2 Kings 5:1-19. King James Version.
Naaman was the captain of the army of the king of Syria. He was a great man with his master. He was also honorable because by him, the Lord had given him deliverance unto Syria.
Naaman was also a mighty man of valor, but he was a leper.
Naaman lived with a little maid who had been brought away captive out of the land of Israel. The maid waited on Naaman’s wife.
The whole picture of this story about Naaman and leprosy teaches us a great lesson in our Christian lives today. Despite Naaman being a great man, his sense of fulfillment in life was not due. This was because of the trouble that leprosy had brought him. He could socialize well with his parallel esteemed captains of other armies, exchange knowledge to its finest pinnacle in the ministry of defence, put on robes that are magnificent to look at, and actually make sure all is well on his personal front.
But while Naaman went into his inner chamber at home, while alone, he could see himself in a mirror as an ‘ugly’ Naaman because leprosy had destroyed his skin. The skin was white, rough, leathery and cracked. He hated himself because of this. He felt very low in heart while alone. Why me? Why leprosy on me God? He hated himself.
Leprosy is a disease that makes people in society to develop stigma towards those who have it. Stigma is a perception that the society develops such that it views people with leprosy as outcasts, or if not, as cursed people. So ultimately, they can’t associate with the affected parties. People with leprosy look ugly and the disease disfigures their bodies but appendages (their extremities) mostly. They could also pass the disease from one person to another, a reason why they were to be kept away.
For the case of Naaman, all was well on the front. He had everything he wanted in his life. He had status. He had attained self actualization. But in the background, leprosy continuously beckoned him, reminding him how ugly he looked like, everyday. Something was amiss. He needed cure.
It’s possible that Naaman could have gone to a skin specialist (a dermatologist) for cure. However much money a dermatologist could ask for, Naaman could (most likely) have afforded by virtue of his status. But that was not the case. In verse 3 of the same chapter, the little maid who opened up to Naaman’s wife about cure of Naaman in Samaria through a prophet is what God had intended for Naaman as his journey towards cure of leprosy. This is something that Naaman could not realize on his own. With his status, such a maid’s idea could mean nothing to him, or it could only mean mockery.
All these events teach us that sometimes in our lives, the cure for our problems may lie in unimaginable suggestions just like the maid issue. It’s good to be obedient because you never know where the solution to your problem may come from.
Now, out of ‘some obedience’ Naaman accepted the maid’s suggestion. But then he became too official allowing letters to exchange between kings. God’s ways may not be too official like what Naaman did. In fact, the letter made the king of Israel so much offended and angry that he tore his clothes off. It almost mistakenly sparked war between the two nations.
Through the spiritual window, the prophet Elisha was watching the events. His order and decision he gave to Naaman was so disgusting to Naaman. He didn’t like the way he was handled. This was because of his pride. Pride couldn’t allow him to undermine his status. How could he go and dip himself in a dirty river? Can’t be.
But after the feeble and urging voices of his junior servants, he accepted the decision. Surprisingly, it worked! He became clean! Thank you God….the God of Elisha. He then realized that indeed that was the right track….that was his corridor of cure….unimaginable o him.
Naaman’s Pride was going to make him lose the prize. He was definitely going to lose the leprosy battle. This is a lesson for all of us. Just because you have a good job, status, fame, etc doesn’t mean that the things of God should appear awkward, meaningless or undeserving for that matter. In the holy scriptures, in the new testament, Christ taught us that we should be like children. It’s because a child is obedient and doesn’t question the many instructions you give them. This is the opposite of us who are hard hearted adults. We hold ourselves in high esteem so much that we can’t bow down. We can’t swallow our pride. We can’t. How? Pride consumes us until humility can’t quench our personalities. This is the problem Naaman had. Let’s not also forget that anybody can be your source of breakthrough. Consider the case of the little maid and Naaman’s case. His solution came through a slave girl.
Are you like Naaman? Too proud? Too complicated to handle, just because of your unwavering pride? Self justified? Look, it pays you nothing. Probably the reason why you are suffering from that ‘leprosy’ may be because you are too proud to humble to the solution that the people of God are giving you. God says in Isaiah 1.19 that if you are obedient, then you will eat the fruit of the land.
May the almighty God help you.
Be humble, and God will heal you today.