Walking in the wrong direction can lead one to problems

2Ki 5:8-14] Go, Wash Yourself Seven Times In The Jordan

Stewardship Bulletin Reflection for the Week of Oct. 10, 2010 - Catholic  Stewardship Consultants, Inc.

2 Kings 5, In this chapter we read about Naman, who was a commander in the army of King Aram. Even though he was brave and valiant, Naman had leprosy. During one of his raids, Aram had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. The young girl said to her mistress, ” If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” Hearing this, Naman sought permission from King Aram to go and see the prophet. King Aram sent a letter to the king of Israel that read, “With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.” Let us pause and think about a few matters:

1.Walking in the wrong direction leads to problems: The young girl had said that if the master went to see the prophet, he would cure Naman of his leprosy. Naman went to Israel with the letter from King Aram. After reading the letter the king of Israel tore his robes. The reason:  “Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!” Walking in the wrong direction leads one to problems. Naman was disheartened when he saw the king of Israel tore his robes after reading the letter.

When prophet Elisha heard that the king had torn his robes, he came to with the lamp of hope. He sent him this message: “Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.”  Naman had two diseases, one physical and the other in his mind.

2.One cannot receive the Lord’s blessings through wealth: The list of things that Naman brought with him to Israel as gifts is astounding. Have a look: ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing. Yahweh, the Lord of the prophet, rejected all these material gifts.

Exodus 23:8, “Do not accept a bribe, for a bribe blinds those who see and twists the words of the innocent.

3. Get down from the throne of Pride: Naman was the commander of the neighboring country. Hence, he expected a grand welcome for himself from the prophet also. When he did not receive the welcome he expected he became furious. Elisha did not meet him at the door to receive and cure him. Instead Elisha sent a messenger to him with his words.

11 But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

Naman was under the grips of pride of his position and stature. He wanted to be healed but without any efforts from his side, as a miracle. He is corrected by his servants who say to him, 13 Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

The three wise men followed the star looking for baby Jesus but were way led and reached the palace of Herod. That night many children were killed just because of one question from them, Where is the child who will be the King of Jews? The wise men were to reach Bethlehem but reached Jerusalem.

Even today there is no change to the flitting nature of the human mind. Be it for getting a work done or for a vision, we always happen to chose those in high position and not humble people. The result, we invite numerous problems into our lives. Even today for getting something done the two most used ways are bribe and recommendation. It is difficult to get things done otherwise.

Another character that we need to see is Gehazi. Elisha rejected all the material gifts that Naman offered. But Gehazi, his servant went after Naman and using his master’s name says to Naman, ‘Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.’” There is nothing which is hidden before the prophet of the Lord. Elisha cursed Gehazi that the leprosy of Naman may come upon him and his family, and so it was.

But Elisha said to him, “Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? 27 Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.” Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.

Dear children of God, today there are a lot of Naman and Gehazi around us. Be vigilant when these two begin to lift up their heads within you. Let this passage be a lesson for each one of us.

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