Follow The Instructions
By Ed Wrather
And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.” But Naaman became furious, and went away and said, “Indeed, I said to myself, “He will surely come out to me, and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and heal the leprosy.' Are not the Abanah and the Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and went away in a rage. And his servants came near and spoke to him, and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, “Wash, and be clean'?” So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. - 2 Kings 5:10-14.
“…the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” - Romans 6:23b.
What would you do to be healed of leprosy or some other terrible disease? Climb the highest mountain? Crawl on your knees up a thousand steps? Give fifty percent of your income for the rest of your life? Become the slave for the rest of your life to the doctor who has the wisdom to make you well?
Naaman was a great man in Syria as the commander of the armed forces of the entire nation. He was a man of great courage. Naaman was facing something he had never faced before. He was facing an enemy more powerful and more dangerous than any he had fought before. Naaman had leprosy and he knew very well the horribleness of the disease. There was no way for Naaman to win this battle. So, when he heard of the great prophet Elisha and of his God he was willing to try it.
It was shocking to this great and mighty man that the prophet Elisha did not come himself and only sent a messenger to tell him how to be made well. Even more shocking and insulting was that he was told to dip himself in the River Jordan seven times and he would be well. Naaman’s response was predictable. He threw a fit and refused to do it turning to go back to Syria. His servants reasoned with him so that he could see that if Elisha had asked him to fight one hundred men single handedly or some other impossible thing he would have done it. Why not do this simple thing of dipping in the river seven times? Naaman obeyed and he was healed.
We are much like Naaman when it comes to our salvation. We feel like we have to earn it in some way. Maybe if we were to climb a huge mountain, feed the starving for years, give all we have to the poor or some other wonderful and great thing then maybe, just maybe we might be able to go to heaven when we die. What if God told us in order to have eternal life we had to go dip in the River Jordan seven times? Would we do it? Of course? God has, however, told us something much more difficult for us to accept in order for us to have eternal life. What is that? He has told us that we do not have to do anything! He will give us salvation for free we just have to accept/receive the gift.
What is this gift from God that we must receive? The gift is Jesus Christ. Jesus has done all the work for us. He has paid the ultimate price so that we might live forever with Him. Have you received the gift? “…the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23b).” It is very simple, so simple that even a child can understand - just follow the instructions.