Back in 1 Kings 22:34, a certain unnamed man draws his bow and shoots the arrow that killed Ahab, the King of Israel. According to the Jewish historian, Josephus, that unnamed man was none other than Naaman. 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.

Taking the advice of a Jewish slave girl, that he might well have acquired in the battle in which he killed Ahab, Naaman attempts to approach Jehoram, Ahab’s successor in order to receive healing of his leprosy.  Now this helps us understand why Jehoram was so suspicious and afraid of Naaman. Naaman was a king killer!

Elisha hears of the visit and sends for Naaman. Naaman’s pride almost prevents him from receiving 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 Naaman’s healing was obedience! Humbly submitting himself to the instructions of Elisha 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, it was enough. We often sing the song in church “trust and Obey.” Maybe from Naaman’s story, we can learn an additional lesson; even if you can’t trust, just obey!

“Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:10-11