Seven Dips Makes Perfect

Searching His Word   Seeking His Heart

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

When our son was born, he weighed in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces. We wrote, “… seven, seven the perfect number!”

In biblical terms, seven has always represented the perfect number or the complete number.

You remember, Naaman was quite put out with Elisha, the prophet. For starters, Elisha didn’t even come out to greet him, but sent a servant. Then he failed to wave his hand over Naaman in an expected ceremony of healing. Finally, to be told to go dip in the Jordan River seven times was more than Naaman could take.

So Naaman turned and went off in a rage. II Kings 5:12

  Thankfully, Naaman’s servants came to the rescue.

Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” II Kings 5:12-13

Naaman finally cooled down and I guess he decided he had nothing to lose, except maybe his dignity. I picture him tramping down to the river’s edge, throwing his cloak over to a servant,  and sloshing through the Jordan until he was about waist deep. Perhaps he dipped a few quick dips, glanced at his leprosy with a sigh and an I-told-you-so look at his servants. Maybe they held up seven fingers to remind him. Down for number five, then six, and finally seven! 

The water drained off him and when he looked down;

… his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. II Kings 5:14

I imagine him throwing his hands up to the heavens declaring, “I’m clean! I’m clean!”

Back to Elisha, did you wonder why he wouldn’t come out initially to greet Naaman? I believe it was because he wanted Naaman to see God’s power at work and not confuse it with the power of a man. Well—it worked! Naaman and his attendants went back and  Elisha greeted him this time. Naaman declared:

“Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.” II Kings 5:15

Perhaps Elisha breathes a prayer of thanksgiving and whispers, “Thank you, Lord. Mission accomplished.” The leprosy was one matter, but showing this pagan the power of Almighty God, the One-God, was the most important thing.

Let’s look for God at work this week, doing what only He can do. It likely won’t be healing someone of leprosy, but it might be healing of a hurting heart or showing the way through a stifling challenge or the burden of a sin lifted. Have you ever said, “It’s a God thing.” or “Only God could have turned this thing around.” It’s kind of like seeing the sunshine after days of dreariness. Look for something this week that makes you whisper, “Thank you, Lord.”

~ Joyce ~

 

Personal update on my mother: She seems relatively well now. She’s adjusting better to her new surroundings and even getting out of her room to interact with others which is the socialization I had been hoping for. Thank you, Lord. And thank you for lifting us up in prayer.

Seven Ducks in a Muddy Pond

Searching His Word   Seeking His Heart

Searching His Word
Seeking His Heart

“Seven Ducks in a Muddy Pond” was the title one preacher gave to the story of Naaman in the Bible. Remember, he’s the one who was told by Elisha to dip in the Jordan River seven times to be cured of his leprosy.

Well, there’s the story in a nutshell! But let’s take it apart and see what we can glean from this fascinating drama.

We find this account in II Kings 5. A side note… I acquired the New Testament Expositor’s Bible Commentary books last year and now my sweet husband gave me the Old Testament set for Christmas, so of course, I must make use of them! 

Naaman appears to be a typical “commander of the army.” He’s decisive, courageous, probably arrogant, and demands respect. He serves the King of Aram. Now if you’re an Israelite, them’s fightin’ words. The two groups were often battling each other, but at this particular time they are in a peace treaty of sorts.  

The people of Aram are in no way God-fearing people. Oh, they have their gods, but they do not worship the One God, the God of the Universe, Jehovah God. The writer seems to feel that in spite of this, God has given victory in some battles to Naaman. Let’s jump right into the story.

Now Naaman was the commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy. II Kings 5:1

Oops! Bad news for this mighty one. Isn’t it interesting how poor health suddenly puts us on a level playing field. Our magnificent deeds are dwarfed by the immediate issue at hand.

It so happened that during the time when Aram and Israel were in battle, Naaman had acquired an Israelite girl to be a servant to his wife. Sadly, in spite of the fact that she plays a pivotal role in this story, we don’t know her name, but this brave little soul speaks up for the needs of Naaman. She shares her faith in God through the prophet Elisha.

She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.” II Kings 5:3

It always amazes me how God uses even “the least of these” if they are willing. Would there a be a way He might want to use us today? Will He put you in a spot where you could say just what someone needs to hear?

Even though this young girl is in captivity,  she has found the courage to speak out. Will this desperate, commanding general heed the advice of a foreign slave girl? Next week!

~ Joyce ~