Today’s Reading: 2 Kings 5, Daniel 9, Psalm 117-118, 1 Timothy 2.
“10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.’ 11 But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, ‘Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?’ So he turned and went away in a rage.” 2 Kings 5:10-12
Is it just me, or do you want to punch Naaman in the face? I mean, think about it: This guy is a leper and has been told by a prophet of God – Elisha, no less – how to be healed. Instead of listening to Elisha’s “prescription,” Naaman gets mad because Elisha doesn’t “do it” the way he wants him to. What an idiot. What kind of fool would refuse God’s means of . . .
Before I punch Naaman in the face and call him names, maybe I need to punch myself.
Yes, Naaman looks like a fool here. The way to be healed and to thrive is made crystal clear. Even his servants get it and are who finally talks Naaman into washing in the Jordan (see verses 13-14). But are we not guilty of doing the exact same thing?
No, not with leprosy per se.
But with spiritual thriving?
We have all we need to know to have a healthy marriage in Ephesians 5:22-33. But we want to do it our way.
We have all we need to know to raise kids who know and love God in Deuteronomy 6, Proverbs, Ephesians 6:1-4, etc. But we want to do it our way.
We know exactly how to be right with God and to be seen by Him as His child – forever. But we want to do it our way.
We know what the Bible says about money. But we want to do it our way.
We know what God says about evangelism and discipleship. But we want to do it our way.
God has told us clearly how to prosper and thrive and live the “blessed life” (see Psalm 1 for instance). But we want to do it our way.
Or maybe it’s something else. Maybe you want God to heal you like He did Naaman, but medicine has been invented for your sickness and you refuse to take it? Maybe you want to wake up and it just “miraculously” all go away so that “God will get the glory;” yet, you refuse to take responsibility for your actions and take the way God has laid out for you?
Just like God – through Elisha – gave Naaman a clear directive to be healed, so to He has made His will and purposes for us unbelievably clear. But, like Naaman, we want to do it our way.
Let’s learn from the servants here and apply what they said to ourselves. I just have to wonder they were like, “Naaman – you pea brain barbarian! If you weren’t a leper I would kick you in the chin! Go and wash for crying out loud!” I am not sure. But they had the most sense.
God has told us how we can thrive. Let’s quit refusing what He has said, go wash in the Jordan, and be healed.