READING: 2 Kings 5:1-8:15
“. . . and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”
2 Kings 5:14
Sometimes we think we deserve better than we get. Here are some times that come to mind for me when I think about this issue: getting a better grade than the professor gave us (I hear this one occasionally), getting a bigger office with the new position, earning better scores on sports team tryouts, getting a higher raise than you received, and receiving the reward someone else got. I suppose I could come up with other similar possibilities, but I suspect you get the point. When we’ve already decided what honor we deserve, it’s likely we’re going to be disappointed at some point.
Naaman was a great man. He was a courageous warrior who had armies at his disposal. His problem, though, was that he suffered from some skin disease. He had heard about Elisha’s power to heal, and he eventually made his way with his horses and chariots to Elisha’s house. Elisha didn’t meet him, however. Instead, he sent a messenger to tell him to wash in the Jordan River seven times if he wanted to be healed.
This move angered Naaman, who expected a personal visit with the prophet and who saw no need to dip in the muddy waters of the Jordan: “Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?”(2 Kgs. 5:11-12). Surely, the prophet would give direct, personal attention to such a mighty warrior. He did not, though, and Naaman left in a rage. Only the intervention of his servants led to his healing—but it also later led to a great confession from Naaman: “Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant” (2 Kgs. 5:15).
I fear that perhaps we approach God the same way. Even if we do it subtly, we want to remind Him of who we are. We want to make sure He recognizes how much we’ve done. We don’t want Him to miss how important we are to the kingdom . . . and we come close to missing, or miss entirely, God’s blessing that awaits us.
- Ask God to show you if you deal with arrogance.
- Ask others who know you well if you’re ever arrogant. Let them speak truth to you without your being offended.
PRAYER: “God, I want to be grateful for whatever You give me, and I don’t want to dare to expect more. Forgive me, and help me.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Kings 8:16-29, 2 Chronicles 21:1-22:9