Today’s Jonah lesson continued to deal with what happens when you try to take shortcuts around what God has commanded or try to speed His plan along. One of the Bible stories she touched on was the story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5. Naaman was the commander of the Syrian army. He was a very powerful, and probably very wealthy, man. He found out he had leprosy. This would have ended not only his military career, but life as he knew it. To make a long story short, he ended up going to Elisha and asking to be healed. Instead of coming out and seeing Naaman, Elisha sent a message by a servant. Verses 10 thru 12 stood out to me.
And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean,” But Naaman became furious, and went away ans aid, “Indeed, I said to myself, ‘He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy. Are not the Abanah and the 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.
Naaman was upset because he thought he knew what was going to happen. He had it all figured out in his head. When he actually heard what God was asking of him, however, he was mad because it wasn’t at all what he was expecting. It was embarrassing and beneath him. What would people think if he did that? No way, no how. That was NOT in the plan. Wow. That stings me. A lot. I do the same thing. I have a plan. And it’s a good plan. A nice plan full of nice things for me. And I have been over it over and over in my head, and when things don’t happen the way I want them to – the way I think they should – I get upset with God for not doing as I want. I have a lot of gall sometimes.
In the end, though, Naaman swallows his pride and does what he was told. And he is healed, just like he was told he would be. I’m so very glad we get second chances after we’ve acted like spoiled brats.