Living Lessons on Courage 3 _ Following Difficult Instructions in the

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Courage is often a choice, especially when pride or danger are involved~meet a man full of pride who had to be humbled to be healed... following a scary choice also applies to the animal for this lesson... stay? or jump maybe to my death? How often do we have to make such a call? Everyday, spiritually... stay where I am? or follow God's directions that seem so... scary....

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Living Lessons on Courage Following Difficult Instructions in the Face of Danger…:

Living Lessons on Courage Following Difficult Instructions in the Face of Danger… Character Sketches, Vol. 1 IBLP, 1986, pages 152-163 Information also drawn from CharacterFirst ! & various Character Council & other websites Lesson 3 James 4:6 God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble .

Who Am I?:

Who Am I? In Nature… about this animal… Inhabits freshwater marshes and swamps Brilliantly colored male, duller female Average lifespan is around 11 years From Scripture… W as a highly successful general Called a “great and honorable man” by God Was humbled by a disease…

The Wood Duck:

The Wood Duck Yes, they really look like this!! 

Habitat:

Habitat Their breeding habitat is wooded swampland & shallow lakes, marshes, ponds & creeks in eastern North America, the west coast of the US, & western Mexico. They usually nest in cavities in trees close to water, & will take advantage of nesting boxes in wetland locations if available.

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The Wood Duck family... * learns in a brood pond (10 acres+), & up to a mile from the hatching nest *uses tuckahoe , cattail, & other plants for cover *loves pond weeds! *flies in family groups

The wood duck lifestyle…:

The wood duck lifestyle… Females line their nests with feathers & other soft materials. Mom thoroughly inspects each potential nest while Dad stands guard. The elevation of a tree hollow provides some protection from predators.

Growing up ducky…:

Growing up ducky… Females typically lay between 7 &15 white-tan eggs that incubate for an average of 30 days. Mom talks at the eggs for several days before they actually all hatch (together!) After hatching, the ducklings jump from the nest & head for water. Mom calls, but does not help them at all, & they may jump from up to 290 ft without injury.

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They prefer nesting over water so the young have a soft landing, but will nest up to 150 yards away from the shoreline. http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/animals/birds-animals/waders-and-waterfowl/duck_leavingnest/ The ducklings can swim & find food by this time & follow Mom to learn how to survive…

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These birds feed by dabbling or walking on land. They mainly eat berries, acorns, & seeds, but also insects, making them omnivores… Unlike most other ducks, the Wood Duck has sharp claws for perching in trees & can, in southern regions, produce two broods in a single season—the only North American duck that can do so.

So what do we learn from a wood duck??:

So what do we learn from a wood duck?? Sometimes we have to be willing to jump into the abyss because God has told us too… even if all we see is fear and danger… The little ones are taught early to know Mom’s voice. If they don’t, or wait too late to follow the directions of the mother duck will either starve or be eaten… not a good outcome! We need to know, hear, & heed our Father’s voice, or face a similar bad end…

A general fighting a deadly enemy….:

A general fighting a deadly enemy…. 2 Kings 5:1-19 2 Kings 5:1 Now Naaman , captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him Jehovah had given victory unto Syria: he was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.

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The bacteria that cause leprosy, aka Hansen's Disease, can live in the human body for up to 20 yrs without any physical symptoms. Eventually the infection causes severe pain, nerve damage and often a crippling loss of bodily tissue. Today, leprosy can be treated by antibiotics. Although the beginning of 2012 saw fewer than 200,000 cases reported, it remains a global concern. A historically stigmatized disease, leprosy often goes undiagnosed & untreated, until it is in its advanced stages.

2012 cases:

2012 cases

The political landscape :

The political landscape Israel & Judah are surrounded by potential & real enemies, including each other… Aram Damascus is a constant reminder of that fact~ a powerful Syrian kingdom

Syria, a tool of the Lord…:

Syria, a tool of the Lord… Ahab was the wicked king of Israel and Jehoshaphat was king of Judah when Naaman had lead his country to decisive victories over the Jewish states ~ both had turned from the Lord; Syria became the tool of correction… Border skirmishes with Syria (Aram) were not uncommon… Naaman was highly respected in Aram, but a cause for concern when he came to Israel, especially since he was responsible for the raiding parties that led to Israeli captives…. 2 Kings 5:2

So, what’s with the leprosy?? Sickness can also be God’s tool…look how He used it for Naaman! :

So, what’s with the leprosy?? Sickness can also be God’s tool…look how He used it for Naaman ! Naaman was a proud man, but not necessarily an evil man… He found himself with a debilitating, humbling disease… & had help from an unexpected source… Ben- Hadad sends him to King Jehoram of Israel…

Pride goeth before destruction, & a haughty spirit before a fall. Prov. 16:18 :

Pride goeth before destruction, & a haughty spirit before a fall. Prov. 16:18 Naaman was accustomed to great recognition of his importance & station… 2 Kings 5:9 Elisha didn’t care… he served God! 2 Kings 5:10

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Naaman got “huffy”, but the same traits that allowed him to listen to a servant girl now surfaced again… 2 Kings 5:11-14 His heart sought truth, & saw it when it made itself known! 2 Kings 5:15-19

Questions to consider…:

Questions to consider… Wouldn’t it be dangerous for Naaman to visit King Jehoram , especially with such a request? 2 Kings 5:7 1 Kings 20:7-9 Why didn’t Elisha deal with him face to face? Or take the gifts once Naaman returned to him? Eph. 2:8-9 Titus 3:5-7 How was Naaman used as an example to the entire nation of Israel, & by whom? Luke 4:16-27

Remember~He uses the hard times for our benefit, if we just trust…:

Remember~He uses the hard times for our benefit, if we just trust… There will be times when He calls & calls, like the mother duck… we must choose to answer & follow, even if we don’t understand… God would that ALL the world be saved, & Naaman is yet one more picture of someone who put aside his pride & position to learn to follow the true God, even in difficult circumstances...

So, what is our “take away”? Trust!:

So, what is our “take away”? Trust!

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