What Money Can't Buy

Was man mit Geld nicht kaufen kann

Da sprach der König von Aram: Geh, ziehe hin, und ich will dem König von Israel einen Brief schicken! Da ging er hin und nahm zehn Talente Silber und 6000 Goldstücke und zehn Festgewänder mit sich. (2. Könige 5,5)

In diesem Vers geht es um einen General der syrischen Armee namens Naeman. Naeman war ein großer und ehrenwerter Mann mit viel Mut und Stärke (2. Könige 5,1). Er hatte beinahe in jeder Hinsicht Erfolg, doch er hatte Lepra. Das war nicht nur eine eklige Krankheit, sondern auch sein Todesurteil. Er würde an dieser normalerweise unheilbaren Krankheit sterben.

What Money Can't Buy

Durch ein junges Dienstmädchen hörte Naeman von einem Propheten in Israel, der ihn heilen konnte. Elisa war ein Prophet des lebendigen Gottes, und auch wenn er selber keine Wunder vollbringen konnte, gebrauchte Gott ihn doch viele Male um Wunder zu tun.

Naeman fragte seinen Chef – den König von Syrien– ob er ins Feindesland (Israel) gehen durfte, um den Propheten von Syriens Feinden zu bitten, ihn von der ekligen und tödlichen Krankheit zu heilen. Der König gab die Erlaubnis, und Naeman ging.

Unser Vers erzählt uns, dass er folgende Dinge mitnahm, um den Propheten, der ihn heilen konnte, damit zu bezahlen: zehn Talente Silber und 6000 Goldstücke und zehn Festgewänder.Das war einen Menge Geld. Ein Talent waren um die 33 Kilogramm. Bei den heutigen Preisen wären zehn Talente Silber 177.410 Euro wert. Ein Goldstück war 12 Gramm schwer. Die 6000 Goldstückewären heute 2.668.435 Euro wert. Man schätzt die zehn Festgewänderauf circa 4500 Euro.

Insgesamt nahm Naeman also 2.850.345 Euro mit.

Das ist eine große Summe, doch all das Geld konnte Naeman weder sein Leben noch Glück bringen. Naeman war bereit so viel auszugeben für etwas, das Gott ihm freiwillig geben würde. Wenn sie könnten, was würden die Menschen zahlen, um in den Himmel zu kommen? Um mit Gott ins Reine zu kommen? Um ein echtes und bedeutsames Leben zu haben? Um ihre Schuld auszulöschen? Dass ihre Sünden vergeben werden?

Naeman brauchte etwas, das nur Gott ihm geben konnte. Und Gott brachte ihm dies durch einen Propheten – einen Mann von Gottes Wort.

Gott und Sein Wort halten Schätze für dich bereit, die man mit Geld nicht kaufen kann. In einem Gebet zu Gott (Psalm 119,72) steht: Das Gesetz, das aus deinem Mund kommt, ist besser für mich als Tausende von Gold- und Silberstücken. Naeman sollte etwas bekommen, das man mit Geld nicht kaufen kann.

Hast du die größten Dinge von Gott erhalten? Die Dinge, die man micht mit Geld kaufen kann?

Crowning Kings

Ready for a Crown

Blessed is the man who endures temptation;
for when he has been approved,
he will receive the crown of life
which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
(James 1:12)

Happy Monday! If you served God, His people, or a needy world this last weekend in Jesus’ name, I pray today God will find several ways to recharge and refresh you.

We love the Beatitudes – those wonderful sayings of Jesus in Matthew 5 about those who are blessed. Yet the New Testament gives us a few more beatitudes beyond the Sermon on the Mount. Here, God pronounces a blessing on the one who endures temptation.

Crowning Kings

I think there are several kinds of temptation that are common to pastors, preachers, and Bible teachers. We are tempted to discouragement and tempted to pride. We tempted to self-reliance and to carelessness. We are tempted to make an idol out of the ministry or to lose heart with it.

Friend, please know – as you endure these temptations, God promises the crown of life to you. It’s worth it to keep going, to keep trusting in Jesus, and to keep receiving His strength.

Enduring through temptation, there is a promise for us: The crown of life which the Lord has promised. With this, James reminds us that it really is worth it to endure under the temptations we face.

The idea of our coming crown is amazing – almost more than we can take in. Spurgeon said this about our coming crown: “O you dear Christian people that live in poverty and obscurity, I have a reverence for your heads which are already anointed with grace, for your heads that are yet to be crowned with glory. You run – often run better than the greatest and most observed of your fellow Christians; and you shall not miss your reward. There is a crown laid up, not only for Paul, but ‘for all them that love our Lord’s appearing.’”

I don’t know what temptations face you on a Monday following a weekend serving God. Whatever they are, be encouraged. Endure through them. Look forward to the promised crown.

Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

Click Here to Receive Email from David for Pastors, Preachers, and Bible Teachers

humble door

Humble Enough to Receive

And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will 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 heal the leprosy.’ Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. (2 Kings 5:10-12)

When the great Syrian general Naaman came to Elisha to be healed of his leprosy, he expected to be treated like a great man. He came with all the emblems of influence and power, and a lot of money.

humble door

When he knocked at Elisha’s door, the prophet didn’t bother to answer. He sent a messenger to him instead. Naaman took the trouble to come to the home of Elisha, but Elisha refused to meet him personally. He simply sent a messenger. This was humbling to Naaman, who was usually honored.

Elisha’s message was simple. For healing, he told Naaman to wash himself in the Jordan River seven times. As rivers go, the Jordan was a pretty humble river. And, dunking yourself seven times is something so simple a child could do it.

Naaman’s reaction shows how Elisha offended the general’s pride. Naaman was offended that Elisha himself didn’t see him and because they had much nicer rivers in Syria.

Naaman then turned and went away in a rage. Naaman had a certain expectation about how God should work, and when God didn’t work that way, he was angry. Naaman didn’t like how Elisha expected a humble response from the respected and honored general.

What Elisha offended was Naaman’s pride. In one way or another, our pride will always be offended with God’s work. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is found in three places (James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5, and Proverbs 3:34): God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

As long as Naaman stayed in his pride, he would not and could not receive what God wanted to give him. God required that Naaman humble himself in order to receive, so God guided Elisha to give humbling conditions to the great general.

Is pride preventing you from receiving something from God? Put your focus on the humble Jesus (Philippians 2:5-8) and let Him guide you into true humility. Who knows what God has to give you that you haven’t received yet?

Click here for David’s commentary on 2 Kings 5

What Money Can't Buy

What Money Can’t Buy

Then the king of Syria said, “Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So he departed and took with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. (2 Kings 5:5)

This verse concerns a general in the army of Syria named Naaman. Naaman was a great and honorable man, and a man of great courage and strength (2 Kings 5:1). He was a success by almost any measure, but he was a leper. His leprosy was not only a disgusting disease, but it was also a death sentence. Eventually he would die from this normally incurable disease.

What Money Can't Buy

Through a servant girl, Naaman heard that there was a prophet in Israel who could heal him. Elisha was a true prophet of the living God, and though the he could not do miracles simply as he pleased to do them, God used him many times to do miraculous things.

Naaman asked his boss – the king of Syria – if he could go to enemy territory (Israel) to ask a prophet among Syria’s enemies for healing from this disgusting, deadly disease. The king gave permission, and Naaman went.

Our verse tells us that Naaman brought the following things to pay the prophet who could heal him: ten talents of silver, six thousand shekelsof gold, and ten changes of clothing. Here’s the point: this was a lot of money. A talent was generally thought to be about 33 kilograms (75 pounds). At today’s prices, ten talents of silver were worth $158,934. A shekel can be estimated to be 12 grams (.42 ounces). At today’s prices, six thousand shekels of gold were worth $2,978,640. We can give a low estimate of ten changes of clothing in today’s prices to be $5,000.

In total, Naaman brought $3,142,574 (€2,779,242 at today’s exchange rate).

More than $3 million is a lot of money, but all that money couldn’t bring Naaman life or happiness. Naaman was willing to spend that much to get something that God would give him freely. If they could, what would people pay to get to heaven? To be made right with God? To have true, meaningful purpose in life? To have their guilt erased? Their sins forgiven?

Naaman needed something that only God could bring to him, and God would bring it through a prophet – a man of God’s word.

God and His word have treasure for you that money can’t buy. In a prayer to God, Psalm 119:72 says, the law of Your mouth is better to me than thousands of coins of gold and silver. Naaman was about to receive something that money could not buy.

Have you received the greatest things from God? The things that money can’t buy?

Click here for David’s commentary on 2 Kings 5

Girl with a Bible

Etwas Wunderbares aus etwas Schlechtem

Und die Aramäer waren in Streifscharen ausgezogen und hatten ein kleines Mädchen aus dem Land Israel entführt, das nun im Dienst von Naemans Frau war. Und sie sprach zu ihrer Herrin: Ach, dass mein Herr bei dem Propheten wäre, der in Samaria wohnt; der würde ihn von seinem Aussatz befreien! (2. Könige 5,2-3)

Ein junges Mädchen wuchs im alten Israel auf. Ihre Familie unterrichtete sie gut. Sie glaubte an den Gott Israels, und sie wusste, dass Elisa ein Prophet Gottes war. Sie wusste auch, dass Gott durch Elisa die Unheilbaren heilen konnte.

Girl with a Bible

Ein junges israelisches Mädchen wurde von ihrer Familie entführt und in die Sklaverei nach Syrien verschleppt. Das war zweifelsohne der schlimmste Tag ihres Lebens. Sie wurde zur Dienerin des Haushalts eines syrischen Generals namens Naeman, und sie stand im Dienst von Naemans Frau. Aber Gott war größer als die Tragödie und das Elend des Mädchens, und Er gebrauchte sie auf bemerkenswerte Weise.

Sie nahm allen Mut zusammen und erzählte Naemans Frau, dass Gottes Prophet nicht nur Worte sagte, sondern dass er Gottes Botschafter war. Gott gebrauchte den Mut und den Glauben des Mädchens, und es war nicht das letzte Mal, das Gott den Glauben eines kleinen Mädchens nutzte.

Im späten 18. Jahrhundert versammelte sich in Wooster, Südafrika, eine Gruppe junger Leute an Pfingsten in einer Reformierten Gemeinde. Dabei fragte ein schwarzes Mädchen ob sie ihr Zeugnis erzählen durfte. Sie gab so ein tolles Zeugnis, das alle die Gegenwart Gottes dort spürten. Der Leiter der Versammlung sagte, dass er so etwas wie das Geräusch eines herannahenden Tornados hörte und dass er spürte, wie die ganze Halle erzitterte. Dann sprangen all die jungen Leute auf und begannen zu beten – in Südafrika begann eine Erweckung, entzündet durch das Gebet eines jungen Mädchens.

Ein junges Mädchen war auch der Funke für die erstaunliche Erweckung in Wales. Im Februar 1904 fand ein Gebetstreffen in New Quay statt. Der Pastor fragte, wer Zeugnis von seinen geistlichen Erfahrungen geben wollte. Nach einigen unehrlichen Antworten sprach ein junges Mädchen. Florrie Evans war gerade vor einigen Tagen Christ geworden. Florrie stand auf und sprach mit zitternder Stimme: „Ich liebe Jesus von ganzem Herzen.“ Dieser aufrichtige Satz machte einen tiefen Eindruck auf die jungen Leute und entfachte etwas Bedeutendes. Diese Jugendgruppe, durch diesen bewegenden Satz des jungen Mädchens in Brand gesetzt, wurde zu einem Erweckungsfeuer in ganz Wales, und das verbreitete sich in der ganzen Welt.

Manche Menschen denken, dass es unwahrscheinlich ist, dass Gott ein junges Mädchen gebraucht um so ein wichtiges Werk zu entzünden. Aber Gott liebt es unscheinbare Menschen zu gebrauchen – Menschen wie dich und mich.

Empty Tomb

The Best News Ever

Empty Tomb

Dear Pastor, Preacher, or Bible Teacher:

Many of you have the honor of proclaiming the best news ever – that the Lord is Risen!

Today, I’m thinking of and praying for you all together, asking God to bless whatever opportunity He gives you to honor the resurrected Jesus and to be His messenger. It’s a wonderful message:

  • Jesus is risen
  • His work on the cross was completely accepted by God the Father – it is finished!
  • Death is defeated and our eternity is secure
  • God’s love and power is proclaimed in and through the work of Jesus
  • For all time, this fact of history demonstrates the Christian message to be true

May God give you an extra measure of His grace to receive the resurrection power of Jesus into your life and ministry, so that you can herald the best news ever.

Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

Click Here to Receive Email from David for Pastors, Preachers, and Bible Teachers

building stones

What God Builds With

And the king commanded them to quarry large stones,
costly stones, and hewn stones,
to lay the foundation of the temple. 
(1 Kings 5:17)

It was one of the most amazing building projects of the ancient world. Thousands of men worked together to make the temple God inspired David and his son Solomon to build. In fact, a few verses before it says that were 70,000 men who carried burdens and quarried stones on this job site.

1 Kings 5:17 tells us that Solomon used costly stones. This is literally “quality stones,” showing that Solomon used high quality materials even in the foundation where the stones could not be seen.

building stones

The Bible says that we are like a temple being built by God. Ephesians 2:19-21 tells us that God’s people are being built up like a temple, with Jesus Christ as the chief corner stone and God’s apostles and prophets as the rest of the foundation. Then God keeps building with all of God’s people, in whom the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord (Ephesians 2:21).

Even closer to the point, 1 Peter 2:5 speaks to God’s people and says, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house. The picture is of God building a building, and we are the “bricks” or the “stones” that God builds with.

So, what might it say to you that Solomon used only costly stones in building the temple?

This speaks to the way you should work for God. We don’t work for appearance only, but also to excel in the deep and hidden things. All of our work for God should be done thoroughly – perhaps especially the work that is like a foundation, lying low and hidden, and not commonly seen by others.

This speaks to the way God works in you. He works in the deep and hidden things when others are concerned with mere appearances. You probably know this from your own life – how God has done a lot of unseen, underground work in your life.

This speaks to the way God builds the church. He wants to do a work of deep, strong foundations instead of a work a mile wide but an inch deep. If we want to see a solid work of God in our churches, it will be built upon His solid people.

Best of all, never forget who paid the price for every one of those costly stones: Jesus our redeemer. It is His temple and all the materials in it are His purchased possession. Thank Jesus for buying, building, and for letting you serve in His temple!

Blessings to You in Jesus’ Name – David Guzik

Click Here to Receive Email from David for Pastors, Preachers, and Bible Teachers

Girl with a Bible

Something Wonderful from Something Bad

And the Syrians had gone out on raids, and had brought back captive a young girl from the land of Israel. She waited on Naaman’s wife. Then she said to her mistress, “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.” (2 Kings 5:2-3)

A young girl grew up in ancient Israel. Her family taught her well. She believed in the God of Israel, and she knew that Elisha was God’s prophet. She also knew that God could use Elisha to heal the incurable.

Girl with a Bible


A young Israeli girl was kidnapped from her family and taken as a slave to Syria. It was, no doubt, the worst day of her life. She was soon made to serve in the household of a Syrian general named Naaman, and she waited on Naaman’s wife. But God was greater than all the girl’s tragedy and misery, and was about to use her in a remarkable way.

Taking the courage to speak, she told Naaman’s wife that God’s prophet did more than speak words; he was God’s messenger. God used the girl’s courage and faith, and it wasn’t the last time God used the faith of a little girl.

In the late 1800’s in Wooster, South Africa, a group of young people in a Reformed Church gatheredon a Pentecost Sunday. In that meeting a black girl asked if she might give her testimony. She gave such a sweet testimony that it brought a hush of the sense of the presence of God over the meeting. The leader of the meeting said that he heard what he described as the sound of an approaching tornado, and he thought he felt the whole prayer hall shaking. Then all the young people sprang to their feet and started praying – and revival came to South Africa, sparked by the prayer of a young girl.

A young girl was an important spark for the amazing Welsh Revival. In February of 1904 at New Quay, there was a morning prayer meeting for young people. The pastor asked for testimonies of spiritual experience. After several insincere responses, a young girl spoke. Florrie Evans just became a Christian a few days before. Florrie rose and spoke with a tremor in her voice, saying, ‘I love Jesus Christ with all my heart.’ This sincere word made a deep impression on the Young People’s Society, sparking something significant. That on-fire youth group, ignited by the young girl’s moving word, in a few months became a revival fire over all Wales, spreading all over the world.

Some people think it’s unlikely that God could use young girls to spark such important works. But God loves to use unlikely people – people like me and you.

Click here for David’s commentary on 2 Kings 5