More Than Meets the Eye
So Naaman left... (2 Kings 5:5b).
So he went down... (2 Kings 5:14a).
Then Naaman...stood before him (the man of God) and said,
“Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel” (2 Kings 5:15).
Naaman had three problems. The first was obvious. The second was too close for him to see. The third was too foreign for him to comprehend.
Naaman's first problem was leprosy. In those days “leprosy” labeled a range of infectious skin diseases, including what we today know as Hansen's disease. In the mid-800's BC, the time this story takes place, leprosy was believed to be a punishment for or consequence of sin. You can see how this would have been a big problem for anybody.
Naaman's second problem—the one that was too close for him to see—was pride. He was a man of status—a celebrated commander in the army of the king of Aram. He probably saw pride as an asset.
Naaman's third problem was that he had no clue that the One and Only LORD existed and had chosen Israel to proclaim His presence to the world.
The path to solving problem #1 would require Naaman to master problem #2 which would open him to comprehend the answer to problem #3. Along the way he would make decisions with the help of a supporting cast of characters.
Enter an unnamed girl who had been taken captive from Israel and ended up as Naaman's wife's servant. Obviously this girl had knowledge of Elisha the prophet from her time in Israel because “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 now had a possible solution to his first problem. He took the advice of a slave girl. Good Decision #1.
When Naaman arrived at Elisha's house, a servant delivered the prophet's prescription. (Hey—where was the top guy? the fanfare? And what kind of prescription was this pathetic plan involving a forlorn river and a beneath-my-dignity action? His pride was on full display.)
However Naaman's servants said Why not? So Naaman humbled himself and headed for the Jordan. Good Decision #2.
Naaman dipped seven times. He emerged. His skin was restored and humility took root in his heart. He returned, then, to Elisha and exclaimed, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.” Good Decision #3.
Abba, we have problems—obvious ones, ones we can't see, and ones we aren't even aware of. We thank You for guiding us to make wise decisions. Namaan didn't even know You, yet You guided him. Thank You for being ever-present with us and for wanting us to see You more clearly.