Choosing Pride Over Healing
2 Kings 5:9-13 :
So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariots, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. Elisha sent a messenger to him,
saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall come again to you, and you shall be clean.”
But Naaman was angry, and went away, and said, “Behold, I thought, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand,
and call on the name of Yahweh his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leper.’ Aren’t Abanah and Pharpar,
the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them, and be clean?”
So he turned and went away in a rage.
His servants came near, and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had asked you do some great thing,
wouldn’t you have done it? How much rather then, when he says to you, ‘Wash, and be clean?’ ”
True to his form, Elisha chose not to talk directly with Naaman. We don't really know why he decided to separate
himself like this again, but there are several possibilities. Naaman was not only from a country that worshiped other gods,
he was also diseased with a disease that the Bible called "unclean," but here is another thing. Naaman was rich and had
brought gifts with him. Could it be that Elisha wanted to separate himself from doing something for
money instead of for God? Considering what happens later, this was a distinct possiblity.
When Elisha's servant told Naaman what to do, Naaman was shocked and angered. In his mind, he had already determined
the way that God was supposed to do things for him. This would seem crazy if it wasn't so common. Why is it that we
expect God to relate to us the way we think He should? Naaman's reaction exposes how overpowering human pride is.
It appears that he expected God to recognize his position in life and should have sent out the actual man of God and also have him
get healed in a nicer river. Perhaps he was wondering what kind of god would make a man like him bathe in a river like that.
The amazing thing is that he was walking away from his healing because his his pride. This is a portrait of mankind's
reaction to God's call for repentence. God is willing to heal us, but only if we believe that we aren't as great as
we think we are. Unless God helps us, we will refuse His help because of our pride.
God did help Naaman. Once again, his servants came through for him. Their comments exposed the fact that pride was involved.
God wasn't asking him to do anything that was hard. He was just asking him to lay down his pride and obey His commands.