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Naaman’s Dilemma

The hot Samarian sun beat down on Naamam’s itchy neck. Several flakes of dying skin slipped through his fingers as he absentmindedly brushed sweat away.

He had been on a wild goose chase trying to find someone to heal his  deadly and embarrassing skin condition, and now the Prophet Elisha was his last hope. He slowed his chariots down as Elisha’s small house came into view. Kicking up dust clouds, Naaman almost missed the messenger coming toward him. He stopped and the messenger spoke.

“Hello Naaman, commanders of the army of Aram, the Prophet Elisha knew you were coming and gives you instruction on how your skin might be cleansed.”

Naaman slid off his chariot and began to feel the first stirrings of relief since he started the long trip from his homeland. “Oh, wonderful news. Tell me, what does the Prophet say?”

“Go wash yourself seven times in the Jordan River, then your skin will be restored and will become healthy again.”

The small relief Naaman had felt was suddenly swept away by a burst of hot anger. “Wait…that’s it? Wash in that disgusting river? Never! Why can’he just wave his hand over me and cure me? Can’t at least tell me this himself?”

The afflicted man turned and stormed away, his servants jogging after him. “Sir, wait!” Naaman slowed, still angry, but he let his servants continue.

“If the Prophet had asked you to complete some great task whether by might or bravery, you would have done it. But bathing in the Jordan River is much easier than that. This may be a test of trust.”

Naaman made his way to the river’s edge and subconsciously fingered his neck’s rough, and damaged skin. “I fear this river could make my condition worse.” The muddy river’s stench was hard to bear. “But I will do as the Prophet says.”

After bathing seven times, Naaman broke from the surface and wiped the streaming water from his eyes. To his amazement, his skin was as soft and smooth as though it was brand new.

He made a vow on that day to only worship and make sacrifices to the one true God, the One who healed his skin because Naaman had trusted and believed.

2 Kings 5:1-18

Copyright 2016 by Molly Farnsley. Use by permission only.

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