January 26 – Wait, who? – Naaman

Read 2 Kings 5:1-27

Well, that was intense.

In this chapter, there are two different sections highlighted by two separate characters on two different journeys.

First of all, we read about Naaman who is a commander of the king of Aram who has leprosy. Through one of their raids, they captured an Israeli girl who eventually asked why Naaman hadn’t gone to a prophet of God to cure his leprosy.

Initially, Naaman went to Israel with the intent of personally meeting Elisha and having him pray immediately over his disease. Instead, he is caught off guard when Elisa sends word through a messenger to dip himself in the Jordan River seven times to be cured of his leprosy.

You can almost feel Naaman’s frustration, “I traveled all this way to do something that I could have done back home? How does this make sense? Our rivers are in way better condition than these Israeli rivers!” In the midst of his frustration, he turns and walks away from the promise of healing.

How often do you allow something like a small annoyance or set back to turn you away from what’s best? “Ah! This isn’t how I wanted things to go! I deserve better! This is humiliating!” and with that, we turn away from God’s promise for us. All throughout the Bible, God promises to care for us and never forsake us. What are you allowing to hold you back from experiencing that promise?

Naaman is eventually healed by following the command of Elisha and, after Elisha refuses to accept payment for his help, Naaman is back on his way home.

This is where we meet the second character of the story. Naaman just experienced life change through God and commits his life and worship to Him. However, the servant of Elisha saw this as an opportunity to extort monetary compensation from Naaman. He, Gehazi, tracks Naaman down and makes up a story of why he needs to take money back, of which Naaman is quick to provide.

However, Gehazi’s sin is quickly found out and, after lying about his whereabouts, Elisha says that the leprosy that Naaman was just cured from would cling to Gehazi and his family forever.

There is such power in greed. If your perspective is not heavenly and you are shortsighted in your faith, there is the possibility to make huge mistakes.

My encouragement to you all is simple and comes from lessons that we learned from Naaman and Gehazi: have complete trust in God’s plan for your life and be ultra-sensitive to greed in your life.

As you finish this reading, I urge you to pray and open yourself up to the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to reveal any distrust or greed in your life and take it upon yourself to live in a way that honors God.

Jake Lawson

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