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Naaman’s Healing

Naaman’s master considered him an extraordinary man. He was the military commander of Aram’s army, and he had won many important battles for Aram by the power of the Eternal. Naturally he was greatly esteemed by his king. Naaman was a fierce warrior, but he also had a skin disease. Now one time, the Arameans went out in raiding parties and took a little girl from Israel as their prisoner. The little girl became a servant to Naaman’s wife.

Girl (to Naaman’s wife): If only my master could be near the prophet in Samaria, the prophet there could heal my master’s disease.

Naaman became hopeful, and he went and told his king what the little girl from Israel said.

King of Aram: I am going to write a letter to Israel’s king, and I want you to take it to him immediately.

Naaman left with the king’s letter in his hand, plus 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and 10 sets of fineclothing. Naaman handed the letter to Israel’s king, and the king read it.

King of Aram’s Message: The man carrying this letter is my servant, Naaman. He has a skin disease, and I request that you heal him.

King of Israel (ripping his clothing): Who does he think I am—God? Why does Aram’s king think I have the power to kill and make alive again? What in the world makes him think that I can heal you of your disease? It is obvious that Aram’s king is trying to create trouble between us.

Elisha, the man of God, received word that Israel’s king had ripped his clothing, so he sent a message to Israel’s king.

Elisha’s Message: What has caused you to rip your clothing? Tell the man who has come to you for healing to come to me. Then he will be assured that a prophet lives in Israel.

The king told Naaman to go find Elisha, so Naaman showed up at Elisha’s door with his horses and chariots. Elisha did not show his face to Naaman, but instead sent instructions: “Wash yourself in the Jordan River seven times. The waters will heal you, and your skin will be back to normal. You will be cleansed.” Naaman boiled with anger as he left Elisha. He had come to his house expecting something much different.

Naaman: What is this! I came here thinking that Elisha would come outside and call upon the name of the Eternal One his God, and that Elisha’s hand would pass over my sores and heal my skin disease, not the waters of the Jordan River. The Abanah and Pharpar Rivers in Damascus are greater rivers than all the rivers of Israel combined, so why couldn’t I just go bathe in those and be healed?

Naaman then stormed away, boiling with anger. Later his servants approached and spoke to him with respect.

Naaman’s Servants: Father, if the prophet had told you to do some important thing, wouldn’t you have done what he asked? Why is it difficult for you to follow his instructions when he tells you, “Bathe yourself in the Jordan River, and be cleansed”?

So Naaman swallowed his pride, walked down to the Jordan River, and washed himself seven times, just as the man of God had instructed him to do. There, the miracle occurred. Naaman’s disease was healed: his skin was as new as an infant’s, and he was clean from the disease (2 Kings 5:1-14, The Voice).

Categories: 2 Kings, elisha, Health, Naaman
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