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.