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June 9, 2017

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Naaman, Captain of the Host... but a Leper

"Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper." 2 Kings 5:1

In a moment of time, all changed in the life of Naaman. He was the king's right hand man, commanding general of a mighty army, arrayed with medals of war, a great man of valor, the idol of the people, but now, he was a leper. Bitterness and gall replaced the cup of joy; a dreadful disease replaced medals and honors. The king's greatest soldier and hero of the people was now the most pitiful among men. But God had a plan and a purpose for Naaman. Through the faithful witness of a little captive girl from Israel, who was a servant of his wife, he heard of a prophet of God, Elisha.

Naaman started a two-day journey, seeking the home of Elisha. He sought to be physically healed; God had greater plans. He sought deliverance from the present; God had plans for his future. He sought for outward healing; God sought for inward cleansing. Naaman went to Elisha with the pride of a great man; God humbled him as Elisha's servant gave him the word from the prophet to go and wash in Jordan seven times. Naaman was insulted, indignant, and incensed by the treatment of Elisha, who didn't even come to the door to meet the great General Naaman, but sent his servant. Naaman's pride almost becomes the rod of his own destruction.

"Why Jordan?" he shouts. This was "God's appointed place" of deliverance. "By these waters shall thou be made clean." Then Jordan becomes the passion of his soul. He begins to question his own actions. Is Jehovah the true God? Was Elisha a real prophet of God? Would he be the laughingstock of everyone? All his men watch intensely. He enters the water and goes under six times; nothing has happened. Can you hear Naaman crying out to God? "O Jehovah, if you are the true God of Israel, show yourself now and help this poor wretched leper. O God, heal me!"

Down goes Naaman the seventh time. Even while he is under the water, he is conscious of change. New life flows through his veins. He rises out of the water as his soldiers shout with joy. Naaman looks; words fail him. He is healed! This was Naaman's finest hour. Healed in the land of his enemy. Healed by the God he had spurned. A young captive Israelite girl, who was a faithful witness and servant of God, told him of God's prophet, Elisha. How merciful is the Lord!

God uses mysterious means sometimes to point our hearts to Him. Did God heal Naaman because he loved God? No. Because he desired God's mercy? No. Because he was a great man of valor? No. He healed Naaman because of His infinite grace and mercy. He had a plan and purpose for Naaman to glorify Jehovah. In childlike obedience he was healed, redeemed, and reconciled to God...a miracle to all! So He desires to work in our lives, to lift our feet to higher ground that we might glorify Him. The measure of our need is only exceeded by the greatness of God's grace and sufficiency! Nothing is impossible with God. Reach out in faith and "DARE TO BELIEVE!"

© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.


This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2017-06-09


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