January 29 I Wednesday
“And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” —Luke 4:27
Naaman was a great and mighty man who seemingly has his put life together. He was the commander of the army for the King of Syria. He was highly favoured; in fact, it was through him that the Lord gave victory to Syria. Yet, Naaman had a problem: he had leprosy.
During one of Syria’s raids of Israel, a little girl was taken captive and through her, Naaman learned that there was a prophet in Israel who could heal him. He told this news to the king of Syria who sent him off along with a letter to the king of Israel. Naaman packed for his road trip and brought along some gifts.
When Naaman reached the northern tribe of Israel, he presented the king of Syria’s letter to the king of Israel. After the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and became upset thinking that the king of Syria was trying to pick a fight with him because who can heal leprosy? But word of this travelled to Elisha’s ears, and he told the king of Israel to send Naaman to him and he would heal him. Naaman then travelled to Elisha’s house and Elisha sent a messenger to tell him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed” (2 Kings 5:10). Upon hearing this, Naaman became 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” (2 Kings 5:10-12).
Naaman travelled far to see the prophet Elisha and he had a presupposed idea of how God would heal him. But when what Naaman expected did not line up with what happened, he went off thinking, “I am not going to do this.” Fortunately, some of the servants traveling with him reasoned that he had nothing to lose by trying what the prophet said. Naaman, therefore, went to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times into it. When he came up the seventh time, he was completely healed of leprosy.
What did Naaman need to do to receive the blessing that the prophet had instructed him about? He needed to humble himself and get over the fact that the prophet asked him to do something that was different from what he thought he would have to do. Some of us may have a preconceived idea on how God would respond or speak to us but we will not experience the work of God unless we submit and humbly obey His Word.
Prayer: Lord God, thank You for who You are. Help me to humble my heart in submission to You, trusting that Your ways are not my ways and Your thoughts are higher than my thoughts.