Archive for April 14th, 2017
Naaman behaved courteously in returning to Elisha’s house to thank him, but if he had accepted Naaman’s gifts Elisha would have taken the credit for his healing, instead of the glory going to God. Furthermore Naaman might have thought that gifting the prophet may have been linked to his own healing. It is interesting to note that in the past Abraham had refused the gifts from the King of Sodom (Gen. 14:17-24), Daniel refused the King’s gifts when they were offered to him as “payment” for interpreting his dreams, and Peter and John rejected Simon the Sorcerer’s money when he wanted to “buy” the ability to bless others in the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands (Acts 8:18-24). Naaman’s request to take some soil back to Syria was rooted in the idea that in those days the people believed that the god of a nation lived in the land, and when you left the land you left the god behind! However, Naaman had testified to his companions that Jehovah was God in all the earth v.15, so taking the soil meant he would inevitably be speaking of his new faith, because his master and friends would surely ask Naaman what the soil meant!
The reference to Naaman having to accompany Ben Hadad to the Temple of Rimmon is interesting, in that it shows Naaman already has some considerable insight into how he should behave from now on. Obviously Naaman wanted Elisha to know that although he would have to visit the Temple as part of his duties, his heart would not be in it. Elisha’s blessing, “Go in peace” is perhaps a model for us to follow, for there are times when we observe people in public office and we are not sure of their actions. Perhaps our observations should drive us to praying for them in their circumstances, rather than criticizing them.
It is obvious that Gehazi was not in a good place! In spite of living close to Elisha, his spiritual life was in question. Chapter 4:27 records how he tried to “push away” the Shunammite woman’s son, and verse 31 tells us he had no power to revive him. Now sadly he demonstrates greed and covetousness in his actions and, becomes a leper himself.
In writing to Timothy (2 Tim. 3:1-5), Paul says that people will be lovers of money, of themselves, they will be proud, treacherous, rash etc. and advises, “Have nothing to do with them.”
Father God, Help me continually to fix my eyes on Jesus, “to love him more dearly and follow him more nearly”. For his own glory, Amen.