Naaman was the Syrian military commander who was healed of Leprosy by Elisha in 2 Kings 5. He was a highly decorated military leader in his land. According to Josephus (An ancient Jewish Historian), Naaman was the warrier who drew his bow and wounded King Ahab which resulted in his death as recorded in 1 Kings 22:34. Listening to a Jewish slave girl he may have acquired at the battle in which he killed Ahab, This King-killer, has to approach Jehoram, king of Israel, Ahab’s successor in order to receive heaing. No wonder Jehoram is so suspcisious of Naaman’s request for healing! He thinks the Syrian is here to pick a fight.

Elisha hears of the visit and sends for Naaman. Naaman’s pride almost prevents him from recieving the healing because he was expecting some fantastic healing experience. He expected Elisha to come out and meet him in person and to perform some glorious ritual after which Naaman would be healed. Elisha simply sent his servant out to Naaman with instructions to wash in the Jordan 7 times. After an explosion of anger, his servants convince him of the simplicity of the request. Naaman does it and is healed.

A point to ponder: God doesn’t always do things the way we think he should. The key to Elisha’s healing was obedience! Humbly submitting himself to the instructions of Elijah healed him. Actually, there seems to have been an anti-aging ingredient in the washings because the text says he received the “skin of a child.” Many commentators suggest that Naaman’s actions implied that he had faith. It doesn’t seem like it to me. He seemed skeptical of the whole thing and simply did what he was told at the advice of his servants. Whatever it was enough. We often sing the song in church “trust and Obey.” From Naaman’s story, if you can’t trust, just obey!