In Chapter 5 of 2 Kings, we learn about a man named Naaman. He was a commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a mighty man of valor but was a leper. Leprosy is characterized by disfiguring skin sores, nerve damage, and progressive debilitation. During one of the Armenian’s raids they took captive a young girl and she was made a slave to Naaman’s wife. The slave girl was from Israel and had heard how there was a prophet who could cure his leprosy.
Instead of being bitter about her being captive, she had compassion for Naaman and his condition. When Naaman heard about this he went to the king of Aram. The king sent a letter to the king of Israel. When the king got this letter he seemed to be confused as if they were asking him to heal Naaman. He became very defensive and thought they were setting him up for failure. Elisha had heard about the king becoming distressed over this letter and told the king to send this man to him. When Naaman arrived at Elisha’s house, Elisha had a messenger come out and tell him to go wash himself seven times in the Jordan River and his flesh would be restored and he would be cleansed.
Naaman was furious that Elisha didn’t come out himself. He thought surely he would come out and wave his hand over him and call on the name of the Lord his God and be cured. It was almost like he was humiliated that he told him to go to the Jordan. He questioned why not the rivers of Damascus, better than the waters of Israel?
I see this army commander, who is very full of himself throwing a temper tantrum. His servants asked him, if he told him to do something great would he not have done it? Just because it is simple, go to the river, wash and be cleaned. Naaman went to the river, I’m sure he was grumbling and doubting the whole way. I bet he was almost embarrassed as he dipped in the water seven times. After the seventh time his flesh was restored and became clean like a young boy.
We all can throw our temper tantrum like Naaman when we don’t get the treatment we think we deserve. Why do we make things so complex and just trust the Lord? This is a great lesson of being humble and never doubting.
“And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the propeht, yet not one of them was cleansed-only Naaman the Syrian.” Luke 4:27