Naaman was described in verse 1 of the text as the commander of the King of Aram’s army. He was appointed as the commander because he had won great victories for the region through the Lord. However, there was one obvious blemish – he had leprosy. The rest of the text goes on to describe how his maidservant from Israel recommended the prophet Elisha and so on…
This story describes what it means to grow backwards in 2-fold: humility and obedience. 1 Peter 5:5 describes how we should be humble because “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5b). Obedience, on the other hand, is wrapped into humility because through obedience, Jesus humbled Himself to the point of death (Phil. 2:8-9).
Humility is shown through genuine gratitude, lack of arrogance, and a modest view of oneself. It is also shown through being selfless through service to others and submission to authority through obedience.
Rewards of Humility
- It brings about healing: As in Naaman’s case, he listened to both the maidservant when the prophet was recommended to him and the servants when they urged him to follow the instructions Elisha gave to Naaman. In 2. Chronicles 7:14-15, God talks not about healing sicknesses but about healing the land. When God heals the land, He says that “now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place”.
- It brings about riches, honor, and life: As a result of the humility of Jesus, in Phil. 2:9-11, God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus is LORD. Riches and life are also products of humility (Prov. 22:4, Prov. 18:12).
Humility in Practice
- Don’t look down on anybody: God can use anyone to communicate with you. No one is too small for God to use and because of that, we as human beings should realize that no one is too small or low for us to fraternize with. Naaman listened to his maidservant and servants (2 Kings 5:3-4) while David listened to the Egyptian servant (1 Sam. 30:13-15).
- Don’t despise any prophetic or Godly instructions: In Isaiah 55:11, the Bible says that God’s word will not return to Him empty but will accomplish what God desires for the purpose which He sent it. Saul paid dearly for not obeying the voice of God in 1 Sam. 15:20-24.
- Don’t doubt God and His ability to change your situation: God is not a man. Instead He is aware of everything surrounding your situation and such as the case of King Hezekiah (2 Kings 20:6), He will intervene accordingly.
- Don’t determine how God will intervene in your situation: The things of God are not physical but they are spiritual and supernatural (2 Cor. 4:18), therefore they transcend our logic, knowledge and understanding. So, we cannot determine how God will perform His miracles in our lives. Naaman thought he knew exactly what Elisha would do and he was disappointed when it did not happen the way he thought it would happen (2 Kings 5:11-12).
One last thought: When you look at the pictures of River Jordan, River Abanah, and River Pharpar, which one would you rather be immersed in?
- Ancient of Days, give me a spirit of humility and obedience in the name of Jesus.
- My Father, give me the grace to serve You and to serve others in the name of Jesus
- I receive the mind of Christ and love in Jesus’ name