Naaman Healed of Leprosy

In a speech made in 1863, Abraham Lincoln said, “We have been the receipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prospertiy; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have for … More

Humility

Probably one of the best known accounts from the book of Kings is the one in this passage concerning a Gentile who had leprosy and was healed. This person was a well-known Syrian army officer named Naaman. An Israelite girl who the Syrians had taken prisoner was serving in Naaman’s home as a servant to Naaman’s wife. She told her mistress, who told her husband, that a prophet living in Israel could cure leprosy. The girl apparently had heard of Elisha and assumed he could cleanse leprosy by his supernatural power. No leper in Israel, however, was healed in Elisha’s day.

When Naaman heard about Elisha, he went to his king asking for permission to go to Israel to visit him. The Aramean king was anxious for his valuable commander to be cleansed so Naaman soon set out to visit King Jehoram. He evidently assumed that the king would order Elisha the prophet to cure him. What he didn’t know was that the Israelite king had no use for the prophet.

When Elisha learned that Naaman wanted to see him he sent a message that he would be glad to have him come and he would cure him. Before long Naaman and all his servants arrived at Elisha’s door. Elisha was not awed by the great general so he didn’t go to see him personally, but sent a messenger to tell Naaman to go and dip in the Jordan River seven times and he would be healed. Naaman was upset because Elisha had not seen him personally and now wants him to dip in this muddy river. However, his servants convince him to do as Elisha said, and as he obeyed, he was cleansed.

Application

Naaman was a proud man who had to humble himself and obey Elisha’s commands in order to be healed. I must humble myself and obey God if I expect Him to use me for His glory (Heb. 11:6).

II Kings 5:1-14 (English Standard Version)

Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master and in high favor, because by him the LORD had given victory to Syria. He was a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper. Now the Syrians on one of their raids had carried off a little girl from the land of Israel, and she worked in the service of Naaman's wife. She said to her mistress, "Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy." So Naaman went in and told his lord, "Thus and so spoke the girl from the land of Israel." And the king of Syria said, "Go now, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel." So he went, taking with him ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold, and ten changes of clothing. And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, which read, "When this letter reaches you, know that I have sent to you Naaman my servant, that you may cure him of his leprosy." And when the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, "Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Only consider, and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me." But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent to the king, saying, "Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come now to me, that he may know that there is a prophet in Israel." So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha's house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean." But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, "Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?" So he turned and went away in a rage. But his servants came near and said to him, "My father, it is a great word the prophet has spoken to you; will you not do it? Has he actually said to you, 'Wash, and be clean'?" So he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

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