January 30, 2015
READ: 2 Kings 5:1-14
Though Naaman was a mighty warrior, he suffered from leprosy (v.1).
I once had a boss who wielded the ultimate power in our organisation. It was his goal to make sure we never forgot who was in charge. Though he was successful in gaining an iron grip within our office, the net result was that this man was very lonely. How different it could have been if he had humbled himself and formed friendly relationships with his employees!
Naaman was the commander of the army of the king of Aram (2 Kings 5:1), one of Israel’s enemies. The New International Version says that Naaman was “a great man,” which can literally be translated a “big man” (v.1). He had won important battles and conquered powerful foes. This big man, though a mighty warrior, also suffered from leprosy. He could wield a blade of iron and crush opposing enemies, but he couldn’t stop his body from breaking down due to disease.
There comes a moment for each of us when we arrive face to face with our limitations or the horrible reality of a world out of our control. We can’t protect our kids. We can’t stop the disease. We can’t keep a relationship from failing.
Naaman’s Jewish slavegirl told his wife that the prophet Elisha could heal him (v.3). But when he went to see Elisha, the prophet’s strange instructions were for the great warrior to wash seven times in the Jordan River (v.10). Naaman left in a huff, disturbed that Elisha asked him to do such a humble, random thing (v.11). The military man’s officers, however, convinced him to go through with the simple plan (v.13). He took the plunge (several times!) and was healed (v.14).
Naaman learned what we all must discover: when we’re overwhelmed by our own ‘bigness’ (our ego), we have no room to receive God. —Winn Collier
365-day plan› Genesis 49:1-33
Read John 3:27-30. How do John the Baptist’s words echo Naaman’s story? How do they echo your own?
How have you been tempted recently to worry too much about yourself and your reputation? How does Naaman’s story affect your view of what God is doing in your life?