Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Healing River

9 So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean." 11 But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, "Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. 12 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. 13 But his servants came near and said to him, "My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, 'Wash, and be clean'?" 14 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.
2 Kings 5:9-14, English Standard Version

The Healing River

We all like stories with a happy ending, do we not? The story given to us in 2 Kings 5 has a very happy ending. Naaman had leprosy. As the commander of the army of Syria, he was an important man to the king of Syria. After hearing that Elisha could cure the sick, the king of Syria sent Naaman in search of Elijah. Filled with his own importance, Naaman was filled with rage when Elisha did not even come out of his house, but sent a servant out to him instead.

"Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper."

Elisha did no such thing. Instead he told him to go and wash seven times in the Jordan River. Only through the earnestness of his servants did he finally go to the Jordan and dip himself in it seven times. You probably know the result, as I already told you that this story had a happy ending. Yes, he was completely cured of his leprosy.

What was in the Healing River of Jordan? Was there some special chemical that could only be found there? No, the river did not heal Naaman; only the Lord could do that. The important thing here was that Naaman obeyed the commands given to him by the Lord through Elisha. It may have been true that the Syrian rivers were much cleaner, but Naaman would not have been healed if he had gone to them to wash seven times.

How is our obedience to the Lord? We live in such a "loose" generation, that strict obedience to any law or court of law is almost unheard of. Do we let that casual attitude slip into our relationship with Christ?

We must pray today, that though the commands of God may not always seem to make sense to us, we must, like Naaman, put aside our prejudicial feelings and wash seven times in the healing river of God. Only he can make us white as snow.

God Bless You,

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