Wow, reading the story of Naaman, it’s not difficult at all to see ourselves; it’s almost as if we are looking into a mirror. Naaman, the commander of Syria’s armies, was a leper. He was directed by a little girl to ask Elisha for help. “Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.’ But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, ‘Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean.’ So he turned and went away in a rage” (5:10-12).
So much like us on two different levels. Like Naaman (“Surely the prophet can simple stand and wave his hand and cry out!”), we love the great displays of power and the great, high moments of emotion while so often looking with derision upon the regular, quiet, and faithful ways in which God works. Also, like Naaman (“Could I not wash in my own rivers?”), we so often think we know better than God, that we have a better solution. And, in response to the good news of the gospel, how often do people reject it with something like: “Oh, I’ll just do the best I can and hope that it will be enough.” Oh, to hear God speak, to believe him, and to trust him! Perhaps there is no better opportunity for us to sing these familiar words and acknowledge our complete dependence upon God.
Just as I am, without one plea,
but that thy blood was shed for me,
and that thou bidd’st me come to thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come. -- Charlotte Elliott (1847)