A couple of posts ago, before I got sidetracked by my personal humility lesson and the latest winter storm, we left off in 2 Kings 5:7 with Naaman the army commander and leper waiting to hear if the king of Israel via their prophet Elisha could heal him from leprousy. If you remember, the king of Israel thought Naaman's king was just picking a fight by his request.
We'll pick up in 2 King 5:8. The king of Aram was not picking a fight. Elisha found out about his king's anger and had the king send Naaman to him. Why should I tell it? Here's what happened according to God's word:
8 When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: "Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel." 9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha's house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, "Go, wash yourself seven times in the jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed." (2 Kings 5:8-10 NIV)
So far, so good. Elisha once again saves the day. But wait! Enter human pride. Naaman basically says "If God's ways are higher than my ways, why is the "cure" so simple?' Well, he doesn't actually say that, but look at his reaction before we relate this story to our own bad selves.
But Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of the Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?" So he turned and went off in a rage. (2 Kings 5:11-12 NIV)
This passage is so rich in personal applications. I bet a good preacher could write a couple of sermons on it! I'll stick to keeping this short and sweet. Here are my gleanings from vs. 11-12 to personally apply:
1. Put the pride aside. Naaman first of all was irritated because he thought he wasn't getting the treatment he deserved. He wanted a personally showing from Elisha, complete with all the trimmings of laying on of hands and calling out to God. How often do I think more highly of myself than I ought to think?
2. Just do it. Naaman walked off in a huff because he didn't understand how God's plan could be so simple. Apparently, Naaman had the cure for his leprosy already figured out. Did he stop to think that he, Naaman, was the one begging for face time in front of the prophet so he could be cured? We all are like Naaman at times, blinded by our own ideas of what should take place for a chain of events to get started. We forget that although sometimes more simple in appearance than our own concocted schemes, God's ways are indeed better. When was the last time I questioned God's solution to my problem because I "knew better"?
Until next time...