Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
11 But Naaman went away 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. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.
Naaman was a valiant warrior, a commander of the army of the King of Aram (vs. 1). Through a slave girl from Israel he learned of the prophet Elisha. Maybe it was the long journey or the time of delay with the King of Israel, but Naaman, at best, was grumpy. Maybe his intensity was part of the reason for his success as a warrior. Whatever the case, Naaman had leprosy and he wanted to be cured. When the prophet Elisha doesn’t even come out to Naaman and, through a messenger, gives him the instruction on how to be healed, Naaman becomes angry. All that time… all that travel… all his entourage, and that’s it!?! Ah, the pride of a leper. Naaman’s servants speak reason and truth into his life and eventually he complies. Naaman’s arrogance doesn’t negate the instruction for healing that he received, and in the end, he is cleansed from his leprosy. His skin becomes “like that of a young boy” (vs. 14).
How often does God give me simple instructions that will bring healing and wholeness to my life and I think “That’s it? There must be more!” I’m the leper filled with pride… angry by the solution that is simply hard. Simple to do but hard to pull off because of my own set of expectations. How is it that the leper can be so filled with pride toward the Healer? How can the created one feel short-changed by the Creator? How does a leper retain his pride? It’s ridiculous when you think about it. Even for Naaman, he understood this eventually.
I am grateful that God is patient. He does not harbor anger toward us. He knows us… He understands us and why we do what we do better than we understand ourselves! He knows what we need and has provided it all for us in Jesus.
Father, I praise You for the healing You provide through Jesus. I thank You that You are patient with me and, in Christ, that You do not hold my sins against me. Thank You for the cleansing and wholeness You provide! Thank You that I can walk fully in this grace today. I love You and worship You alone because there is none other like You.