Today's reading in our daily plan is 2 Kings 5. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.
SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Aram (verse 1) was a nation that was usually at odds or at war with God's people and their nation.
- Leprosy (verse 1) was a dreaded and usually highly contagious disease that almost always led to alienation and sometimes led to death.
- The "young girl" (verse 2) was from Israel, so knew of God and his prophet (verse 3), Elisha. She is a foreign country with people who don't know God, and when she has an opportunity, she tells them about Him.
- Tearing clothes (verse 7) was a sign back then of being overwhelmed with sadness or despair.
- Naaman was angry (verse 11) because Elisha treated him like a common person and asked him to do a common thing. He thought he was above all that.
- Naaman is cleansed and realizes that the God of Elisha and Israel is the only true God (verses 14-15).
- Elisha refuses Naaman's gifts (verses 15-19), probably because he wanted it to be clear to Naaman that he could't purchase God's blessing.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Three people in this story each teach us valuable lesson for our lives:
- The maid of Naaman's wife knows God and tells the people she is working for about Him. She doesn't say much, but what she says ultimately leads Naaman to believe in God. We too need to look for opportunities to tell people about our God and what He can do in their lives. And we'll find that it's amazing how even saying a little can have a big impact.
- Naaman originally has his pride hurt because Elisha doesn't come out to see him, and because what God wants him to do (wash in the Jordan) seems so "ordinary." He had to humble himself and obey exactly what God wanted to see God do something amazing in his life. In the same way, we need to be humble. We may not understand everything He says, or why He wants us to do what He wants us to do, but we must humbly believe and obey if we want to see God at work in our lives.
- Gehazi, Elisha's servant, sees an opportunity to get something for himself and pounces on it. His greed was his undoing. Greed is an ever-present temptation for us as well, and we need to overcome it and put God's will first.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Of those three people and the lesson we learn from each, which is the one you most need to put into practice in your life? Are you not looking for opportunities to tell people who don't know Him about God? Are you, because of pride, refusing to do something God wants you to do? Or are you succumbing to the powerful temptation of greed? Pray about it, and ask God to help you to take a next step forward in spiritual growth in that area. Look for an opportunity today to put this into practice.