Faith Cometh By Hearsay?
Robert Wurtz II
And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy. (2 Kings 5:3)
It happens that the Syrian captian of the host Naaman had taken captive a young girl of the Israelites who had knowledge of the prophet Elisha. She tells her mistress that then goes and tells Naaman. Naaman then goes and tells the king of Syria. This is fourth hand information at this point and almost qualifies as a rumor. It is an awesome example of “faith to faith”. The young girl believed in such a way that faith came to the mistress. The mistress had faith in such a way that it sparked faith in Naaman. Then Naaman’s faith sparked faith in the king so much that he believed the report and sent Naaman to the king of Israel with a letter. When a person truly exercises faith in God as He is and what He is capable of doing, that testimony of faith cometh to the hearer. What happened? And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. (2 Kings 5:6)
Stepping out in faith
All Naaman knew was that a prophet in Israel could cure his leprosy. This implies faith in the God of the prophet. To the unbelieving, it would seem like a long-shot at best. But they believed surely enough to send a gift of ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. (2 Kings 5:5) His faith was against the odds. God had not called Naaman to come, Naaman was moving in hearsay evidence. If there were a trial based on what Naaman had heard there would not be enough evidence for a conviction. But the man moved out in faith; the revelation he was responding to was as a grain of mustard seed. Some would call it a whim and a prayer. But there was an assurance that God would do something. Many things will happen, but Naaman comes home clear of his leprosy. It all started when he stepped out on the second or third hand knowledge.
Pressing past the initial ‘no’!
And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. (Matthew 15:22)
This woman cried at the top of her lungs (Phillips). The Greek word carries the force of a woman that cried to the point of annoyance of those hearing. She was a Canaanite Gentile, born in the Phoenician part of Syria. (Mark 7:26) This means that as was Naaman, she was also a Syrian. She had heard about Jesus and was moving in that revelation. No invitation, just mustard-seed sized revelation. Our Lord’s words? But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. (Matthew 15:23) Naaman may have felt insulted by being told to dip 7 times in a dirty river, but this Syrian is being ignored and is near to being shown the door. Jesus then speaks up for clarification, But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matthew 15:24) He was effectively saying, that it was not time for the Gentiles to receive yet. That was reserved for another dispensation. What did she do? Did she hang her head and say, “Well too bad! Maybe next time. I’ll come back in 15 years…”? No! Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. (Matthew 15:25) No doubt the Lord’s heart was being pulled to no end desiring to help this woman, but He wanted the disciples to see her faith. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs. (V. 26) Hearing these words must have stung like a scorpion. The lump in her throat must have burned like fire as she belted out the words of faith that could move a mountain; And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table. (V. 27) She heard said that the Lord could heal and that He was a man of compassion. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour. (V. 28)
Two Syrians and two great miracles. One was cleared of leprosy a type of Sin and the other was cleared of demons. Both were Gentiles and outside the covenants of promise. They were not born-again. They were not filled with the Spirit. But their faith reached out and took hold of something not originally designed for them at their time and place. Their faith allowed them to move in an overly-realised dispensation and covenant. They heard and they responded; not to the revelation of words, but the revelation of a person. They believed that God is; and whether they articulated it or not, that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. It would have been nice to have it, but they did not have a specific Word from God. In fact, all they had to go on were insults, real or perceived. The woman was catching resistance in the worst of ways. Naaman was angered and insulted. But they kept pressing in to God and received that for which they came. If a Canaanite can do it, why could not a Christian? Do you need cleared of sin? Are you vexed of devils? Press in to God in faith and see what He will do.
Faith Cometh By Hearsay?