Genesis 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 21, 24, 26, & 28 – And God said . . .
After Elisha had taken on the ministry of prophet to Israel when Elijah was caught up, he immediately stepped into an arena of powerful manifestations of the workings of God. One of those occasions found him dealing with a Syrian named Naaman. The story is found in 2 Kings 5. Naaman was the captain of the host of the Syrian armies, a brave and honorable man. But he was also a leper. He had heard of Elisha, and came to him if perhaps he might receive healing. Elisha would not go out to meet him, but instead sent his servant, Gehazi, with a message that Naaman should wash in the Jordan River seven times, and following that, he would be clean.
Naaman immediately adopted a “You talking to me?” attitude. He felt insulted that Elisha had not come himself. He was not impressed with the Jordan River, much preferring the beautiful streams of Syria. And finally, he came expecting to see some magnificent supernatural work at the hands of Elisha. He departed in “a rage.” His “You talking to me?” attitude was at its peak because he was disappointed in not being treated special. But his servants seemed to be men of wisdom. They challenged him, saying that if Elisha had commanded some great, difficult thing of him, he would have done it. It does seem that Naaman was seeking the glory in some way. In this case, his “You talking to me?” attitude was not good, and needed to be fixed.
Upon his servant’s wise rebuke, he turned back and washed in Jordan, being completely cleanse of the leprosy. Then he returned to see Elisha who refused to accept any reward from Naaman. But after Naaman’s departure, Gehazi went after him secretly to get some kind of gift from him, even lying about why he came. Naaman was deceived, and freely gave gifts to Gehazi. Gehazi received the gifts, and returning to his quarters, hid them. but when Elisha saw him, he asked Gehazi where he had gone. Gehazi lied again, and Elisha challenged his lie. In the end, Gehazi was afflicted with the leprosy that had been taken from Naaman. How is it that Gehazi would be afflicted and an easily offended Syrian go away healed? Even in Naaman’s apparent insult, he showed himself to be a man of integrity who would follow after wisdom when presented to him. Naaman, on the other hand, did not learn from his master’s actions and refusal of gifts, but instead allowed greed to overcome him, and through it, to make himself a liar. My friend, be honest with God. You will not shock God, regardless of what you say to Him. But in your honesty with Father, you must also be teachable, and when you’re wrong, correct yourself. Regardless of what Father commands, even if through a servant, be obedient. Your obedience demonstrates your love for God, and it is by that love that the faith you have works. And yes, this servant is talking to you.
Manna for Today – Genesis 1; Psalm 119:89; Proverbs 4:20-23; Mark 11:22-26; Romans 3:4