2 Kings 5-7

 The Pride that Blinds

In our study today we read of Naaman, the Captian of the army of Aram. Aram was an on-again off-again enemy of the ten tribes of Israel. The nations  were like neighbors who would argue over the property lines from time to time. We are told that the Lord gave Naaman great abilities and he was respected because he was a valiant warrior. The ten tribes of Israel were in constant rebellion against God. There are always consequences for rebellion and Aram was, as Paul put it in 2 Corinthians  12:7, "a thorn in the flesh." Naaman had a thorn in the flesh as well. He was a leper.

Because of his achievements Naaman was a proud man. His wife had a servant girl taken from Israel who spoke of a prophet who could heal him. Naaman spoke to his king about what she said, and the king wrote a letter to the king of Israel asking the king to heal Naaman of leprosy.

Pride doesn’t listen to details nor does it do due diligence. The servant girl said there was a prophet that could heal him but what does she know? She is just a servant girl. Pride also looks down on people of low position compared to them.

People with pride problems often hang around with people with pride problems.  Naaman went to the king and the king sent a letter to the King of Israel because that is what you do. Pride looks to people who are successful and get things done.

The King of Israel thinks that the King of Aram is picking a fight, but Elisha sent the king a message to send Naaman to him. Naaman shows up at his doorstep with 750 pounds of silver and 150 pounds of gold according to the NIV. And also 10 sets of clothes.

Pride always tries to impress with wealth, possessions, and achievements.  

Man might be impressed but Elisha is not, so he sent a servant out to Naaman with the instruction to dip in the Jordan River seven times. Naaman is angry because he had thought through how this was supposed to go and instead the prophet didn’t even come out to greet him!

Pride makes up scenarios of how things are supposed to go and if they don’t anger is the result. Pride also thinks more highly of what one has or where one is from or, in this case, the rivers of Aram, versus the Jordan River.

Pride also looks for great things done in great ways by great people, but God’s ways are not man’s ways. Man’s ways feed pride which only adds to the problem. God’s ways are meant to break pride and develop trust in God.

Naaman stormed away but his servants intervened with simple wisdom.  The man listened and follows the instruction and not only is he healed but his pride is broken. It is at this point that Elisha comes out to speak with him because he came in humility realizing that God was in control.

The role of the servants here is evident. They bloomed where they were planted. It was not about getting ahead or climbing the ladder to them. They were serving but they saw what Naaman couldn’t see because of his pride.

The Apostle Paul writes, But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. 1 Corinthians 1:27 KJV

Naaman was led by servant after servant to the place where he was healed but more importantly, his eyes were opened and he could see clearly that he was a sinner in need of a Savior.

If you are a servant of the true and living God, bloom where He has planted you. If you are a prideful Naaman you need to listen to the servants of God if you are to be healed.

Bloom where you are planted.