“But Elisha sent a messenger out to him with this message: “Go and wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River. Then your skin will be restored, and you will be healed of your leprosy.” But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me!””
1 Kings 5:10-11
Naaman was a great commander, an Aramean General. Through him, God had given Aram many great victories. However, he had a disease, leprosy. Desperate for a cure, he traveled to the King of Israel to heal him from his leprosy. From there, he travelled to Elisha the prophet. Interestingly, Naaman had with him 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and ten sets of fine clothing. He wanted to show the wealth of his King and his expectation was that money could buy his healing.
Instead, God through Elisha commanded Naaman to go and wash 7 times in the Jordan River. Yet this was not what Naaman wanted to hear. He wanted Elisha to wave his hands and heal his sickness. Perhaps Naaman had heard of Elisha’s previous miracles..? After much discussion with his officers, who advised him to listen to Elisha, Naaman was finally obedient and went to the Jordan and dipped himself in the river 7 times. Surely enough he was healed and went back to Elisha declaring that Elisha’s God was the one true God and that he would never again worship or offer burnt sacrifices to another god again.
‘Suppose Naaman had dipped himself in the Jordan only six times. He would have remained a leper. God gave specific instructions, and the healing came by obeying down to the exact number.’1 We too are faced with the same challenge, to obey God even when we don’t understand, even when it’s hard and even when it’s not what we expect we should do! We must remember that God’s actions are ‘not bound by out expectations, and His manner of working always remains His choice’2. Our job is to obey! God always knows best.
1David Jeremiah: Daily Devotions, 9th January 2016
2Everyday Men’s Bible, PG 505 NLT version