Thursday, July 7, 2016

Sunday's Message by Thursday, Small Rivers, Big Requests

Jordan River courtesy of
Sunday, Stephen spoke from 2 Kings 5:1-14. In this passage, the powerful Syrian military commander, Naaman, seeks healing from leprosy. He takes a letter from his king to the King of Israel along with gold and silver. The King of Israel thinks Naaman is looking for an argument and Israel's king despairs, only Elisha the prophet sends word that Naaman should come to Elisha so that he will know there is a prophet in Israel.
Elisha tells Naaman to bathe seven times in the Jordon. He doesn't even meet with the powerful commander, but sends a messenger.
Naaman pitches a fit. I'm not sure if I would have reacted any differently. I'd want to meet this prophet and see how he'd worked. Lights, clouds of smoke, big wind, none of that happens, just a message to take a certain simple action.
As I listened to this passage again, it struck me, not so much what I would have done, but how I obey any instruction. The first thing I do is question the instruction, and anyone in this day and age is probably wise to do so. Does it make sense? Can I take this action? I don't believe God asks us not to question, but I do know He asks us to test our actions against the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and when we doubt our ability to discern the Holy Spirit, we have Scripture, the full word of God.
Stephen paired the passage in 2 Kings to Psalm 23, which gives us confidence as we walk with the Spirit.
Here are some final few words. I was struck not at Naaman's fit, but at his willingness to first seek healing from another nation and then to obey someone he hadn't even met. He had to have opened his heart. He had to have listened for God. I hope that I too, listen for God.
Let me sign off with this passage from Isaiah 1:16-20. Thanks for reading.

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