“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.” ESV 2 Kings 5:11
Naaman was a very important man in his country. Scripture tells us that he was commander of the army for the King of Syria. Don’t you suppose that Naaman, in his position as a commander, was accustomed to having most events unfold just as he planned or imagined? Certainly his attendants and soldiers would have gone to great lengths to know his likes, dislikes, and personal whims and I suspect they would have done everything possible to please the man.
A commander demands more than a smidgen of respect and obedience from those under his authority and Naaman would have been no different. Few would fault Naaman for being a proud man, but Naaman was also a leper. When I think about it, it must have been frustrating for Naaman to be an outcast, a leper, yet also be among the elite of the King’s household.
One day, word comes to Naaman of a possible cure for his disease in Israel and with the blessings of the King he assembles and entourage and heads out. After first stopping by to see a very surprised and distressed King of Israel, he eventually arrives at the house of a prophet named Elisha; the man of God who can offer him a cure.
From inside Elisha’s house it must have been quite a sight. I mean Naaman, the commander of the Syrian army, had come calling and was parked in his front yard with horses, chariots, and animals loaded with silver and gold. I wonder what the neighbors thought?
Naaman, after staging such a grand entrance, and being such an important man and all, was not ready for Elisha’s prescription that arrived by messenger: “Go and wash in the Jordon seven times, and your flesh shall be restored…” Naaman was insulted and angry. Surely the healing of someone of his stature would be something of a public spectacle with hand waving, speeches and such. But no, Elisha told him to go bathe in a river that was downright nasty by his standards; how humiliating.
Naaman didn’t like it, but he was eventually convinced to follow Elisha’s instructions. He did and he was healed. Naaman left Israel a changed man inside and out. On the outside, his leprosy was cured. On the inside, he was praising the one true God.
How often I wonder does our pride rob us of the blessings of God? Do you have certain expectations you expect to be met before you worship and praise Him? Has a church leader or member wounded your pride somewhere along the way?
Scripture doesn’t guarantee that outward healing is ours for the asking, but I can assure you that spiritual healing is available to everyone who humbly submits to God’s word. “Repent, and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15).”