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.
Naaman, a leper, was seeking God’s healing.
After being told of the prophet Elisha’s great ability to heal, Naaman was getting excited to finally receive the greatest gift he could ever be given: freedom from leprosy!
Awaiting the prophet, Naaman is very disappointed when Elisha himself is a no-show. Instead, the prophet sends his servant.
The servant gives these instructions: “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.” (Verse 10)
Naaman is extremely upset. Upon receiving these instructions, he rationalizes them away. In his own words, the waters of Syria are much cleaner than the waters of the Jordan.
If all he wanted was a bath, Naaman could have stayed home.
“So he turned and went away in a rage.” (Verse 12)
I can sympathize with Naaman here.
Near the town that I live in, we have a fairly sizable dam. The water: brown. The odor: offensive. The beach: too coarse. It’s a murky and stinky cesspool filled with weeds and, often, dead fish.
Ten miles from there, we have the mighty Missouri River.
The water is crisp, clear, and cool; perfectly refreshing on a summer day. The white sand on the beaches is the perfect accent to the cottonwood forests that surround. It truly is a lovely place.
And if I were to choose which body of water I’d rather go swimming in, I would choose the Missouri River 110% of the time. There’s no comparison.
And this is the scenario Naaman is living! Why should I go bathe myself in the murky waters of the Jordan, when the waters of Syria are so much cleaner?
Have I wasted my time?
Naaman is ready to go home, but his servants intervene and convince him to follow the messengers’ instructions.
So Naaman dips himself in the Jordan according to the word of the prophet, and his leprosy is gone!
But what was Naaman’s biggest problem here?
He looked at the physical aspect of God’s process, and scoffed.
Naaman viewed the Jordan River as lesser, and yet the Lord used those dirty waters to bring full healing to his body.
It’s so easy to look down upon things (or even people) that we view as having no merit.
“No good can come of that circumstance.”
“That boy will never amount to anything.”
“I’m not good enough.”
These are lies we tell ourselves all too often!
Whether it’s a difficult situation or broken person, don’t be like Naaman.
God can use anything or anyone to bring about His purpose. And he will!
Don’t be discouraged when God’s process veers far away from our ability to comprehend. Instead trust God, and do what he says.
He will work out the rest.
God’s promises are yes and amen. Will you trust Him today despite what you see?
Today’s author, Brandon Loftis, is the blog manager for Short Daily Devotions. He lives in Bismarck, North Dakota with his lovely wife Sambrea.