The Old Testament is filled with beautiful lessons that I have a tendency to forget about. Today’s blog is inspired by Leprosy.
I know Leprosy seems like an odd thing to become inspired about, but bear with me.
If you have a Bible with you, my writing will be based on 2 Kings 5 where we meet Naaman. In this text, Naaman is the commander of the army of the king of Syria. He was a great and honorable man in the eyes of his master because by him the Lord had given victory to Syria and was also a mighty man of valor. But Naaman had a problem, Leprosy.
During this war, Naaman had a young captive girl from the land of Israel, who courageously told Naamans wife “If only my master were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy.”
Naamans wife must have told him about the potential solution to his problem because in the next verse we read that Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl had said.
The prophet the girl is referring to is the great Elisha from Gilgal, who we read did amazing works in the previous chapter. Naaman sends a letter and Elisha eventually agrees to heal Naaman and gives him directions to:
“Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you and you shall be clean.”
You would think that Naaman would be really excited that he has a chance to be healed from leprosy, but what is his response? He becomes angry and proclaims his own desire of how he wants to be healed.
Scripture says “But Naaman became furious and went away and said, “Indeed I said to myself, He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God and wave his hand over the place and heal the leprosy.”
And proceeds to say
“Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?”
And finally, “he turned and went away in a rage.
But before he missed out on his chance to be healed, his servants came near and spoke to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? And how much more then, when he says to you, Wash and be clean?”
Today I read this story and found myself relating to Naaman. Instead of struggling with Leprosy my struggle is with sin and when it comes to living a Christ driven life, often the solutions offered in scripture do not sound appealing. I find myself with the same response as Naaman such as
“Couldn’t I do this way instead?”
“Cant God heal me this way?”
Or just being plain angry.
Naaman’s remedy for Leprosy involved humbling himself, being obedient to direction, and being cleansed in water. Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
If we take a moment to compare Leprosy to sin, we see we have the same remedy and it involves taking the same actions Naaman had to take…
Humbling ourselves, being obedient to direction (scripture), and being cleansed with water.
And a lot of times, just like Naaman we may be prone to ask ourselves “can’t God do it my way” or just becoming flat out angry.
I found it interesting in this text is that the company that was present in Naamans life influenced his behavior. When Naaman wanted to do things his way, scripture says “And his servants came near and spoke to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, Wash and be clean? So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God and his fleshed was restored like the flesh of a little child and he was clean (2 Kings 5:13-14).
I often try and pay close attention to the company I keep.. What type advice are they offering me? And if it is Godly advice, am I taking it, or becoming defense?
Typically when I respond defensively to advice or suggestions instead of humbly, it is because I know it is something I struggle with..
The advice of Naamans servants could have made him or broken him in this instance. In this case, it helped him become cleansed if his issue.
The influence of the company we keep can often make or break us (1 Corinthians 15:33).
Today I write asking, are you struggling with obedience? What type of influence do you surround yourself with? Do you relate to Naaman? I only ask because I had to ask myself the same questions!
I hope you enjoyed this writing and I look forward to hearing from you. I love hearing from my fellow sisters in Christ!