Lessons from the life of Naaman

In Bible times, Naaman was a mighty and well respected man. He was a very important personnel to the country of Aram, but most importantly to the king. Through his hard work and many years of experience, he had brought great victory to Aram. He was also a great commander and army general who was widely known and celebrated. 

All the fame and victory Naaman had came with riches in gold and silver, chariots and human servants. He literally had all he wanted except for the one thing that gave him sleepless nights and caused the people of the land to whisper as he passed. He had leprosy.

Lessons from the life of Naaman

This is the story of Naaman, the army commander. Thankfully, it doesn't end here. One of the servants he had acquired was from Israel, one of the countries the Aram army had previously evaded. The girl saw her master's dilemma and offered help. She was in a foreign country but she had not forgotten her God. As believers, would difficulties, fear, uncertainty about the future and being a foreigner in a strange land shake our faith in God? Or would it help us hold unto God even tighter, having an understanding that we can't survive whatever challenge we are in without Him?

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The young servant slave had the boldness to speak about what she believed and a prophet she knew had the anointing that heals. Naaman, the strong and mighty army commandant, listened to a slave girl and that was the beginning of the journey that led to his healing. When we are bestowed with power and with the ability to control things and people, what attitude do we give to those below us? Do we listen with humility to our surbodinates and those "lesser" than us? Or we believe we know it all. What if the miracle you so desire would only come when you listen to others?


Naaman got approval from the King of Aram, his boss. He could have decided to go on the journey without informing him but he understood the importance of observing protocols and respect. He didn't go on his journey empty handed. 

So Naaman started out, carrying as gifts 750 pounds of silver, 150 pounds of gold, and ten sets of clothing. (2 Kings 5:5b NLT). 

Every time you  come to the presence of God with your concerns and requests, examine the state of your heart. Are you coming with an open heart, ready to receive? What is in your hands? What are you bringing with you as a seed of Thanksgiving after receiving that which you've asked for?.

The journey to Israel takes a while but Naaman and his servants finally get there. They speak to the king of Israel and while he is filled with fear and uncertainty as he can't fulfill the request that has been brought to him, God speaks to the prophet and Elisha sends the king a word. Naaman and his servants are sent to Elisha but they don't see him immediately. 

So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and waited at the door of Elisha’s house. 2 Kings 5:9 NLT

 Sometimes, we do not get the answers we desperately seek immediately after we pray. Some requests require that we wait patiently so that virtues like Patience and Faith grow in us. Some other times, we have to wait so a complete miracle can take place. Waiting doesn't kill a man, it only makes him stronger.

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Elisha finally gives them audience but he doesn't answer them in the way they expect. He doesn't come out to see his guests, instead, sends a servant to tell a high ranking official to go wash himself seven times in the Jordan river. Just like every normal human being would, Naaman reacts. 

"But Naaman became angry and stalked away. “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!” he said. “I expected him to wave his hand over the leprosy and call on the name of the Lord his God and heal me! Aren’t the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than any of the rivers of Israel? Why shouldn’t I wash in them and be healed?” So Naaman turned and went away in a rage." 2 Kings 5: 11-12 NLT

There are times when we pray and subconsciously, we expect God to answer in a particular way. Sometimes God does, some other times, He doesn't. For the times He answers the way we expect, He doesn't do it because that is what we want. He does it because that is His will for us. When we pray, we take a posture of expectation and belief. Believing that God hears us and expecting His answers but it's important that we understand that He would only answer us in accordance to His will for us because He loves us and He knows what's best for us more than we do.

Naaman's servants wisely approach their master with a challenge. 

“Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So you should certainly obey him when he says simply, ‘Go and wash and be cured!’” 2 Kings 5:13b NLT.

They understood how important it was that their master received healing and they weren't going to allow him throw everything up in the wind because he wasn't okay with the instruction. A gentle answer turns away wrath and so does wise counsel. How often do you provide wise counsel to those around you? Can your friends trust you to have their backs and stand your ground on the truth when they are messing up?

Naaman listens to his servants, obeys the prophet, goes to the Jordan river, washes himself seven times as instructed and he receives his healing. Partial, incomplete obedience equals zero results. We only receive the blessings when we obey God completely.

Naaman could have, from the Jordan river taken his trip back home. He had achieved what he had come for afterall but he remembered the one whom God had used to heal him. Naaman went back to show gratitude to the man of God. When we receive what we've asked from God, it's important that we go back to thank Him and where necessary, thank those God has used. A grateful heart attracts many more blessings.

Elisha does not accept any of the gifts Naaman brings but he appreciates the gesture. He sends him on his way after Naaman makes a promise to only serve God. Our obedience and surrender to God brings many more people into God's kingdom.

Gehazi, Elisha's servant, filled with greed decides his master was unwise to let a rich man go. He goes after Naaman in a bid to acquire riches but ends up bringing a generational curse on his family. Greed, lust of the flesh and a love for money that causes an individual to misbehave, brings unwanted, disastrous consequences that might affect everyone around us.

The blessings of God are in abundance and they are ours to receive if only we obey Him, set our hearts on Him and walk in accordance with His will for us.

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