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 [Naaman] turned and went away in a rage.
Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Syria. He was a “mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.” Naaman wanted to be healed of his leprosy.
Through the words of an Israelite servant that was in the service of his wife, Naaman heard about the prophet Elisha and was told that Elisha would cleanse his leprosy.
With a letter from his king as well as his blessing, Naaman sets off for Israel to seek healing. The letter does not reveal that Naaman is looking for Elisha, it just states that he is seeking to be clean.
Naaman arrives in Israel and hands the king the letter. The king of Israel is greatly distressed, tearing his own clothes he says, “Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me.” (Verse 7)
Fortunately for the king, Elisha catches word of what has happened. Elisha instructs the king to send Naaman to the prophets house. Naaman expects to be healed by Elisha himself.
Imagine yourself in this situation. You’ve had a crippling disease for your entire life. You’ve finally arrived at the place where you know you can find healing! All you need is for the prophet to come speak it over you.
Your excitement builds as you anxiously await the prophets arrival.
There’s noise on the other side of Elisha’s door. Your moment to meet the man of God has come! Good health is about to be yours.
And what happens next? The prophet is a no-show! The person standing before you: the messenger of Elisha. He doesn’t bring word that the prophet will be arriving soon. No, he brings instructions.
“Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” (Verse 10)
Naaman is angry! The Jordan is a dirty river; the waters of his own home are much cleaner than it. If all Naaman wanted was to be clean, he could have just as easily stayed home and bathed. In a rage, Naaman starts to turn away, unwilling to heed the words of the messenger.
Fortunately, Naaman’s servants spoke boldly to their master. They encouraged him to follow the messenger’s instructions, and so he did.
“So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” (Verse 14)
Naaman had certain expectations of how this story was going to begin, continue, and end. He probably thought that it would be pretty simple: head to Israel, see the prophet, get healed, return to Syria in time for dinner.
But God’s process was quite different. Instead of sending Naaman to the prophet, God sends him to the king, who sends him to Elisha, who sends the messenger in his place, who sends instructions.
And even then, the instructions weren’t what Naaman expected.
But look at how the story still ends: with Naaman being healed. I would suppose that Naaman would have died a leper had he not been obedient to wash himself in the Jordan.
God’s purpose was brought about by God’s process. Oftentimes, God’s process looks much differently than we expect.Don't reject God's purpose just because you don't like or understand His process. Click To Tweet
Despite his rage at the situation, Naaman still obeyed and was cured of his leprosy. He obeyed despite his lack of understanding.
Will you obey God and seek his purpose, even when his process is beyond your understanding? Read 2 Kings 5:1-14 today.
Today’s author, Brandon Loftis, is the blog manager for Short Daily Devotions. He lives in Bismarck, North Dakota with his lovely wife Sambrea. Brandon runs the ND service department for a thriving construction company in the midwest,Rapid Fire Protection, Inc.