Simplicity of God

2 Kings 5:  Read the wonderful story of Naaman.  I think there are many applications to our lives and to thoughts on simplicity that God can show us through this story.

The story tells how Naaman had leprosy and went to the prophet Elisha to be healed of this disease.  But when Naaman arrived at Elisha’s house Elisha himself did not even come to greet him, but sent a messenger with the message, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.”

That was very easy, but was Naaman excited?  We read, no way, he was angry.  That was in fact too simple.  He was angry because, “Behold I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place, and cure the leper.”  He thought he had better rivers at home than the Jordan that he could have washed in if that was the cure.

But then his servant came to him and said. “My father, if the prophet had commanded you to do some great thing, would you not have done it?  How much rather, then, when he says to you, wash and be clean?”

So, apparently Naaman reconsiders and does what Elisha had told him to do, and his flesh was restored and he was healed.

I think this is such a wonderful story of the simplicity of God.  All through the Bible, New and Old Testament this theme is carried through.

How can this apply to your own life.  Think about this story when you are pondering and memorizing the verses we have had in class each week.  It is too simple to take them at face value.  Would you be more willing to DO them if they were just a bit more complicated.  Perhaps not so “childlike”.  We are told to be “childlike” not childish.  There is a big difference.

Matt 18:3 “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become LIKE children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Think about this and also these other thoughts and verses that stress the simplicity of God.

The world wants a show of power, and might and wealth but God wants to do things the opposite in a simple childlike manner.

The Jews were looking for a king to come in power and glory but God sent the Messiah to a virgin and he was born in a stable.

When the angels announced his birth they did not do it to the rulers of the land but to the shepherds on a hillside.

Psalm 119:130 “The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.”

I love the words in 1 Cor 1:19-31.  Read it, it says it all as to God’s feeling of simplicity verses the wisdom of the world.



When you hear the word “gossip” what do you think of?

  • Someone telling you a juicy bit of news?
  • Is the bad thing listening or passing it on?
  • If I only tell the truth is it gossip?
  • If I only tell good things is it gossip?

Lets look at each of those…

This is what the dictionary says about gossip. First it is used as a noun, calling a gossip person- an idle tattler, a news monger. Also as a noun, to spread gossip. I guess I always thought of gossip as a verb, as something someone did, not “a gossip” as a person. The verb use was gossiping.

I began thinking…. are the above the real sin? It came to me more that my struggle had to do with conversation and words. That is why I added that to the heading of the lesson. Psalms 19:4 says, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, of Lord my strength and my redeemer”.  Am I able to defend someone- if it is awkward, or unpopular in the moment? Do I regard the feeling of the person “telling” me something, more than the person spoken of?

Two Sundays ago Pastor talked about “ego enhancement” when talking to others. When someone says to me, “so and so is the best Bible Study teacher I have ever known”…

or to Jody- “so and so is the best Young Life Area Director I know”

or to Kristy- “so and so’s family is the most wonderful I know”

or to Tina- “so and so in a Gig Harbor church is the best Youth Pastor I have every known”

What do we say?- Something subtle that puts down the person they are speaking about? Or agree and say something good about the person?

If we dont give it up completely to the Lord, a root of bitterness will grow between us and the person talking. Hebrews 12:15 “See to it that no one fail to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” spring up and cause trouble, and by it the many become defiled”.

The Lord can help us to get this habit of not defending ourselves and building up other people. Remember Matthew 23:12 “whoever exalts himself will be humble and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

I had a friend who always used the words “the greatest” or “the best” etc. when talking about other people to me. I soon accepted that that was her and not to be offended and see the funny side of it. We need to think before we answer a gossiper, or someone who is just putting down someone else.

Proverbs 16:28 “The mind of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.”

Ask the Lord to give the words for the right answer.

Proverbs 15:23 “To make an apt answer is a joy to a man and a word in season, how good it is.”

Proverbs 15:26b “for the words of the pure are pleasing to him.”

Proverbs 15:4 “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”

Ecc. 5:2 “Be not rash with your mouth not let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you upon the earth, therefore let your words be few.”

There are some people who have a knack of getting things out of us that we wished we hadn’t said. Then we know the truth of James 3:5,6 “So the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!”

What can we do to prevent this from happening?

What is the difference between being interested and being snoopy? When do we cross the line?

Daddy’s Dreams

August 12th, 2008

Dear Children and older grands,

Becky and Jim were here the other evening and we were talking about people having dreams from the Lord.  I then told Becky about Grandpa Martenson having dreams from the Lord and she said I had never told her.  You know how I am always asking, “Have I told you this a million times?”.  Well apparently I hadn’t told her and maybe hadn’t told the rest of you, so I thought this might be a good time.  August is the month of Grandpa’s birthday, Aug 23rd.  This year he would have been 104.  I loved him so much and I think of him each day as I see various pictures around here of him.  But back to his dreams.

One time I asked him why he married Grandma Martenson.  He said the Lord gave him a dream three times in a row that he was to marry her.  He told me he knew dreams were from the Lord when he had them three times.  He also said, “If I hadn’t married her there would be no Rosy, Becky, Cindy, Jane, Bart or Pollyann.”  Oh, my what a sacrifice he made for us all to be alive and have the genes we do.  We know it was not a happy marriage.

When I was about 11 years old he gave me a poem book entitled, “One Hundred and One Famous Poems”.  Oh, I loved that book, and read and reread those poems.  It was strange I was reading that poetry book, when perhaps I should have been reading “Anne of Green Gables”.  But I loved it so much and became acquainted with famous people of poetry.

Well, about one year before my daddy died he told me of some other dreams he had had.  He said he knew they were of the Lord because they came 3 times.

He said the first night he dreamed he was near the water on a cove, and a big sailing vessel was coming into the harbor.  He said the first night he could only see the first words on the bow of the ship.  It said “THAN”.

Then he said the second night the same ship came in.  It was foggy but as the fog lifted he saw the words on the front of the ship, “THANATOP”.

Then the third night the same dream came but when the ship came in he read the whole name, “THANATOPSIS”.  He said he didn’t know what the name meant.

But I did and I was afraid to tell him.  I just told him it was the name of a poem.  It was in my precious book of poems and was written by William Cullen Bryant.  It is a poem about “death”.  I don’t know if I ever told him or read it to him and I still don’t know if the poem was for him, or to prepare me.

But it pierced my heart as perhaps nothing has since.

I guess I just wanted to tell you all.

Love you all, Mom/Gr. Rosy