Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Humbled and Healed

Now Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria. He was also a mighty man of valor, but a leper. (2 Kings 5:1 NKJV)

The great Syrian general Naaman was famous. He was celebrated. But he also had leprosy, and at that time, leprosy was incurable. However, Naaman heard about a prophet in Israel named Elisha, whom God had used to heal people.

Naaman made the journey to meet with Elisha, no doubt expecting that as soon as he rolled in with his entourage, the prophet would come to greet him and promptly heal him.

However, when Naaman arrived at Elisha’s house, Elisha sent his servant with a message for the general: “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean” (2 Kings 5:10 NKJV).

This offended Namaan. He effectively thought, “What? He didn’t even come out to greet me! I’m going home. We have better rivers in Syria.” But then he realized that he didn’t have many options, and he decided he should give it a try.

Why was Namaan reluctant? Immersing himself in the Jordan River meant that he would have to remove his beautiful breastplate. He would have to lay aside his royal robes. He would have to take off the helmet that he hid behind. Basically, he would have to expose the fact that he had leprosy. And that would be humiliating and embarrassing.

Naaman was a proud man, a military man. But he also was someone who needed to humble himself in the sight of God.

So Naaman went down to the Jordan and immersed himself in it one time. Nothing happened. He immersed himself a second time, and again nothing happened. Nothing changed either after the third, fourth, fifth, or sixth time he immersed himself. But when he came up from the water the seventh time, he was healed. That’s because he humbled himself and did what God wanted him to do.

Naaman had to see his real condition before God. We need to do the same.

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