2 Kings 5:10-12
And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean. But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.
Things weren’t going according to Naaman’s plan. He makes this trip to the prophet to be cleansed from his leprosy, but Elisha did not go out and heal him in some dramatic demonstration. Elisha did not send him to the pure rivers of Damascus. Elisha did not assign him some perilous task to demonstrate his strength and worth so he could earn his cleansing as a reward. Elisha simply told him to wash and be clean.
But that seemed so foolish, so simple, not what Naaman was expecting at all. He wanted Elisha to persuade his God to make him whole. So he is full of rage instead of peace, still a leper instead of being cleansed as long as he refuses to follow what God told him he must do. And isn’t that a common response still today? People want a better way. They want their expectations to be met instead of accepting the way that God has given. Perhaps it seems beneath them or they want the men of God to do some great deed for them.
But we can’t follow our own path to salvation, our cleansing from our sin. All it requires is the simple faith to go to Jesus as we are and be made whole in Him. We have to be obedient to His way, set aside our pride, and let go of our expectations of how things should be. When Naaman finally relents and obeys, he is healed physically and spiritually. His leprosy is gone, and in its place, he finds a heart alive to the truth of God and a newfound dedication to the God of Israel.
Like Naaman’s cleansing, our salvation is a free gift. It’s not something we can earn. It’s not something we can attain by going our own way. But when we follow God’s way, we are surely and completely cleansed. We are eternally saved and forever changed. So may we be willing to submit to God and find our own healing in Jesus Christ. Let’s set aside our pride, our wrong ideas and expectations, and simply be obedient to what God has told us to do.