[Naaman’s] servants approached and said to him, “[Master], if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?” – 2 Kings 5:13
Naaman was great military leader. He served the king of Aram with power and distinction.
He also was leper.
Leprosy is a skin disease. It was ugly. And contagious. No one dared be near you, lest they be infected too.
Naaman and his army were often at war with Israel. Once he captured a young Hebrew girl. She said to him, “5:3 If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
Naaman went in search of this prophet with “9 horses and chariots” and “5 thousand[s] of shekels of gold.” He was an important man. He surely thought that power and influence could sway a humble prophet, and if not, at least a fortune in gold could buy God’s (or at least sway a poor prophet).
The prophet was Elisha, and when Naaman showed up at his door, Elisha didn’t even bother to come outside. He wasn’t scared. He wasn’t intimidated. He knew the King of Heaven and Earth, and a mere mortal trying to act impressive simply didn’t impress him.
Elisha just sent a message: “10 Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.” Naaman was livid. How dare this little man insult him?! “12 [Weren’t] the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?”
Scripture says that, “12 [Naaman] turned and went away in a rage. 13 But his servants approached and said to him” – our verse for today – “‘[Master], if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, ‘Wash, and be clean’?”
Naaman was humbled. His pride was exposed. He submitted to the prophet – if not to God himself – and did the simple deed of washing in the Jordan. Scripture says, “14 his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.”
Obedience is often hard. And most of us are just about as proud as Naaman. We accept only the advice that makes sense to us. We tend to do things our way. We chafe when even simple acts of obedience are required. We surely know what’s best for us. God’s way is simple: Follow me rather than the world. Follow me rather than yourself.
When prideful Naaman humbly submitted, he was finally set free.
In Christ’s Love,
a guy who knows
how to spell “freedom”