAMARIA.
III. REHOBOAM, THE SON OF SOLOMON, WAS GIVEN TWO TRIBES TO REIGN OVER FROM JERUSALEM.
A. Because of the thoughts of the young men in Judah, Rehoboam made things worse for the two tribes over which he ruled.
B. A continuing line of kings continued to be over the two divisions of the kingdom.
C. In 721 B.C., during the reign of Hoshea over Israel or the ten northern tribes, Sargon II, king of Assyria, conquered Israel and took them away into Assyrian captivity.
D. In 606 B.C. Babylon began to take people away from Judah, the two southern tribes. By 586 all of Judah was taken captive to Babylon and Jerusalem was destroyed.
IV. THE CAPTAIN, AT ONE TIME, OF THE FORCES OF SYRIA, WAS A MAN NAMED NAAMAN.
A. Probably around 840 B.C., under King Ben-hadad II.
B. Naaman was:
1. A man of position.
2. Captain of the host of Syria.
3. A great man in the eyes of his king.
4. An honorable man.
5. Because by him God had given victory to Syria.
6. A mighty man of valor, or brave.
7. A rich man, indicated by the rich gifts he took with him to the king of Israel.
C. But Naaman was a leper.
1. What is leprosy?
a. It is a type of skin disease that spreads slowly all over the body, eating away the flesh clear to the bone, finally bring about the destruction of limbs of the body and bringing about death.
b. People with leprosy, especially in Israel, were segregated from all other people.
c. I was privileged to visit a leper colony while I was living in Nigeria, West Africa.
2. In his excursions against Israel, he had brought back a little maiden and had given her to wait upon his wife.
3. The maiden said, "Would that my lord was with the prophet in Samaria! then would he recover him from his leprosy."
4. This maiden, even though she was a captive in a foreign land, did not forget her her own country and God.
a. Yet, she respected her new master and cared for his welfare.
b. This reminds us of Joseph, Daniel, and the three Hebrews.
5. Arrangements were made for Naaman to go to Samaria.
6. Naaman's king sent Naaman to the king of Israel to be healed of his leprosy.
7. The king of Israel was wroth and said: "Am I God that I can heal this man of his leprosy?" "The king of Syria is trying to pick a quarrel with me."
8. Elisha sent to the king of Israel and said send him to me. That he may know there is a God in Israel.
9. Naaman was told what to do by Elisha through Elisha's servant.
a. What Elisha told Naaman to do was altogether different from what Naaman had been thinking would occur.
b. He became very angry and turned away to return home, saying: "Behold, I Thought." 2 Kgs. 5:11.
10. Yes, he had already worked it out in his own mind as to what would take place once he came to Elisha's house.
D. There are others, even in our own time, who have their own thoughts as to how things should be, especially in the field of religion.
1. Jonah deceived himself into THINKING he could escape his responsibility when he was told to go and preach and condemn the wicked city of Nineveh.
a. He THOUGHT he could hide from God. That cannot be done. Psa. 139.
2. Peter THOUGHT it would be fine to make three tabernacles on the mount of transfiguration to honor Moses, Elijah, and Christ. Read the story in Matt. 17.
3. Ananias and Sapphira THOUGHT they could lie unto the Lord, but tragically learned otherwise. Acts 5:1-11.
4. Simon the sorcerer, THOUGHT he could purchase the power of God with money. Acts 8:18-24.
5. Saul of Tarsus THOUGHT he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth, but learned that he was wrong and had to make a change in his life. Acts 26:9-11.
E. There are those who make the same mistake today:
1. Sectarians THINK all ways are scriptural, even though God says differently. Prov. 14:12; Jno. 14:6; Matt. 7:13,14; Eph. 4:4-6.
a. They THINK that sprinkling will suffice for baptism, but God says it is a burial. Rom. 6:4.
b. They THINK that it is alright to use mechanical instruments of music in worship to God, but God only authorized singing. Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; 1 Cor. 4:6.
c. They THINK there will be a second chance for those who do not obey God in this present life. But God tells us of only one life upon this earth and then cometh the judgment. Heb. 9:27.
2. Some brethren in Christ place their "THINK SO" over against what the Lord has said in His word.
a. Some THINK error should not be renounced, that we should preach only a "positive" message. Even though the Lord says: "Reprove, Rebuke, and Exhort." 2 Tim. 4:2.
b, Some THINK they can bring their worldly habits into the church. 2 Cor. 6:17.
c. Some THINK elders can oversee a brotherhood project. 1 Pet. 5:1-3.
d. Some THINK there is no pattern for the church to follow. Heb. 8:5.
e. Some THINK it is the work of the church to provide recreation and entertainment for the members of the church, especially for the young people. Rom. 14:17.
V. MR. AVERAGE GOOD MAN OF TODAY:
A. May have position.
B. May be great before men.
C. May be honored by men.
D. May be brave and a hero.
E. May be rich.
VI. BUT, HE IS STILL A SINNER IF HE HAS NOT OBEYED THE LORD. Rom. 3:9- 12, 23.
A. What is sin? Transgression of God's law. 1 Jno. 3:4. It is unrighteousness. 1 Jno. 5:17.
1. Sin eats the soul of man just as leprosy eats the flesh.
2. Sin is like a cancer.
3. Man cannot cure leprosy, in and of himself, neither can a man do away with his sin without the help of God.
4. As God intervened in curing Naaman of his leprosy, so He must be present in the curing of the soul from sin.
5. When we are told what we must do to rid ourselves of our sin, we must do what we are told and not say as did Naaman, "Behold, I Thought."
6. Naaman could not see why the waters of Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, were not good enough to dip in.
7. People today cannot see why sprinkling and pouring or something else would not be just as good as baptism (burial).
8. Naaman had to do what God said in order to be healed. He had to do all that God said.
a. Even his simple minded servant could recognize that.
b. Sometimes one's egotism gets in the way when it comes to doing what God says.
9. A sinner today must do what God says in order to be saved from his sins. All that God says.
10. As Naaman's position, greatness, honor, braveness, and riches would not suffice to cure him of his leprosy.
a. Neither will our status in life before men cure us from sin apart from obeying God.
1. Remember that our thoughts, and our ways, are not His ways.
2. His way is the right way our way can easily be wrong.
3. So, when God says for us to do something, let us not say with Naaman, "Behold, I Thought."
A. But rather, let us say, "Speak Lord thy servant heareth, command and I will obey."
4. Then, when we are healed of our sins; let us do as Naaman did; let us be thankful unto God, and determine not to serve Satan any longer.
By Jim Sasser
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