Healing in Unexpected Ways

KEY VERSE: “Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.” —II Kings 5:8


NAAMAN, COMMANDER OF the army of Syria, on the northern border of Israel, was a man of valor, but he had the incurable disease of leprosy. He was a great and honorable man with wealth, influence and honor, but these could not offset this terrible tragedy of leprosy.

In Naaman’s household was a maid—a little Jewish girl who had been captured in a Syrian raid of Israel. The girl remembered how the Prophet Elisha, through Divine power, had healed diseases. With heartfelt sympathy she asked him why he did not go to the prophet, who she felt sure could heal him. Following her suggestion, Naaman obtained a letter from his king to the king of Israel.

Taking with him gifts of gold, silver, and raiment for the Prophet Elisha, he first presented himself to Israel’s king requesting to meet Israel’s great prophet of whom he had heard. Knowing little about Elisha’s healing powers, Israel’s king misunderstood Naaman’s motives, and thought the Syrian king was intent upon picking a quarrel with him, using this excuse for sending an invading army to pillage his kingdom.

Eventually, Naaman was directed to Elisha, but again there was difficulty. Naaman expected great consideration for his rank—that the prophet would make gestures over him and pray. Perhaps he would offer sacrifices and incense, and finally he might be healed. But instead of this, Elisha, without going to see him at all, sent word by his servant that the commander should go to the Jordan River and there wash seven times.

Naaman was angry and stalked away! He said, “Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? May I not wash in them, and be clean? So he went away in a rage.” (II Kings 5:12) His officers reasoned with him, however, and finally, “He went down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.”—vs. 14

Naaman and all his attendants then went back to the Prophet Elisha, the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. Please accept now a gift from your servant.” The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.”—vss. 15,16, New International Version

Even though Naaman urged him, he refused. “If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord.”—vs. 17, NIV

Leprosy is a picture of sin. Only Divine power could heal the leper, and only the same power can heal the sinner. As the servant girl could call attention to the prophet, and the prophet prescribe the remedy, so all those who know of a Divine power and arrangement for the healing of sinners may tell the good tidings, even to their enemies.

Ministers of God’s Word may direct the way to Divine forgiveness and restoration, but the individual himself must follow the instructions with faith and obedience.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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