“Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake” Psalm 79:9.
HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING
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Hark! The herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’angelic host proclaim,
Christ is born in Bethlehem!
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King!
Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.
Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.
Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.
There are many who have struggles in the Christian life because they have unrealistic expectations. There are those who think the Christian life is without trial or hardship, and then when it arises it causes them to doubt and shakes their faith. There are those who think the evidence of true salvation is sinlessness, then when that remnant of indwelling sin in the flesh rises up against them they lose all assurance of salvation. It is important that our expectations in the Christian life be based on the Word of God, otherwise we may deceive ourselves and cause ourselves to stumble. We see today in the life of Naaman how unrealistic expectations almost cause him to stumble and fall.
Naaman, the valiant warrior who has brought victory to the king of Aram listens to the counsel of a little girl. This is a special little girl and a good example to us. She is a slave, a captive child taken from Israel, yet she seeks the well being of her master as a servant should. Her service is honoring to God. It is important to note that Naaman and the king both heeded her counsel. They both believed her words and took action on them. What a sharp contrast is the king of Israel who despaired at Ben-hadad’s letter and did not know what to do. He was right in that man can not cure leprosy, but he had no faith in God nor did he believe in the prophet of God. Elisha sends a mild rebuke for his unbelief and instructs him to send Naaman to him.
One can not help but draw a parallel between Naaman who is afflicted with the disease of leprosy and mankind afflicted with the disease of sin. In Elisha’s cure we see the simplicity of the Gospel. Elisha tells him to go and dip himself in the Jordan. Like many who seek God in the flesh he has expectations of some performance of a sign in his presence and he shuns the simplicity of the cure. He receives wise counsel from his servants who reason with him that had Elisha presented him with some grand quest to perform he would have done so; how much more should he not try the simple. For the second time Naaman proves himself to be a wise man who heeds wise counsel. He submits himself to the Word of God, and in obedient faith he is made clean.
Click here for Matthew Henry’s Commentary.
Truth in Practice
Be like Naaman and listen to wise counsel that is brought to you from God’s Word. The slave girl, the prophet and the servants all gave Naaman counsel and instruction that was in accord with the Word of God. In simple faith he trusted and obeyed, was cleansed and believed in God (verse 15). Likewise, you too should listen to the counsel and instruction from those who know the Lord and speak the truth of His Word to you. In simple faith, trust God’s Word, obey God’s Word, repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be cleansed from your sin.
Q. What benefits do believers receive from Christ at their death?
A. The souls of believers are at their death made perfect in holiness (Heb. 12:23) and do immediately pass into glory (Php. 1:23; 2 Co 5:8; Luke 23:43), and their bodies, being still united to Christ (1 Th. 4:14) do rest in their graves (Isa. 57:2) till the resurrection (Job 19:26).