You Go to God on His Terms Not Yours

A captivating testimony is told in 2 Kings 5 about “Naaman, 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. It is obvious we are talking about a man who was held in the highest stature and esteemed by his countrymen all the way up to the King.  Naaman was a very forceful, powerful man, but he had an enormous problem.  Along the way, he had contracted leprosy, a slow, painful disease that disfigured and rotted your body.  It was gross and without cure. 

A young, captured woman from Israel who was responsible to personally serve Naaman’s wife relayed a message to him about a man of God in Samaria who could heal him.  He had no other resolution in sight and was willing to try anything.  So, with great pomp and notoriety carrying great riches for the man who could cure his disease, Naaman headed to Samaria to meet Elisha, the Prophet of the Hebrew God.  Even the King of Israel heard that he was coming into his country and was terrified. 

At the end of his long, hot journey, Naaman was not received at all as he expected, and man was he angry!  Elisha, described in scripture simply as “the man of God”, did not even welcome him personally.  “Naaman came with his horses and his chariots and stood at the doorway of the house of Elisha. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh will be restored to you and you will be clean.’ 11 But Naaman was furious and went away and said, ‘Behold, I thought, ‘He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. 12 Are not Abanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?’”  Naaman, full of pride, described his expectations and refused to be humiliated by bathing in this dirty, small, out of the way Jordan River when there were much larger, mightier rivers back home.  He turned to go back home.

Then, some gutsy “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’!’”  Servants exhorted this proud, arrogant leader to get off his “high horse”, humble himself and do what the prophet said, “Wash and be cleansed.” 

“So, Naaman 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.”  Not only was he healed, he remarkably had skin like a young boy!

“Naaman and all his attendants went back to (Elisha). He stood before him and said, Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.’ The prophet answered, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.’ And even though Naaman urged him, he refused. ‘If you will not,’ said Naaman, ‘please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord.’

Naaman, the man of highest human stature, had to learn what all of us have had to learn.  You don’t go to our God in pride and human accomplishments.  This means nothing to our God.  We have all learned that we must “Humble ourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift us up(1 Peter 5:6).  “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me’” (Matthew 16:24).

You go to God on His terms not yours!

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