Naaman – Counsel and Confession
Character in a time of crisis day 38
“Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant.” ( 2 Kings 5:15)
If Naaman was outraged by what Elisha had said to him, his servants were wiser, had cooler heads, and possibly more faith too. ( read vs 13) They rightly suggested that if Elisha had asked him to do something difficult, he would have done it without question, so why not something easy?
The counsel of the servants and Naaman’s acquiescence with their advice shows us two things briefly before we move on. Firstly how essential it is to listen to the good advice of others. ( Prov 12:15 “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice” and again. ( Prov 13:10 ) “Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice”. To listen to good advice sometimes means doing what Naaman does and swallowing our pride.
The second point that verse 13 shows us is that just because something sounds too easy, or seems too good to be true doesn’t mean that isn’t the right course of action to take. Naaman is told to wash seven times in Jordan. His servants are suggesting if he was asked to do something much more difficult, he would do it without a moment’s hesitation. Maybe that is true also of saving faith in Jesus Christ. We cannot earn this by our good works, or by our position, status, ability heritage or celebrity.
Is simple faith a stumbling block? Is it just too easy? Maybe if faith and salvation came with a financial price tag, and hoops to jump through and hurdles to cross, many more would claim to be Christians. But faith only requires us to believe. Remember Paul’s words to the Jailer in Acts 16:31 “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Is it too good to be true? Is it what an ex- Professor of mine used to describe as ‘Pie in the sky when you die’. Or do we believe as Paul puts it in Romans 10:9
that if you confess with your mouth, the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
Naaman’s Confession in 2 Kings 5:15 does in some senses read like other similar confessions in the Bible. “Behold, I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel; so accept now a present from your servant.”
This is a statement of Naaman’s Faith, but we must notice it is a fledgeling faith. It is an immature faith ( vs 17). He is so impressed by this God who is able to heal, as no other could that he determines that he will worship this God, ( read vs 17) Two mule loads of earth seem to show Naaman’s ignorance of this God. He knows this God, but very little. He seems to have a mixed Polytheistic view that this God is like other gods, who would prefer the earth of his own land, believing that God could only be worshipped on his native soil. His God is small, and his knowledge of him imperfect.
Spiritually we can’t expect to run before we can walk, and a budding faith is going to be weak, and incomplete at best as Naaman’s was, but still, it is a faith. Paul puts it like this
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! ( 2 Corinthians 5:17