People tend to make things harder than they have to be. In some cases, we go to extreme measures when a simple solution is readily available. In 2 Kings 5 there is an example of a powerful warrior willing to do the hardest things to be cleansed by a prophet. Yet, only one thing was necessary.
Na’aman was the commander of the king of Aram’s army. He was highly respected and esteemed by the king. He had been part of the rout of Israel and Edom that took place in chapter 3. The events in chapter 5 followed that great victory which God gave Aram when they were attacked by Israel, Judah and Edom. Na’aman was a powerful leader and warrior.
Yet, he was afflicted with tzara’at (an inner spiritual condition that showed something was not right within the person manifested upon the skin). Most English versions of the Bible translate this condition as leprosy, but that is because there is no word in English that represents the spiritual reality of what Na’aman was suffering from.
There is a long story about how Na’aman came to the point of going to Israel in search of a remedy for this situation, which I am not going to go into (although there are several lessons to be learned there). Na’aman eventually sought out Elisha, but Elisha wouldn’t come into his presence. He sent messengers to Na’aman with a simple solution. Na’aman was insulted by the simple solution (washing himself seven times in the Jordan River). He went into a rage until his servants asked him a simple question:
“My father! If the prophet had asked you to do something really difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So, doesn’t it make even more sense to do what he says, when it’s only, ‘Bathe, and be clean’” (vs. 13)?
I grew up thinking being made right with God was too difficult. I expected, much like Na’aman, that some miraculous blessing or some mighty deed was necessary. All it took for Na’aman was obedience and a trip through the living water of Israel. All it took for me was obedience and an experience with the Living Water of Christ. A simple believing and trusting that it was possible that God’s way, as conveyed by His prophet, might be the only requirement to be made healthy again. Since this was a spiritual condition, it did take a spiritual experience. Na’aman was healed from the inside out. The skin condition went away once his heart was right with God.
We know Na’aman’s heart was right with God by his actions and profession of faith after the river experience:
“Well, I’ve learned that there is no God in all the earth except in Isra’el; therefore, please accept a present from your servant [which Elisha refused since he did not do anything – God had] . . . If you won’t take it, then please let your servant be given as much earth as two mules can carry; because from now on, your servant will offer neither burnt offerings nor sacrifices to other gods, but only to ADONAI” (verses 15, 17). [The earth was so Na’aman could build an altar on it to worship Isra’el’s God. He was totally associating himself with Isra’el.]
It does not take our doing of great deeds or giving a great amount. It doesn’t take strict church attendance. It doesn’t take moving up the ladder in your job. We cannot earn Christ’s salvation. It is a simple step of faith. Faith and faith alone is the answer to our spiritual condition. In fact, works demeans Christ’s gift to us. Gifts say, “Christ is not enough.” All that is needed is complete surrender to the God of Israel through Jesus Christ.
What are you trying to do to earn God’s healing and favor? It won’t work, so wait no longer. Surrender to the one true God today.