Lessons From The Story Of Naaman
KEY SCRIPTURES: 2 Kings 5: 1-19; Luke 4:27; Proverbs 4:20-22
Proverbs 4:20 “My son, attend to my words; incline your ears unto my sayings. 21 “Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart. 22 “For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.”
Naaman was a powerful warrior in the Syrian army who had leprosy. They came back from invading the land of Israel and brought back a maid who waited on Naaman’s wife. One day, the maid told one of the servants that there was a prophet in Israel who can heal Naaman’s leprosy. Without waiting time, Naaman met with the King of Syria, who gave him a letter to give to the King of Israel for healing. When the King of Israel saw the letter, he was disturbed and worried, but Elisha heard about the letter and sent a message to the King not to be disturbed but to send Naaman to him.
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When Naaman got to the door of Prophet Elisha, he sent a messenger to him and instructed Naaman to go to river Jordan and drip himself seven times inside the river. Naaman was angry and turned away to go back to Syria but one of his servants was able to convince him and Naaman eventually went to River Jordan, washed himself seven times in the river and healing took place because his skin became flesh like a little child. He came back to Prophet Elisha to worship God. Thereafter, he stopped worshiping false gods and turned his faith toward the God of Israel. The story of Naaman is a remarkable story with vital lessons to learn and use in our daily Christian living and some of such lessons will be mentioned in this article.
- BE BOLD TO TELL PEOPLE ABOUT GOD: Acts 4:29
The maid at the house of Naaman, despite being a slave in a foreign country wasn’t timid to share her faith in God to others. It was through her that Naaman heard about a Prophet that could heal him. Her confidence in God wasn’t shaken even when she was in a situation that wasn’t palatable. Through her boldness, everyone in the house of Naaman eventually started worshiping the God of Israel. The maid didn’t forget that true God exists and didn’t fail in telling others of the almighty God. As Christians, we should be bold to stand for our faith no matter the situation or circumstances we might find ourselves. There is a reason why God allows such to happen to you. Just like God allowed Paul and Silas to be arrested and thrown into prison and that act brought salvation to the Jailer and his family, God has a reason for every situation, learn to get the reason and let that draw you and others to God.
2. DO GOOD UNTO PEOPLE: Hebrews 13:16
Naaman was good to his household, and it reflected in the way the maid was compassionate enough to share a way that can heal him of his leprosy. Even when he was angry at the instruction of Prophet Elisha and wanted to turn away, he was still able to listen to the advice of his servant which shows that he was good to them, and everyone wants his healing from the leprosy. As believers, we should learn from this and be good to everyone. Doing good in the long run will always pave the way for you when you are at a crossroad because helpers can come from anywhere for your deliverance.
3. PRIDE CAN HINDER BLESSINGS: Proverbs 16:18
Naaman was a powerful and respected warrior which made him a proud man because of his status. He was well respected and wasn’t happy that Prophet Elisha didn’t see him to welcome him but sent a messenger to him. To worsen the case, he was told to wash in the dirtiest river. Naaman, due to pride, wanted to walk away from a great opportunity to heal. It wasn’t a case of not being desperate to be healed but the pride in him clouded his thinking and thoughts. He didn’t receive the respect and welcome he was accustomed to and almost gave up on his blessing. Thank God for the servant initiative, pride could have hindered his blessings. As Christians, pride shows up in many ways. When we think that we are better than others for whatever reason or that certain tasks are beneath us or that everyone should treat us the way we deserve to be treated, we should be careful not to hinder our blessings from God. God hates a prideful person; we should learn to be humble always and follow the guidance and direction God approved in any given situation.
4. GOD DOESN’T FOLLOW HUMAN PATTERN: Isaiah 55:8-9; 2 Kings 16:18
God’s ways and thoughts are different from man. God knows the end from the beginning and will always direct us right. Naaman was angry with Prophet Elisha’s instruction because he had special rivers in mind that he expected Prophet Elisha to allow him to wash even if he was to be washed in a river. He considered River Jordan to be the muddiest, dirtiest river around. He didn’t know that God works in mysterious ways that man can’t comprehend at all. He almost never does what we think He is going to do or what we think he should do. God has a way of challenging our thoughts, our pride, our regular way of thinking about him. With every miracle, He stretches us to change what he did in the story of Naaman to show his believers that we should leave ourselves open because we might not know the direction God will use to answer our prayers.
5. BE HUMBLE AND PRACTICE FULL OBEDIENCE: Proverbs 22:4
Even though Naaman was in rage and turned away after Prophet Elisha’s instruction, he still humbled himself to listen to his servant and when he got to the river, he fully obeyed the instruction given to him. He submitted fully to God’s instruction, and he obtained his healing instantly after obedience. As Christians, no matter the level God has placed us, we should learn to be humble enough to listen to advice, everyone has something to contribute to our lives. No matter how we think we have things figured out, we do not, often enough, the answer will come from a mind that is considered simple. When we submit ourselves in obedience to God, whatever he does for us is complete and is well done. God never leaves anything partially done. If you’re all in, God is all in as well. Prophet Elisha didn’t accept the gifts from Naaman because he wanted him to understand that all glory comes to God and that Naaman’s faith and complete obedience moved the heart of God.
God works with faith and the complete obedience to the instruction of Prophet Elisha by Naaman enables the healing power of God to flow to Naaman. After everything, Naaman took the soil of Israel so that he can continue to worship the God of Israel. Naaman took a step in the right direction and God acknowledged it. No matter what God will meet you anywhere you are, all He needs is your complete obedience and strong faith in Him. God works with even imperfect faith. We are human and vulnerable to this earthly life no matter how accomplished or wealthy we might seem.