Tuesday, 13 November 2007
Naaman stood in amazement at the door of the house. Here he was, a great man and Elisha would not even come out to speak to him. Naaman had expected the prophet to speak the great words of his God and wave his hand over him. But no, all he did was send his servant out and command Naaman to bathe seven times in the Jordan.
Naaman’s amazement grew to rage. Who did this Elisha think he was? How dare he tell the great Naaman to bathe in the muddy Jordan? Were there not far greater rivers back in Damascus? Naaman stormed away from the prophet's house.
Naaman was a man that you would have thought had it all. He was a powerful man – only the King was more powerful. People looked up to him. He commanded a great number of men. Yes, it looked like he had it all, but this man had leprosy.
It had been an Israelite slave girl that had told Naaman about the prophet of God in Israel. Naaman had received leave from the King to travel to Israel to seek Elisha’s aid.
Leprosy, the terrible skin wasting disease had no known cure in those days. It was a terrible curse and the hope of a cure had taken Naaman a long way from Damascus. Naaman had preconceptions of what to expect when he stood before the prophet Elisha. After all he had seen priests and prophets of his heathen gods and he was well aware of how they worked, but this Elisha was different!
As he stormed away from Elisha’s house a loving and level headed servant said to him, “My father, had the prophet told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, ‘ Wash, and be clean’?” 2 Kings 5:13.
Naaman would have happily engaged in a great quest if Elisha had asked him to, but to dip seven times in the Jordan did not seem worthy. It was not big enough. Naaman did not understand how this would aid his healing. However urged by his faithful servant Naaman did bathe in the Jordan seven times and he was healed.
So many people today are just like Naaman. They feel themselves far to important to do the things of God. They don’t understand the commandments of God. To serve God seems to be beneath them so they refuse to obey.
I know, sometimes it is hard to understand the reasons behind God’s instructions. The problem isn’t with God’s commands it is in our finite minds. We might not understand all the ins and outs of what God asks us to do but we need to be like Naaman. We need to be willing to humble ourselves and become obedient to God’s word. If we are, great things will happen to us also.