A story is told in 2nd Kings 5:1-14 of a senior officer in the Syrian army, possibly the rank of a General, by the name of Naaman. A partial reading of his CV would suggest that this was a man who was truly accomplished. He was a brave man, a leader of men, a very powerful individual who was held in high esteem by his king. However his CV was somewhat compromised by the fact that he had one major limitation. He was a leper. The Harley Street doctors of his day could not resolve the problem. Then he heard news of the fact that there was a prophet in Israel who could heal him.
He travelled to Israel with all the pomp and ceremony befitting of a man of his standing; making the King’s palace his first port of call. A very worried king of Israel reasoned that the king of Assyria was setting him to fail in asking him to heal his topmost military leader and would use his failure to do so as a pretext for war. However, when the news of Naaman’s visit reached the prophet Elisha, he sent for him, promising to heal him of his leprous condition.
Naaman made the journey to Elisha’s house. As he got near, Elisha did not bother to come down to meet him; rather, he sent his servant to tell him to go down to the Jordan river, dip himself in the waters seven times, and he would be healed.
Filled with rage, the big shot general turned on his heels and was heading back to his homeland when his servant spoke to him some simple words of wise counsel, to the effect of if the prophet had asked him to do something major, would he not have done it? To the lowly servant’s mind, all the prophet had asked him to do was dip in the water seven times. Naaman listened to the words of his servant, did what the prophet had asked of him and was totally healed of his leprosy.
This simple yet powerfully moving narrative is a great lesson in humility and obedience. It tells us that if we are to know the blessings and healing that comes from God, an attitude of humility and obedience is required. No assumptions, no pre-suppositions, no preconditions; we simply come and do what Christ requires of us. Listen, trust and obey; and the rest will follow. A fresh start, a new beginning, a new life in Jesus as Saviour and Lord, starts with humility and obedience.
Copyright Emmanuel Mbakwe 2013©
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