1. Leviticus 25:25   - The brother redeems
   2. 2 Kings 5         - Naaman, Elisha and Gehazi
   3. Luke 11:9,10      - Ask, and it shall be given you

   Weekly reading: Be-Har, Lev 25:1-26:2

   If  thy brother  be  waxen  poor, and  hath  sold away  [some] of  his
   possession,  and if any  of his kin come  to redeem it,  then shall he
   redeem that which his brother sold. (Leviticus 25:25)

   It was the will of God, that the possession was kept in the family. It
   could happen, however, that someone was waxen poor, and that he had to
   sell his  land, because he needed money.  But yet, it was  the will of
   God,  that everybody kept his  possession in his  family, so there was
   something to restore.  Our text says, that,  in the case  somebody has
   sold his  inheritance, any  of his kin  could come to redeem  it. This
   means, that he bought the  land back, and gave it to his poor brother,
   who had not the money himself to buy it.
      We  see then, in short, that there was a man who was waxen poor and
   had sold his land. His brother could come then, redeem it, and give it
   back to that man. This is  an earthly picture of spiritual things. Our
   text will now be filled in with the spiritual things.
      If thy brother is waxen poor through his sinning, and has sold away
      his  heavenly possession,  and if  his brother  come to  redeem the
      heavenly reward,  then shall he  redeem that which  his brother has
   Mankind has  lost  his heavenly  possession through  his  sinning.  We
   therefore have  need of  a brother, to  redeem us. He who  redeems us,
   must be of the  same human race as whereof we  are, for he must be our
   brother. Who of  the people on this earth has  enough money to pay for
   our  sins? A man born from  the flesh has not, but we  need one who is
   born  of God, and is yet our brother. Jesus Christ has enough money to
   redeem our heavenly  possession, and to restore  it to us.  He did not
   sin Himself. He  payed the money for the  inheritance of the believers
   in Him, to restore it to them. Through His obedience,  and through His
   suffering, He has earned this possession  for all who believe in  Him.
   He is our brother according to  the flesh, for He is of the family  of
   David. He  is God's Son,  according to the  spirit, for He  is born of
   God. He  is the Only, Who  is able to pay  the price of  our sins. His
   work of redeeming  was depicted in  our text. When His Name  is filled
   in, you read the following:
      If thy brother  is waxen poor through  his sins, and has  sold away
      his heavenly inheritance,  and if Jesus Christ  comes to redeem it,
      then shall He redeem that which His brother wasted.

   When that brother, in  our text, would say: No, thank  you, I will pay
   by myself;  and he had not  enough money to pay, then he  had lost his
   inheritance forever.  Likewise, when  we say:  No, thank You,  LORD, I
   will pay by myself; and we  have not enough money to pay  (what is the
   truth), then  we loose  our heavenly inheritance  forever. Instead  of
   that  inheritance, we  are thrown  out. God  will  say: "When  you not
   accept My ransom-money, then you are not redeemed, and you are left in
   your sins. Go  out, you unbeliever!" When  we, therefore, reject Jesus
   Christ, the Redeemer sent by God, our Brother according to the  flesh,
   then we are left in our sins. In the old Israel, there was the year of
   jubile. When  one's possession was  not redeemed by anyone,  he got it
   back  in that year of jubile.  This was free grace;  he had not earned
   it. So, when one rejects  God's free grace, and not believes in  Jesus
   Christ for the remission of his sins, there is no year of jubile left;
   when you reject the free grace, there is no grace left.
      What do you have to do? If you are waxen poor through your sinning,
   and  when you have sold away your heavenly  reward (as you indeed have
   done), and if  Jesus offers to redeem  you, you have  to believe that.
   Then Christ shall come and redeem you. You may ask: "I'm not sure that
   He does  this offer also  to me. Does He  also invite me  to belief in
   Him?" Then the answer is: Listen to Christ, Who says:

   I am  come a  light into  the world,  that whosoever  believeth on  me
   should not abide in darkness. (John 12:46)

   When you believe on Him, you will  not abide in darkness, but you  are
   passed unto the light. He that  hears Jesus' word, and believes on God
   the Father,  Who sent  Him, has everlasting  life, and  shall not come
   into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

   2. 2 Kings 5 - Naaman, Elisha and Gehazi

   In this chapter, we  read the story of Naaman,  the leper, Elisha, the
   prophet, and Gehazi, the servant of Elisha.

   1 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.
   Naaman, was  a great man and honourable, because the LORD had used him
   to  give deliverance unto Syria. Naaman was a  wise man, and mighty in
   deeds, and had delivered  Syria in the wars and  other dangers. We see
   that  the LORD, as this  verse says,  governs all, even  the unknowing
   heathen.  Not only  Israel was delivered by  Him, but  also Syria. But
   however  mighty and  honourable  Haman was,  he was  a leper.  Being a
   leper, he had a sure death before his eyes. All his honour availed him
   nothing, nor his greatness, nor  his valour. He could fight, helped by
   the LORD, against the  enemies of Syria,  but against the leprosy,  he
   couldn't  do  anything.  This general  truth  can  be  drawn  from the
   passage: When we have all earthly things, as honour, might, goods, but
   when  we are  ill,  seriously and  deathly  ill, all  our goods  avail
   2  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.
   The Syrians had gone  out, and taken a little maid  our of the land of
   Israel.  In  the previous  verse  was said  that  the LORD  helped the
   Syrians. Has He also helped  them against the Israelites? Yes, He has,
   namely  to punish Israel  for their  sins. He  sent, because  of their
   disobedience, the  Syrians into  their land.  Among all the  captives,
   there was also a little maid, who served in Naaman's house.
   3  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.
   The little maid was brought up with the knowledge of the true God, and
   she also knew  of Elisha the prophet.  She was assured  that he  could
   recover Naaman  of his  leprosy. We  see the  great value  of a  godly
   upbringing. This  little maid,  even in  her captivity, passed  on the
   belief in God and His prophets.
   4 And [one] went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the
   maid that [is] of the land of Israel.
   When Naaman heard the words of the maid, that there  was a possibility
   to  be delivered of his leprosy, he went in to the king, his lord, and
   told him.
   5 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.
   The  king of Syria allowed Naaman to go to Israel. When there was this
   possibility of recovery  for his honourable servant  Naaman, he wished
   not to leave the case untried.
   6 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.
   When Naaman  said that the king might  recover him of his  leprosy, we
   know,  that he meant, that this would be  done by the prophet. But the
   king of Israel did not understand this, as appears in the next verse.
   7 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.
   The king of Israel said: Am I God, to  heal this man from his leprosy?
   Herein we  see that  it was well known  that only  God could heal  the
   leper;  human help was insufficient. He  thought therefore, that Syria
   sought  any pretext for a  new war.  Syria could then  say: I  sent my
   servant to you, to be recovered of his leprosy; you recovered him not;
   therefore I begin a war against you.
   8 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.
   Elisha heard that the king had rent his clothes as a sign of mourning.
   He said: Let him come to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet
   in Israel. This means: I will heal him, and thereby shall he know that
   there is a prophet. We see that prophets, who only utter words, cannot
   be considered as prophets. It must come to deeds, and then shall he be
   known as a true prophet. The prophet, whose words are confirmed by the
   LORD, is a true;  he, whose words are  spoken in vain, or prove to  be
   untrue, is not a  prophet, that is, a false  prophet. Let Naaman come,
   therefore, to Elisha, the true prophet, and he shall see it.
   9 So  Naaman came with his horses  and with his chariot,  and stood at
   the door of the house of Elisha.
   We see how great Naaman was. It is especially mentioned in this verse,
   that he  came with  his horses  and with  his chariot.  He might  have
   thought: I am  nearly the greatest of  Syria, and I  will prove myself
   thus. His horses  and chariot, and  his suite were signs of  this. But
   also, they were a sign of Naaman's pride.
   10 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
   In this behaviour of Elisha, we see a good example of the behaviour of
   God. Naaman came  in full splendour, but  Elisha was not  impressed by
   that. He send  his messenger, but he  even did not  come himself.  The
   same does God. When we come in our  pride unto Him, he will beat  that
   down first. Proud  people will be humbled.  Maybe, Naaman thought that
   he came to a simple prophet,  but in fact, he came to God. It might be
   that Naaman was nearly  the most important man in  Syria, yet, God was
   the King  of kings, Ruler  of not ony  Syria, but of  the whole world.
   Pride is not fitting then. Let we keep this in mind.
   11 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
   Naaman was accustomed to  the vain witch doctors of Syria,  who struck
   over the place,  got the money, but  recovered no leper. These  people
   used much idle ceremony, like calling on the name of their idols, like
   using much  splendour, striking  over the  place, and much  more. Now,
   when Naaman  came unto Elisha, the  true prophet, the  true doctor, he
   got another treatment. God's service has not outward splendour, but it
   is accepted in faith. His first treatment, as we see in our verses, is
   to abase  us. He first  heals our pride.  What was the  result of this
   first treatment? Naaman was very wroth, and went away. Look, he wished
   to  be recovered of his leprosy, but he wished not to use God's method
   12  [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.
   Naaman had, as he thought,  his better rivers than Jordan,  that small
   brook of Israel. In fact, he despised Elisha's counsel,  who said that
   he had  to wash himself in  Jordan, not in Abana  or Pharpar. His rage
   led him away.
   13 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?
   Fortunately,  he had  good  servants. They  used the  right  method of
   reasoning. They  said: when  you was  asked to  do very great  things,
   would you not  have done it?  How much rather then this  little thing?
   This good counsel had effect.
   14 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.
   In the  previous verses, Naaman  thought the treatment  of the prophet
   too humiliating, and  despised his  words. But  here we  read that  he
   dipped  himself in Jordan, according to the saying  of the man of God.
   The last  sentence deserved  our notice. He  did so  according to  the
   saying of the  man of God. That is important. When  we do according to
   the sayings  of God's servants,  according to  God's Word, it will  be
   well to us. Naaman did so, and  was recovered of his leprosy. When  he
   had rejected God's Words,  he would not  have been recovered. When  we
   reject the words of God's servants, we stay a leper. The leprosy was a
   picture of a  sinner. When we reject God's  Word, we will stay  in our
   sins, but when we do  what He says, washing ourselves in Jordan,  that
   is, washing  ourselves in the blood of  God's Son, we will  recover of
   our leprosy. This is, we will be freed from the deathly burden of  our
   15 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.
   Naaman was thankful. After  being recovered, he returned to Elisha. He
   now had experienced in his own flesh,  that there is no God in all the
   earth, but in Israel. Is he still proud? No, for we read that he calls
   himself the servant of Elisha. He is no longer the captain of the host
   of the king of Syria, but he is now Elisha's servant. The treatment of
   God has done its work. First, he was abased, and secondly he was freed
   from his leprosy.  And the result? He  acknowledged God to  be the one
   God, and none besides Him.
   16 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.
   Naaman wished  to give  the prophet  his due  reward, but  the prophet
   refused. He  refused, to let Naaman know,  that God does not  need any
   reward  of people.  He does not  need our  gold, silver,  and precious
   things. It is  just opposite. He  has al such things at  His disposal,
   and He gives it to whom He wills. Our translators  have translated: As
   the LORD  liveth, I  will receive  none. The Hebrew  gives, literally,
   [As] the LORD  lives, if I take  it. That means:  As sure as the  LORD
   lives,  if I take  it, then He  shall punish  me. This  second clause,
   "then He shall punish  me" is often kept silent  about, in the Hebrew.
   It means, that when Elisha  took gold and silver, at this moment,  God
   would punish  him. It  was now  not the moment to  take money,  as the
   reward of the  cure. God gives His grace freely,  and He does not need
   anything of us.
   17 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.
   If you then not want to accept my gifts, then I ask something  of you.
   Give me earth to built an altar of, for I will from now on offer to no
   other god, but  the LORD. Naaman had  now some knowledge  of the  true
   God, but it was mingled with much ignorance. He thought that the earth
   of Israel  was more  holy then that  of his own country.  Therefore he
   asked it. Ignorance  will cause men to do so. Still in our days, there
   are people who consider the ground  of Israel more holy then any other
   ground. They  prove to be followers  of Naaman, in  this point, having
   nearly any knowledge of God (though they pretend to have).
   18 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.
   Naaman now asks pardon for  sins, which he knows that he will  commit.
   He  knew  that  it  was not  allowed  to worship  any  other  God than
   Israel's, but  nevertheless, he will  do so. Surely,  he himself would
   not serve that Syrian idol, but  yet, he knew that it was  sin to help
   any other in his worship.
   19 And he said unto him, Go in peace. So he departed from him a little
   Elisha says: Go in peace. He does not grant Naaman his wish, nor  does
   he say that it was allowed to bow down before an image, without giving
   it honour. He only says: Go in peace.

   20 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.
   Gehazi was  after silver  and gold. He  found it very dull  of Elisha,
   that he not received the gifts of Naaman. We see herein, that the mean
   Gehazi  knew nothing  about spiritual  duties; that  he not  knew that
   there  was a  time to  refrain from  receiving. He only  thought about
   becoming rich. "I will follow him", he said.
   21 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?
   22 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.
   Gehazi says that his master has sent  him. So, being a miser, he  also
   is a  liar. He uses the  invented coming of the holy  prophets for his
   23 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.
   Naaman,  being glad  that  he now  can show  his thankfulness  for his
   recovery, gives not one talent, but two.
   24  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
   Gehazi  was afraid  that  Elisha saw  it. Therefore,  he  bestowed the
   silver  and garments in  a house.  He did not consider,  however, that
   Elisha was  a prophet, and  therefore could know what  his servant had
   done. Gehazi covers his deeds, of  which appears that he knew it to be
   25  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
   Gehazi, with a  face as if  there had  nothing happened, comes  in and
   stands before  his master. On the question of Elisha, he gives a lying
   answer: Thy servant went no whither. Once having begun  lying, he must
   continue therein. The one sin calls up the next.
   26 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?
   It was no time now, to receive money, garments, oliveyards, vineyards,
   sheep, oxen, menservants and maidservants,  Gehazi! It was now another
   time, namely  to  show to  Naaman,  that the  God of  Israel needs  no
   payment. He is gracious, and  not like the heathen gods, whose priests
   were miserly.
   27 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.
   Naaman was  freed from his leprosy, and the same leprosy now came upon
   Gehazi. That was  the punishment of his  deliberate sin. Let therefore
   the  present ungodly keep this  in mind.  When you are  pursuing gold,
   silver, riches, wealth, and all kinds of precious things, know that it
   is not the time  for such things. It is now  time to serve God, and to
   subject yourself to Him.

   3. Luke 11:9,10 - Ask, and it shall be given you

   And I say unto you,
      ask, and it shall be given you;
      seek, and ye shall find;
      knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
   For every one that asketh receiveth;
   and he that seeketh findeth;
   and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

   These are  Jesus' words. Ask, and it shall be  given you. Have you the
   burden of  you daily transgressions  laying on your  neck? Ask pardon,
   and it shall be given you. Do you earnestly wish to have the knowledge
   of God? Ask for it, and it  shall be granted you. Are you seeking Him,
   more then  silver and  gold? Seek Him,  and you shall find.  Or better
   said: you will find Him, because He will find you. Everyone that seeks
   will  find. Do  you  stand before  the closed  door of  God's kingdom?
   Knock, and it shall be opened  unto you. Are you as it  were caught in
   the prison of darkness? Knock, and the door unto life  shall be opened
   unto you, and God's light  shall come in your heart. Are you caught in
   the snares  of the world? Ask  if you may  be freed, lest  the poacher
   comes and kills you therein. Ask freedom of the world's snares, and it
   will be granted you.  Many seek good, like is  written: "There be many
   that say,  Who will  shew us any  good?" The  prophet continues saying
   that we ought to seek the true good. So, "LORD, lift thou up the light
   of thy  countenance upon us."  (Psalms 4:6)  Seek you  the good?  Say:
   LORD,  give me Thy  light to shine  upon me.  Seek it, and it  will be
   granted you.  Do you  bear the  burden of  this life?  Has all  become
   difficult  to  you?  Ask the  grace,  that  you  may  willingly resign
   yourself to  the will of God, and the burden will become light. Do you
   seek gold and silver, like Gehazi did? To your benefit, seek the godly
   things, not those wordly.

   Ask,  and it shall  be given you;  for every  one that  asks receives.
   Seek,  and ye shall find; for he that seeks finds. Knock, and it shall
   be opened unto you; for to him that knocks it shall be opened.

   Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Bible to Israel
   Editor: Teus Benschop  -
   Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands

     End of   The Scriptures opened, 31

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