Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hey Man Check Out Naaman

So I was reading a Bible story about Naaman with my boys this morning and I was just struck by Naaman in a way I had never been before. If you know the story Naaman is a Syrian captain who has leprosy. One of the servant girls of the king of Syria is an Israelite. She tells the king about a prophet who can heal leprosy and so the king sends Naaman down to look for him. He comes to the King of Israel, Joram, who has no clue what to do and thinks it's a trap. Elisha the prophet of God sends word for Naaman to come to him. Now Naaman is a great captain so he expects a warm and fitting reception from the prophet for his entourage, but instead Elisha sends his servant to tell Naaman to go dip in the Jordan river 7 times and he will be cleansed. Naaman gets mad because he was thinking their would be some great ceremony where the prophet waves his hands over the great Naaman to take his leprosy away. Because of his pride Naaman heads for home where he says he could take a dip in a river quite easily. Finally his servants talk him into obeying the prophet. Since he would have done a great task if the prophet had asked, why not this? Naaman realizes that his pride has gotten the better of him and remembers his need for healing and his hopeless situation. He goes and dips in the Jordan seven times and on the seventh time his leprous white skin turns to normal healthy skin! He is healed. he realizes that the God of Israel has saved him. he goes back to Elisha and promises to worship the God of Israel and even takes dirt from Israel to Syria to build and altar unto this God!
But as I though about this I couldn't help but see the parallel to present the present day. There are people all over the world who need healing from a horrible disease. The disease is sin and it goes down to the soul. Mankind has no cure and people look for answers. Sometimes they come to church for the answers, but when they see the simple message of the gospel (turn from your sin and trust in Christ Jesus as Lord because of what He has done for you) they get angry and prideful and think that this is below them. They would gladly rise to a challenge of works, but simply to plunge into the life giving fountain that Christ offers--to fall upon His grace--this they will not do. But let us be like Naaman's servants who say why not take the plunge? And let us pray that the Spirit of God would open their eyes!

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