There are only two types:

1. Those who obey without seeing and understanding and
2. Those who obey only after seeing and understand.

A prolific speaker re-accounted Naaman’s saga – Successful, valiant, noble, respected Captain….but he was a leper. His loathsome disease must have haunted him day and night.  As no physician in Syria could help him. Let’s examine the facts:

  • Naaman was an overachiever.
  • Stemmed unquestionable odds.
  •  Maintained a noble and successful station in life.
  • He was a leper.

A small and very unassuming yet intricate component of the plot was a nameless captive Israelite servant. More than likely she didn’t understand why she was corralled to Syria like live stock and forced into a life of servitude. The facts here:

  • She was a captive.
  • In service to Naaman’s wife.
  •  A faithful daughter of Israel with a good testimony.

She lived in bondage but her life was a light and her word was to be trusted.
Naaman’s wife was also unnamed. But one would believe her to be a renowned woman of some stature. A loving, dutiful wife feeling this dreaded disease would claim the life of her beloved husband. Only too eager to hear the reports of the miracles in Israel at the hand of the Prophet of God.

Naaman’s importance was further demonstrated as he had the ear of the King of Syria – what greatness! The King himself sent a letter to the king of Israel, King Jehoram, informing him he was sending his servant that me may recover him of leprosy.

Poor King Jehoram. As a king, Jehoram wasn’t as bad as Ahab. He did put away the images of Baal. However, he ” cleaved unto the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nabat, which made Israel sin; he departed not from them.” – 2 Kings 3:3. Is there any wonder he thought the king of Syria sought a course to quarrel with him?  Disobedience wrecked Jehoram faith and trust in the God of all miracles.

King Jehoram was so distraught he rent his clothing in despair.  As he worried, word reached Elisha and he sent inquiry of the kings’ concern, seeing that there was yet a Prophet of God in Israel.

Elisha sent a message to the king. (Please take note – kings and captains are on the same level on God’s playing field.) He said,  “Let him come now to me”- 2Kings5:8,b

2 Kings 5:10 starts out – “And Elisha sent a messenger unto him…” The prescription: “go and wash in Jordan (river)… and thy flesh shall come again… and thou shalt be clean.”  GO! WASH! and you will be clean.

Then with much pomp and circumstances our valiant captain stumped off with all the candor of a two year old.

Bathe in the muddy, near, polluted Jordan river. Maybe if he didn’t have to wash in it… just submerge a toe or foot it would not have been so offensive. But to wash in it.  (Definition of wash: to free from dirt by rubbing with soap and water -Webster.  Vigorous agitating with water – LMW)

Gehazi delivered the message to Naaman, he wasn’t having it. No audience and to add insult to injury, wash in Jordan. What an outrage!

He’d been handed a new lease on life… He didn’t understand therefore he did not obey.

Here’s another tiny yet significant contribution to our narrative.  A nondescript, unnamed fellow who fully understood went after him and gently entreated him saying “my father” his reasoning and understanding won Naaman over. He washed and was clean as promised.

How many are like Thomas needing to see before they can believe to obey? “….Blessed are they that have not seen and yet believe” – John 20:29

Soldier of the Cross