I pointed out that godly men endure some of the same trials as the world around us.  But we should consider a warning when God uses the world around us to render judgment.  God can find friends among the people we may consider enemies. 

Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.  And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife.  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.  And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.  And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.  2 Kings 5:1-5

Syria has fought Israel because God is not saving the Jews from their own sin.  Now God has found a faithful man among the Syrians to help deliver a message to Israel.  But he must first get help from Elisha of Israel.  The news is not reassuring to the king of Israel.

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.  And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy?  wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.  And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.  So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.  And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.  2 Kings 5:6-10

Elisha rebukes the king for his lack of faith and calls on him to send the Syrian for healing.  The instructions are simple enough, but not a religious as Naaman is expecting.

But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.  Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.  And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?  Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.  And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel: now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.  2 Kings 5:11-15

Servants know enough about humility to encourage Naaman to overcome his p[ride and indulge the simple washing.  The healing is dramatic enough to send Naaman back to thank Elisha.  Elisha will not take a reward, but offers a pardon for the idolatry that Naaman must allow in his own land.

But he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused.  And Naaman said, Shall there not then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules’ burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD.  In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing.  And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little way.  But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.  2 Kings 5:16-20

Gehazi is not following the example of his shepherd when he seeks a part of the rewards.  He isn’t taking it for himself alone, but it is not to be allowed.

So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well?  And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments.  And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him.  And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed.  2 Kings 5:21-24

Now if Naaman took the goods for the sons of the prophets, why did he store the goods and let the men go on their way?  Ow did he just invent the sons of the prophets to justify the lie he told about being sent by Elisha?  Well Elisha knew, and had an answer waiting for Gehazi. 

But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither.  And he said unto him, Went not mine heart with thee, when the man turned again from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards, and vineyards, and sheep, and oxen, and menservants, and maidservants?  The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.  2 Kings 5:25-27

Today we see China as an enemy, taking our unskilled manufacturing jobs and threatening potential military actions.  I engaged Chinese troops in Vietnam.  In 1999 we were beginning to see a different picture of China as our economy began to drag theirs down with us.  This documentary shows vacant factories and widespread unemployment even at that time.   http://www.hulu.com/watch/91553/vanguard-outsourcing-unemployment#s-p2-so-i0

We may be shocked to find that God has friends in China today.  I know missionaries over there now.  The government estimates 10-13 million as being Christians.  Church estimates may range as high as 50 million though.  In America we may only have 76 million committed Christians now.  As persecution strengthens the church we may see a reversal over the coming years. 

We are going to have more contact with the rest of the world in the future.  We need to have confidence of having a prophet or two left here, and welcome interest in our faith.  We should take care not to offend new friends, but still offer the truth in its simplicity.  God speaks to others to encourage their first steps of growth. 

Israel and Judah went on to face destruction by the Syrians and Babylonians later.  The kings of Babylon and Persia would become his new friends for that season.  We should tune our spiritual ears to seek God rather than material gain in the changing times ahead of us now.  The kingdom of God has no political boundaries; he owns it all.