Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.
And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife.
And she said unto her mistress, Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.
And one went in, and told his lord, saying, Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.
And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment.
And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.
And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh a quarrel against me.
And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying, Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.
So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.
And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.
But Naaman was wroth, 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 strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.
Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.
And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?
Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. ~~ II Kings 5:1-14 (KJV)
The name Naaman comes from a root that means pleasant or delightful. But Naaman was highly thought of because he was the commander of the army for the king of Syria when God gave the victory to Syria.
He is not an Israelite, but he does have leprosy. This term was used for all kinds of skin diseases, not just the actual disease of leprosy. In the battle, there was a captive Israelite girl who served Naaman’s wife. She told him about Elisha.
But Elisha was not impressed. He didn’t even see Naaman when he came to him for healing. He simply sent his servant to tell him to “dip in the Jordan seven times.” What an odd thing!
Naaman was incensed. He expected that the prophet would come out and make a show and heal him on the spot. But go wash in the Jordan! He had rivers at home. Why wouldn’t they do as well?
God has criteria for blessing. One of those criteria is obedience. Whether it seems to make sense to us or not. We are to obey God. It may be something silly. Or it may sound unwise—even dangerous. But God expects obedience. Once you have ascertained that it is God telling you to do something, not obeying is a sure recipe for disaster.
And don’t be deceived. Delayed obedience is disobedience. When God speaks, we are to move immediately. Naaman’s obedience was rewarded with healing.
Keep us ever close to You so that we recognize Your voice instantaneously. Grant us the willing hearts for instantaneous and unquestioning obedience.
In Jesus’ most precious name.