Obedience In Little Things. 03/22/2014 (Evening thought)

2nd Kings 5:9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha.  10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.  11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.  12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.  13 And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean?  14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.

The story of Naaman the Syrian contains very precious lessons that can be applied directly to our lives. Being a leper back then meant that a person was confined to a life of ostracization and hopelessness for there was no known cure for the debilitating disease. Having being recommended to the prophet Elijah by a faithful, young Hebrew girl, Naaman came to the prophet with great ostentation, probably hoping to impress Elijah with his importance, and thereby giving valid reasons why he should be healed.

But God is not impressed by pomp and extravagance as is usually the case with the human agent. He dwells with those who are meek and lowly in heart, although those of us like Naaman are not outside the perimeters of His grace, for He desires to save every member of the human family, whether high or low. Let's read:

Isaiah 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

After receiving the simple instruction to wash in the Jordan river seven times, Naaman remonstrated against the command because of its simplicity, that's why he spoke of better rivers in Damascus, that in his mind would be better suited to accomplish the lowly task. He also would have preferred a human display of ostentatious healing, such as we often see today by many televangelists. And so the simple instruction to dip seven times was left on the back-burner when healing was well within his reach. Often in our lives we miss out on great blessings from God by neglecting the little things He has instructed us to do.

However God is able to work with us even when like Naaman, we have the wrong attitude. The Lord is not so interested initially with our attitudes, since He can always take care of that later. He is more concerned about whether or not we will actually obey His voice when He gives us instruction. And so it was, that after the sensible reasoning of his servants, who showed Naaman that he had nothing to lose by obedience, that he finally decided to comply with the instruction thus given. The result is a sacred testimony to the power of God being displayed when His people follow His commands.

In our day, millions of Christians are not in harmony with the simple command of God  to keep the seventh day Sabbath holy, and as a result the major blessings that the Lord has placed within the reach of all pass by unnoticed every week. Like the servants of Naaman, we reason that those who worship on Sunday will also have nothing to lose by switching to the right, God-ordained day, since they have already agreed in principle that a day of rest is needed. Then why not just worship on the seventh day as God has plainly stated?

Like Naaman, God has promised spiritual healing and cleansing from the leprosy of sin if we will only "dip" on the seventh day. Let us not like Naaman argue that there are better days to "dip" on, let us not fall for the ostentation and display so often associated with the mega ministries of our time, but rather let us humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may restore and lift us up in due season. We therefore end with a promise to all those who, like Naaman, comply with the simple instruction to "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy". Let's read:

Isaiah 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words: 14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

         May we start "dipping" for the promises are waiting. "Good night" and God bless!