2 Kings 5: 11: But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. 12: 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 turned and went away in a rage.
Naaman revealed that his real problem was his heart. He considered it an insult when Elisha sent a messenger out to him rather than Elisha going himself as Naaman expected he should. Naaman argued that there was no difference—no—Naaman manifest he thought that the waters in Damascus were BETTER than the waters in Israel wherein Elisha said he must wash. So Naaman turned and went away in a rage.
Was this merely a standoff between two men? After all, both were sinners. Elisha did not go out to Naaman, why then should Naaman be expected to obey the word of this man, Elisha? No, this was not a standoff. Elisha was the ambassador sent by God to declare the truth to Naaman.
The servant of God must himself bow to Christ rather than Naaman, lest in doing so he bring Christ down to Naaman’s feet. Elisha must himself submit to the word of God if he would teach Naaman that the only way to come to God is for Naaman to bow to the Word. Elisha must himself believe God if he will be used of God to teach Naaman that not all gospels are true—false gospels may have an appeal as the waters of Damascus but only the water of God’s word in the midst of his chosen Israel is the healing Water. Elisha must himself rest in the blood of Christ if he will teach Naaman that the only way to come to God is to wash in Christ’s blood.
Men may justify themselves and go away from the gospel in a rage. The child of grace will do so until God washes that child in the water by the word, melting his stout heart with the good news that the blood of Christ has washed away all his sins.
I guarantee you when Naaman found himself healed he glorified God for making Elisha bow to God rather than his own sinful will—and so did Elisha—for no man has sufficiency in himself. So it is that God unites the hearts of brethren by the Word so that we walk together in agreement rejoicing in Christ Jesus alone. - Clay Curtis
Clay Curtis is pastor of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church of Ewing, New Jersey. Their services begin Sunday morning at 10:15 am and 11am at 251 Green Lane,...