ODJ: belief and obedience

November 16, 2014 

READ: 2 Kings 5:1-14 

Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, “Go and wash and be cured!” (v.13).

Have you ever desperately wanted something from God? Did you ever make any promises to Him so that He would come through for you?

Naaman was a highly respected army commander (2 Kings 5:1). His king thought so highly of him that he sent letters of introduction to the king of Israel asking that the prophet Elisha come and heal Naaman of leprosy (vv.5-6). There was no cure for the disease at that time, so Naaman expected to pay a great price and to experience great sacrifice for healing to occur. But—through Elisha—that was not God’s way. The prophet simply told Naaman to dip himself “seven times in the Jordan River” (v.10). No gifts or great actions required!

Even today, the idea of getting something for nothing doesn’t sit well with most of us. We often find it hard simply to believe by faith. Sometimes even mature believers in Jesus try to earn God’s blessing by doing good or working harder to receive His favour. “Naaman became angry” when he was instructed to do something as simple as taking a plunge in a river (v.11). The wisdom of his servants, who had talked him into it, is a lesson to us all (v.13). Naaman’s obedience led to his cure (v.14).

Faith and obedience are tied together. Jesus told a woman who washed His feet, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 7:50). Abraham believed in God and “the LORD counted him as righteous” (Genesis 15:6). Paul summed it up this way: “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God” (Ephesians 2:8).

We simply need to believe and obey, as Naaman did. Our salvation isn’t based on our great deeds, but on a great God who saves us when we believe in Jesus His Son. —Russell Fralick

365-day plan› Acts 27:1-26

Read Hebrews 11:1-31 and reflect on how the people listed in the passage are commended for their belief in God. 
Have you tried to earn the blessing of God? Stop trying. Instead, simply allow Him to be the gracious and merciful God He already is! Why are belief and obedience both easy and hard?