Study Notes and Slides
Introduction: In our former teaching we have seen how through NechemYAH Yerushalayim was rebuilt and the people restored so they would once again bring forth his Torah and live according to his design. We saw how Yerushalayim was a picture of the believer who needs rebuilding through the work of the Holy Spirit. Though to live according to his Covenant is absolutely vital it still does not totally complete YAHWEH’s purpose that goes beyond returning to him for Yisrael which was the reason for the restoration of Yisrael. The re-establishment of Yisrael however made it possible for Yerushalayim to be the centre of the religious life for all Yisrael but more importantly it also made it possible for Yahshua to be born into a place where worship of Yahweh’s & obedience to his Torah would be well established:
Setting the Stage:
To begin to understand how Yahweh was working we need to go back to Mitsrayim (Egypt) where the Yisraelites were slaves and through Mosheh (Moses) the servant of YHWH they were set free from that slavery. The plagues of Mitsrayim were more than just a means to apply pressure on Pharaoh to let the children of Yisrael go but rather as the Mitsrites (The Egyptians) had many Elohim (Gods) the plagues were a confrontation to demonstrate who is the true Elohim of the Heavens & the Earth therefore after this great confrontation we see many Mitsrites (Egyptians) accompanying the Yisraelites when they leave their captivity to follow Mosheh (Moses).
The Plagues of Mitsrayim (Egypt) therefore brought a revelation to all, that YAHWEH was above and greater than all the false Elohim of Mitsrayim. This was to establish all Yisrael as a people set apart for YAHWEH to serve him:
We can see from these verses that Yisrael as a whole was to be a witness to the nations of the greatness of Yahweh there Elohim. If the people would only guard his covenant they would be highly blessed and Yahweh would be highly esteemed throughout the Nations but we also know that Yisrael were prone to failure and easily seduced to waver in their opinion and Yahweh was constantly reminding them of their obligation & calling them to Teshuvah (to return) through the various Prophets:
When Yahshua began his Ministry and came to his home town Netsareth a confrontation with his people arose and he chastises them with an unusual quote:
The question arises from these verses that the thought that a Prophet would be used to bring blessing to the Goyim (Gentiles)over one of their own so infuriated them that they were filled with wrath but why was this. They believed that they were the set-apart Nation lifted above all others but they had misunderstood their calling, so to endeavour to understand Yahweh’s purpose through Yisrael we will look at the story of Na’aman the Leper to see what happens when Yisrael or us for that matter fails to fulfil the purpose of Yahweh which finds its conclusion as revealed in the following:
YeshiYAHU (Isaiah)11:9b for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of YAHWEH
as the waters cover the sea.
This is therefore the true calling for all faithful Yisraelites, to fill the Earth with the knowledge of YAHWEH the only true Elohim. If we look to Yisrael we find that rather than being a nation dedicated to spreading the knowledge of YAHWEH they rather isolated themselves or even worse rather than influencing those around them with the Torah of righteousness that came direct from the hand of YAHWEH they were influenced by those Nations surrounding them. One thing we know is that YAHWEH has never ceased being committed to the lost sheep of the house of Yisrael.
When we read the book of Yonah (Jonah) we often wonder why Yonah would be sent to the wicked city of Nineveh to preach and his reaction to the call was a typical response that Yahudim would make but what he did not understand was that this call was also to the lost sheep of the house of Yisrael though the other Nations would be blessed by him as well. To understand this you only need to go to the book of Tobit which is part of the Appocrypha which states as follows:
We know that YAHWEH in no way is obligated to the Nations since he only has a Covenant with Yisrael but out of his great mercy & compassion allows the Nations to be grafted into Yisrael through faith.
With this Mindset we are now going to look at the story of Na’aman the Aramean (Syrian).
Understanding the Story of Naaman:
Based on the failure of Yisrael to bring the knowledge of Yahweh before the Nations we find Yahweh doing a new thing among the Nations. There are a number of points that we can establish to see the wonderful workings of YAHWEH in this text:
- Yahweh’s involvement with unbelievers:
Amazingly before any of us came to the faith YAHWEH Elohim of all creation was already working on our case because none would or could come to him without him but we need to look not just at the small picture but at the larger picture as well.
When we read this we often just focus on the fact that he had Leprosy and came for healing but more importantly I want us to see that YHWH through Naaman was doing a great thing.
We read that this man was commander of the Army. He was a great man that had won many victories. What however is strange is that these victories were given him by YHWH Elohim of Yisrael (the Lord.)
Indeed one of these victories is found to be a Prophetic fulfilment of the words of Eliyahu (Elijah) to Ahab the evil king in which a stray arrow kills Ahab. In a sense he was a servant of YAHWEH though he had no knowledge or belief in YAHWEH.
Question: Why would YHWH Elohim of Yisrael (the Lord) give Syria all these victories through a man who neither knew YHWH the Elohim of Yisrael (the Lord) nor worshipped him? Also why would YHWH (the Lord) give victories to a known enemy of Yisrael? From this small statement we begin to see a broader picture like that of a Divine jigsaw puzzle for when seen as a small individual piece it may be very difficult to see the grander picture. This brings us back to the promise to Abram where YHWH said in:
In truth YHWH had never neglected his plan to bring his name to the Nations of the World but when Yisrael failed to be the light in the darkness, the carrier of his message to the World he then worked through other means. Today he is using us the called ones to bring the Besorah (Good News) Message of returning to the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac (Yitschak) & Jacob (Ya’acov) through Yahshua but when we forget to go to people with that message he is able to bring people to us.
We see that clearly expressed in the Book of Acts. It was about 7 years after the Resurrection of Yahshua but Kepha (Peter) and the disciples had completely failed to bring the saving message to the Gentiles. Through Cornelius YHWH was calling Kepha (Peter) to go to the Gentiles even though at that time the thought in Yisrael was as stated in:
Through the Rabbinic Laws the Yahudim had distanced themselves from all people thereby making there call void so Elohim through a gentile was bringing the call to the Nations to the called ones through Kepha (Peter) which was a mighty challenge even for him as we read in:
In the Story of Na’aman however we see Elohim working mightily to make him a highly respected man in his Nation but Elohim also used his Leprosy to produce within him a great need that would need Divine aid that none of his victories or his position of honour could solve.
- Bad things happen for a Reason
Now we find a young girl who had been taken captive on a raid from the land of Yisrael. Just think, this girl had been brutally taken from her beloved family, removed from all she loved, separated from her beloved land and the place where the Temple of YHWH was only to work as a slave to an enemy of her people. Surely if you were in her situation you might harbour thoughts of malice & hate. What we see here is the opposite. This slave girl saw an opportunity given to her to demonstrate that her Elohim would work a mighty miracle through the Prophet. When we face some difficult times when our lives are thrown into total Chaos will we see our trouble as YHWH our Elohim working to use us to bring his name to those who do not yet know him. The challenge for us is to see like this slave girl that YHWH our Elohim is at work in all our troubles to spread his name & he is giving us the joy of being part of his Divine plan. This girl had no doubt that if her Master went to the Prophet then he would be totally healed. Have we got this sort of faith that believes that despite our situation something much bigger is at stake and do we place the knowledge of Elohim above our troubles to bring him Honour. If we do we will look for opportunities to present our Elohim who will not fail to demonstrate he is still the same today as he was yesterday!
- The Wrong Response
When the King received the letter from the King of Aram all he could see was failure & impossibility. It is often how YHWH works in our lives too! We are faced with financial bankruptcy or a bad health report but these come to us not to defeat us but to challenge us to believe in the Elohim we serve and to cause us to step out of the shadows and into his light taking hold of his word & trusting that he is able. This King could not see that this was his greatest opportunity to display the Elohim that he ruled under & he fell into fear the same trap that many believers fall into instead of remembering:
Proverbs 4:20 My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.
Have you faced an insurmountable difficulty that makes your sense world collapse in fear? This King thought this was a trap that would see him lose his Kingdom & his life. He thought his enemy who had through Naaman won many battles now wanted to destroy him. His faith world was that small and his confession was so negative that it brought him to the place of overwhelming grief.
- What happens where there is a man of Faith
YAHWEH was not fazed by the unbelief of the King because he had a man of faith in Israel who did not hesitate to believe that his Elohim was able.
What great faith Elisha had! He believed that the opportunity to show the power of YAHWEH rested with him. He knew the Elohim of Israel & he was willing to act on that faith. If the people of YAHWEH today would have that kind of confidence in Him what amazing miracles would we see? When you hear that someone has a debilitating disease would you say as Elisha did: tell the man who has need of a healing to come to me & then he will know that YAHWEH lives & that I am his.
Do we really believe that the Word is truth when it tells us that these signs will follow those who believe as we read in the following:
Though the Kings confession was “am I Elohim” he did not for one second think that this was an opportunity given him by Elohim but apart from that he had totally forgotten or totally neglected that Elisha was a Prophet anointed by YAHWEH. So often even leaders forget not only that YAH is able but also that YAH through the RUACH Ha Qodesh (the Holy Spirit) gives gifts to the Body of Machiach (Christ). Some with this gift and some with that gift because the Body is not a one man show, that the Honour & Esteem would go to YAHWEH. This King made that mistake! He could not believe that the Elohim of Yisrael had totally orchestrated the whole event that his name would resound even among Israel’s enemies. This king thought that if he could not solve the problem then no one could. Unfortunately many leaders think just like this King. They think that if I have not seen such a miracle then it simply will not happen instead of allowing the RUACH Ha Qodesh (The Holy Spirit) to move through anyone in the Assembly. Fortunately at the beckoning of Elisha the King responded & sent Na’maan to Elisha.
As vital as building Character & understanding Torah is in our life the result of our love for YAHWEH & Yahshua must be that it stirs up our desire to fill the Earth with the Knowledge of YAHWEH. Our call is both an inward & outward call since in the process of bringing truth to the World we are fulfilling the call of YAHWEH which is to sift out of the Nations the lost children of Yisrael who have been scattered through the Nations.
There is an interesting fact that it was the Netzarim (the Nazarenes) that brought the good news to the world in the 1st Century but the concept of Divine Providence tells us that everything stems from the hand of the Creator so is it possible that Elohim used Christianity as a temporary vehicle to bring the knowledge of Salvation in Yahshua or Jesus to the World but in these last days what began with the Nazarenes will also end with the faith of the Nazarenes. To non- Jews Christianity was a way to draw nearer to the creator so it became like a half-way house until the full truth is revealed so we know that our roll is ordained by YAHWEH and as was said to Esther “you were born for a time like this” to bring in the scattered Children of Yisrael & those whose heart YAHWEH touches, that they return to the Covenant as well as come to the faith in Yahshua Ha Machiach (The Messiah). Amein.