Park Your Pride
Lord, let us live as the people of God so that the world might know that we are connected to the source of life.
Read 2 Kings 5:1-14
 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 of raiders 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 all 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. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow do various characters demonstrate faith, or lack of?
At the time of this story, honor was the social currency of the world. Naaman loved honor and he had much because of his military prowess. But he had a social problem; he was leprous (1), with all the stigma and revulsion that brought. When Naaman finds a miracle cure, he sets off after it (4-6). But he’s looking in the wrong place; the king of Israel, the most honored man in the land, cannot cure him (7). Elisha, on the other hand, is a man of great honor bestowed by God (8). Notice that Elisha doesn’t go out to Naaman. This is part of the condition for his healing; Naaman must act humbly (10). If he seeks God’s healing, he must not approach God as an equal. Where there’s no humility, there’s no healing! Naaman, expecting that Elisha would honor him with a ceremony, feels dishonored and storms off (11). Naaman felt that dipping in the Jordan was ridiculous, and beneath a man of such “honor” (12). Ironically, it is Naaman’s humble servants’ pleading that brings him to the place of God’s healing (13).
Ask God to show you where your ego might be overactive and where you might be seeking the praise of people.
Lord, I stand before You, the Audience of One. Teach me to value what You value. Thank You, Lord.
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