Speak a Word

Series: More Than Hips, Lips and Fingertips!

Week of March 3 – 9, 2021

AIM:  To live for Jesus we must serve His mission to evangelize.  After studying this lesson, students will see that it doesn’t matter your age, your sex, your name you have been called to be a witness for Jesus!

INTRODUCTION:

Pop Quiz!  What are the names of the following women:

  • Woman who touched the hem of Jesus
  • Lot’s wife
  • Canaanite woman
  • Woman at the well

You don’t know do you?  That’s because the Bible is quiet in regards to their name! A somewhat baffling question is: “Why are these women associated with well-known men, particularly Jesus, and we don’t know their name?”  Scripture gives us the name of the natural brothers of Jesus but not His sisters.  There is no satisfactory answer to the silence of Scripture regarding the identity of its nameless women.  But what great lessons we can learn from them!

BACKGROUND:

To get the picture fixed in your mind, you must realize that ancient Aram (Syria) is roughly equivalent to the country of Syria today. Damascus was the capitol of Aram then, just as Damascus is the capitol of Syria today. Syria and Israel were enemies then, just as they are today.

But at the time of our story, there was a shaky peace between them. Yet, even during this time of peace, there were still occasional skirmishes along the borders of the two countries. During one of these, a young Israeli girl was taken captive and became a servant to Naaman’s wife.

The life of a slave was generally very difficult because you were looked upon as property, a living tool to be used and disposed of at will. Some masters weren’t cruel, but usually the life of a slave was one of hopelessness and despair.  In our lesson today, we will see that this young girl did not allow her situation to cause her to be silent!

We don’t know her age, her tribe, nor her name.  But we do know that she was a witness for her God.  She did not recite the Torah, but with a few words the life of a man was turned complete around.  We don’t know why this man listened to this young girl – but he did and thereby his life was changed!

2 Kings 5:1 (NKJV) – Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper.

  1. Naaman
  1. Big Person
  2. He was the general of the Syrian army
  3. Second in command to the king
  4. He had great authority and great influence
  5. His name meant radiant, pleasant, delightful, and gracious
  • Big Position
  • Naaman occupied
  • A powerful position in the nation
  • He was respected, admired, and followed by many
  • YET, he had a flaw
  • His successes brought him
  • Honor
  • fame and
  • glory 

                            BUT, he had an illness that would turn him into an object of 

  • ridicule,
  • shame and
  • reproach.
  • Despite his impeccable military records, Naaman was sick and soon to be an outcast!
  • Despite his brilliance, that “but” remains a part of his biography.
  • He had a full compliments of trained officers, professionals, soldiers and other servants in His command.  YET none of them could help him!
  • Big Problem
  • He has leprosy – the most dreadful of diseases.
  • Once a person contracted leprosy, he was an outcast for the rest of his life!  It was a horrible disease, and it might take years before death freed the suffer from his isolation.
  • Naaman was a dead man already!
  • His physical death might be many years in the future, but in reality, for his wife, his master, his colleagues and his household, he would soon no longer exist.
  • No king, no trophy of victory could prevent his expulsion. 
  • He would be forced to wander outside the city walls as a beggar.
  • Everyone who came near him would be warned to stay away by his crying out “unclean, unclean. I am unclean!”

Remember:  You may accomplish  many things, reach the highest heights but there comes a time when material things cannot help us!

You may build great cathedrals large or small,

you can build skyscrapers grand and tall,

you may conquer all the failures of the past,

but only what you do for Christ will last.

2 Kings 5:2-3 (NKJV)

2     And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. 

3     Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.”

  1. Maiden Girl
  2. Unknown
  3. Her age
  4. Her tribe
  5. Her name
  6. Unbelievable
  7. Sensitive to the need of Naaman
  8. She was not bitter because of her situation
  9. She could have been tempted to rejoice in the pain Naaman was going through.
  10. She did not bury herself in her own suffering or take pleasure in other’s pain!                                                                                                                   

1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

  • Servant but not silent
  • She did not keep silent out of shyness!
  • She did not think she was too young to have something significant to say.
  • She did not think her position was so low that she could not be a witness.
  • She saw a person in need and believed that the God of Israel could meet the need.
  • Action speaks louder than words
  • If the slave girl had not been a good and faithful worker, no one would have listened to her.
  • If she had been lazy and a complainer, Naaman’s wife would not have told him and he wouldn’t have paid any attention to what she said, or even consider making the long journey to Elisha.
  • Her genuine concern and integrity must have been obvious to Naaman and his wife, or she would not have been believed.
  • Living a life of integrity helps us maintain credibility with others.
  • People will trust you when they know that you are truthful and honest.

Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6 (GNT)Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their life.

  • It is virtually impossible to teach children to live a trustworthy life unless you are modeling it for them.

Progress In The Journey. . .

Naaman’s life/career

·        When he give orders, many people hurried to pleased him. But now he is facing something that is out of his control.

·        God had given him great victories, gifts, and blessings. But the one thing he desired the most eluded him.

·        Since his youth, Naaman had fought and won many battles for the Syrians. Yet leprosy defeated him.

·        He had destroyed armies of many nation, but leprosy is destroying him.

·        He was well-connected. But his connections, and power couldn’t help him.

·        He had visited the best physicians, and healers in Syria but found no cure.

·        He had paid prophets in Syria to get a cure, but it all came to nothing.

·        The courageous and decorated son of Syria was faced with imminent death.

·        Even the gods of Damascus could not help him.

·        Without a cure, Naaman would be doomed to a life of shame, isolation, humiliation.

·        Only an act of God could help him. He alone could heal Naaman from his leprosy.

And from an unlikely source, God sent him a helper. 

Point to Ponder: Naaman’s life teaches us that no matter how much we have, or the position we hold, there comes a time when no material things can’t help us.  We need to know of a God who can do anything!  Will you be the one to speak a word for Him?

Young Maiden:

  • A few simple words spoken by this young slave girl brought new life to a man, hope for his family and support for his king.
  • A few simple words gave attention and brought honor to the God of Israel.

2 Kings 5:15 (NLT) – Then Naaman and his entire party went back to find the man of God. They stood before him, and Naaman said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. . .”

  • A few simple words that history cannot blot out what she said and did.
  • She didn’t say much, but what she said revealed her faith – a faith that was tested by reality and a faith that served the people around her
  • Because of her faith a life was changed. 
  • The insignificant little maid was not so insignificant!

Point to Ponder: We are surrounded by hurting people. All around us are people experiencing the pains of broken homes, physical illnesses, loneliness, abuse, and now isolation from covid-19. Do you have a word to speak to them?

PRAYER PRINCIPLE:                           Praise God for the boldness that you possess to provide comfort when called upon to do so.

SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE:             Be prepared to speak a Word to those who are hurting.

EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE:                  Share with others the Good News of Christ and the Word shared by Him for yourself and others.

STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE:                 Your consistent and persistent giving allows the church to continue to speak a Word.

DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE:                  Don’t allow yourself to throw a big pity party because of your situation or condition, grab what’s readily available to you do encourage yourself – God’s Word (develop the habit of reading God’s Word), prayer (nothing like talking to God), a friend, a broadcast, or especially a Sunday School class.

NEXT WEEK’S TITLE:    I Surrender All

SERIES: More than Hips, Lips and Fingertips

NEXT WEEK’S READING ASSIGNMENT:        Luke 21:1-4

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