If 2 Kings 5 was written about me, it would go something like this:
Now there was a college girl named Jen. She was an expert at T9 texting and loved talking to friends on AIM. She had spent years walking with the Lord and seeing his hand of power, but now she was sick with self pity, binge eating and binge drinking problems. She knew that God could fix it, so she prayed. But when God would prompt her to do something, it would seem too hard, and she would get upset. “Ugh! Can’t God just wave his hand over me and take away all my problems? Can’t he take away all my temptations and make everything perfect?”
Jen would turn back to her situation, but family, pastors, and friends would remind her of God’s word and encourage her. Slowly, she started to listen. After many steps of obedience, she finally found healing and said, “now I know there is no other God in all the world.”
I wanted God’s miraculous hand of resolve, but I didn’t want to do things His way. That was the story of Naaman.
Naaman was a commander of an army, and he had leprosy. He heard of a prophet that could heal him, but upon arrival at the prophet Elisha’s house, he was told to wash in the muddy Jordan River – seven times. “Naaman went away angry and said, ‘I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy’” (2 Kings 5:11). Naaman turned to leave, but his servants talked him into obeying the command. Naaman washed in the river seven times and then was healed. He said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel” (vs 15).
I had to step into the things that God was putting on my heart, Naaman had to step into God’s plan for his healing, and we both needed people to help us do it. We’re not saved by works nor earning favor with God through our actions, but when we surrender our will and turn onto God’s path, we see him move. Naaman declares the exact purpose of it all when he says, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel”. The God of Israel is the God of the Bible, the God who lives today. The stories, the healing, the redemption, everything – it is all about Him and His glory.
Years later, Jesus himself recognizes Naaman in front of a crowd of people. “And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed – only Naaman the Syrian” (Luke 4:27).
Read: 2 Kings 5:1-15
Stepping in: Who is the Elisha in your life, someone who has taught you about God and his way? What did it take/what would it take for you to be able to declare that there is only one God?
Journeying further: Who are the servants in your life, the people who encourage you to continue in your faith journey and hold you accountable? What are examples/might be examples of things that God had you endure multiple times before true healing took place? What can we learn from all the Israelites with leprosy who knew God, yet only a foreigner was healed?