He was King of Aram (Aramian), modern Syria, headquartered in Damascus. The man had an endless nag for meddling in the affairs of God's people. He was like a cancer, eating away at others by destroying himself. These were tough times for Israel and Judah and Ben-Hadad made it tougher. He, like so many others, under-estimated God's involvement with His people. It was not because they were better, but because this man mocked God Almighty. Ben-Hadad saw himself as a son of his god and learned some very severe lessons that ended badly (Ga.6: 7).
Naaman was a valiant soldier and commander of the army of the King of Aram. He was highly regarded at home and abroad. Israelis, too, felt that he was used of God to punish them for their sins. Naaman was a leper. On one of his soldier's exploits, a Jewish girl was brought back to serve Naaman's wife. She told her mistress that there was a man of God in Samaria that could heal her husband. Naaman shared the news with his King and the King ordered him to go to Israel. The King of Aram sent a letter to the King of Israel practically ordering him to cure Naaman of leprosy. The King of Israel panicked, tore his clothes and said, "Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this man sent his servant to me to be cured of leprosy? Obviously, he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!"
We pray, far too often, when we want God to do what we should be doing, that is answering our own prayers. Of course, there are needs that God only can do and answer, but there are many more that we can and should answer. No doubt, God has answers for us, but are we prepared to accept them? God, too, needs our cooperation. Prayer is not merely asking for something; it is also a commitment to a need or a problem that requires our input. In a real sense, we have to give to God something to work with. We must become partners with each other and with God. Let us consider some examples.
I am Joseph of Nazareth. I was a carpenter. I build wheels, carts and wagons. I tried to lead a just and true life. I had little time to start my own family. And I was not bold enough to ask a lady to be my wife. But there was this little girl that would visit me. Some times, her folks would send her with some work for me to do and some times she just hung around and watched me work and asked all sorts of questions. Quite often, I would suggest that she play with companions her own age but she did not feel they met her interest. It did not seem very long that Mary grew into a beautiful woman. She was still young, but exciting and enticing. She even dared to tease me off and on. Some of it was a bit too adult. Still, it did not make sense to me that she might be a possible mate. Who in his right mind would marry me? I was wrong. This lovely young woman had her parents approach me and offered their daughter, if I were of a mind to marry her. I certainly was and entered an agreement with her and her folks.
Several weeks ago, the yard in front of our house looked dead. Spring returned and the ground opened its mouth and forth came flowers and shrubs. Among the vegetation, bugs, bees, flies, birds and even deer appeared. A little rabbit chanced it and the cat took its life. That little rabbit will never reproduce. In a tree a chipmunk teased the cat and near by a mother bird chirped to get the cat away from its nest. All around me, nature was alive. I too, at 81, felt spirited. I marvel at what I see and ask myself, "How can I not believe in someone that made all this possible?" Even the smallest and perhaps insignificant things are too organized and systematic to have evolved from chance. I have yet to see the smartest among us to make a simple bug that can reproduce itself. Just how foolish can I be, even to presume that the world I live in was an accident (Ps.14: 1)?
Jesus, did He die as a man or as a god? This question has caused endless speculation. There are some hints that have given satisfactions to Christians that believe both: the human and the divine were involved. The very nature of the divine has led to some skepticism. God cannot and does not die. He is Spirit and spirit is not flesh or blood, nor subject to decay. Also, it is the flesh and not the spirit that is weak and falls into temptations and commits sin. God has done nothing wrong that would require an atonement or sacrifice. Man has sinned and the man Jesus died for His friends (Jn.15:13). He, too, required a little help from heaven during His darkest hour. An angel was sent to strengthen Him (Lk.22:43).