A Voice in the
Re: Wave his hand
"But Naaman was furious, and went away and said, Behold I thought He would go forth to come out to me, and would have stood and called upon the name of Jehovah his God, and waved his hand over the place, and taken away the leprosy." (2Ki5:11)
As I read this the other day in my own personal reading, in my memory was the recent mailing/mention of Benny Hinn. And when the name Benny Hinn comes up, one can also immediately think of others of like-spirit to his. People like these make such a big 'splash' that network prime time news shows will even often aire stories on them. On one such broadcast a couple years ago Hinn was shown 'blowing' people over into the waiting arms of the 'catchers'. Or he would pronounce something to/from "God" loudly into the microphone, and do a 'waving' gesture with his hand from several feet away, and "knock" the person over into the waiting arms of the 'catchers'. They even showed him performing this stunt with Evander Holyfield (the boxer) on the platform; trouble with Holyfield, he didn't just go immediately 'crumpling' under Hinn's spell, but I could see in his eyes his deliberate calculation, wondering to himself if he really wanted to do this...could he 'trust' those catchers to catch him? etc. So when Hinn did his violent hand-wave, Holyfield began to 'sway' (like a tall cedar tree), and then like a tree being felled by a logger, he gently fell on-over...an act of his own will to "fall". He was not 'slain' by the MIGHTY HAND of Benny Hinn. It was 'theatrics'.
The thing I was reading recently about Hinn, was that when certain people investigated, by stealth, his supposed "healings", that NOT A ONE of those going through the stage theatrics was genuinely healed. And in some cases, those with terminal diseases went home, stopped taking their medications, and died.
When Jesus healed it says that He healed "everyone" of those He touched. (Mt8:16,12:15, Lk6:19)
Nevertheless, like Naaman was expecting, like he was used to seeing from the pagan witch doctors, people today expect the same thing. Mighty contortions of the face, loud vehement vocal utterances, and wild theatrical physical hand and arm waving gestures. The more grandiose, the better. Sometimes also including slaps of the hand against the forehead of the supplicant. There used to be a business person next door to my business who was into this stuff, and he would tell about the meetings where, if the 'hand' was not enough to 'slay' the person, the minister might 'bonk' them on the head with their Bible, to momentarily 'stun' them, to make them fall.
But Elisha did none of that. In fact, he didn't even physically meet Naaman, but rather sent out his servant to 'relay' the message, "go wash in the Jordan" river. (vs10)
Does this sound like anybody else? The man comes to Jesus, for healing for his son who is at home sick, and Jesus says, "Go your way; your son lives" (Jn4:50) To another Jesus says, "I will come and heal him" (Jn8:7) and the centurion expresses unworthiness to have Jesus under his roof, and suggests, "But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed" (vs8) And how did Jesus react to that request? "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!" (vs10) You see, that was the same case with the man and his son, the part I didn't quote yet, "So the man BELIEVED the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way." (Jn4:50)
How many alleged "exorcisms" have you seen depicted? What is the usual methodology? Wincing up the face, earnest talking to the demons, vehement 'praying' with tightly squinted eyes, perhaps some hand gestures; and they will carry on like this, sometimes, for HOURS. How did Jesus cast out demons? "with a word" ... "go" (Mt8:16,32)
In addition, these news shows also make a point of informing the viewers just HOW MUCH MONEY the likes of the Benny Hinn empire rakes in, or TBN, or you-name-it.
Elisha would not accept any payment from Naaman. And when Gehazi chased after, went and took a few things, what was Elisha's retort to him? "Is it a time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants?" (2Ki5:26)
When Jesus sent out the disciples He says, "Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece." (Lk9:3) When He commissions them to heal the sick and cast out demons, He does so with the exhortation, "Freely you have received, freely give" (Mt10:8)
This is God's invitation, "Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat. Yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." (Is55:1)
Jesus is called the "Word" (Jn1:1), and He would continually say, "I -SAY- unto you..." (Jn12:24,13:16,etc,etc) Ministry is not done by "carnal" means (2Co10:4), nor for monetary gain, "For we are not, as so many, peddling the Word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ, in the sight of God." (2Co2:17) When Simon sought to 'purchase' the ability to give the Holy Spirit, Peter responds, "Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!" (Ac8:20) When Peter and John healed the man they said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." (Ac3:6)
Salvation comes via the "Word of God" (Rom10:17) it is the "gift of God...not of works" (Eph2:8-9) Why...not of works? "...that no one should boast" Have you ever seen Benny Hinn "boast"? Well, isn't that the -primary- characteristic of his stage shows!?!
But what does Paul boast in? "But may it never be that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world." (Ga6:14)
Oh, but...! The cross! That is so ugly and gruesome! There's no bright lights, stages and PA systems. And you say that "I" am also crucified -with- Christ? (Ga2:20) Oh, such shame and humility! That does nothing for my self-esteem and self-actualization.
No! Not the waving of hands, but the beating of breast, "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" (Lk18:13)
"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to shame. HUMBLE YOURSELVES in the sight of the Lord, and HE WILL EXALT YOU." (Ja4:8-10)
Do you need healing? If you want to be healed, so that you can continue on in your sin... well... forget it! Remember: the "wages of sin is death" (Rom6:23a), and death is typically preceded by illness. When Jesus healed He also sometimes exhorted, "Behold, you have been made well. Sin no more, that a worse thing not come upon you." (Jn5:14)
"Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the PRAYER OF FAITH will SAVE the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he may have committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man is mighty." (Ja5:14-16)
And this is what happened with Naaman: "Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel...your servant will no longer offer either burnt offering or sacrifice to other gods, but unto Jehovah." (~2Ki5:15,17)