Naaman Healed of Leprosy
Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.
Now bands from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”
Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. “By all means, go,” the king of Aram replied. “I will send a letter to the king of Israel.” So Naaman left, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing. The letter that he took to the king of Israel read:”With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.”
As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!”
When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message:”Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.” So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”
But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.
Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
Naaman was to go and wash seven times. I have wondered if the healing was progressive so that after the first dip into the waters, Naaman could see something happening to his skin. Or did absolutely nothing happen until he came up from the seventh dip into the water. I don’t know, but one thing we do know is that had he only dipped once, twice, or even six times, he would not have been healed. The Lord expects absolutely obedience.
The Lord has a certain way of doing things and His ways are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). Some are healed instantly. Some are healed through medicine. Some are never healed, but God sustains their life. Then others receive no healing power at all and die. Yet, in every case, the Lord calls us to pray for healing. Yet the prayer of healing is different for each one. Perhaps, one person, like the Apostle Paul, needs a thorn in the flesh in order to keep them humble and in the right place with God. Another may need the miracle to believe. Still another may suffer to cause a spouse, a child, or grandchild to pray more and spend more time with God. The Lord’s plans do not lack a bit of wisdom and insight. He knows everything. He knows what it is going to take to reach us and some of us need hardship while others need miracles.
Why should we suppose that God’s way of dealing with life are wrong? Will they not lead us into His presence, His power, and His glory? Yet, when the Lord tells us to dip seven times, we dip only once. We do not finish. We do not see it through. We do not follow His instructions fully. We follow halfway, halfhearted. But we never make that seventh dip. We mostly let go of grudges. We mostly give our tithe. We mostly remain patient. We mostly seek the Lord. We love Him with most of our heart. It’s that seventh dip where we fail.
What would happen if you would go all the way following the Lord’s direction even to the seventh dip? If the Lord has called you to love someone who is hard to love, love to the seventh dip. If He has called you to preach the gospel, preach to the seventh dip. If He has called you to start a ministry, don’t stop at the fourth, fifth, or sixth dip. Go all the way to the seventh and see what the Lord will do.
In what areas in your life have you stopped before the seventh dip?
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.