July 3 (Daily reading: 2 Kings 5-8) Naaman had great standing in Syria, but that was meaningless when he became ill with leprosy. He could only expect misery and death. Then a lowly slave girl enters his story. The Bible does not even tell us her name! But God, who is unimpressed with what the world considers great, demonstrated His greatness and power through the faith of this girl.
When the girl told Naaman’s wife about Elisha, God began to work on Naaman’s pride. Could a servant girl really help him? So, he did what was normal for him: he talked to his king, who in turn wrote to the king of Israel. This is a typical worldview, which says that politics can provide the answers to our problems. When Naaman went to Israel, he took gifts and money, which was more worldview: politics and wealth go hand-in-hand. But Naaman had much to learn about God! When Elisha dealt with him through a messenger, he was insulted. Did this prophet not understand hierarchy? In addition, the instructions to wash seven times in the Jordan—that was doubly insulting. Add the worldview of nationalism: the rivers of Syria were much better than the Jordan in Israel.
His servants advised Naaman to obey the prophet. We should listen to the Christian worldview: the church can provide answers that politics and money cannot! He obeyed; he went to the river and he washed, not just once or twice, but seven times, and “his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” He was also healed spiritually. He proclaimed that he would no longer offer “sacrifice to other gods, but to the Lord.” Naaman’s experience teaches about faith. He was looking for something spectacular to happen, but God works in His own way. God asks us to be obedient in the small things so that he can reveal His great power to us!
– Al Gary