The Pride of a Leper

“Now Namaan, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honorable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria:  he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.” 2 Kings 5: 1

How many times have we as Christians been guilty of expecting God to answer our prayers in a specific way?  I certainly have.  In my own mind and ability to reason, I will think of an area in my life that I need God to work in, figure out the best possible situation in my mind’s eye, pray about it, and expect God to move in the way I have figured out.  It’s not surprising that it usually doesn’t work out the way I planned.  In some situations it would be honest for me to admit that I may never take my situation to God in prayer at all.  Again, in my own way of thinking, I’ve already come to the perfect solution.  So, I’ve already done the legwork.  Now all that God has to do is make it happen!  And in busying my mind in trying to find the solution, I forget to take time to ask God about my need at all.  No, there isn’t any wonder that I struggle more than necessary in life.  The Word specifically says in  James 4: 2, “ye have not because ye ask not.”  I’m a Christian that is guilty of wanting to help God fix a problem when ultimately He desires that we ask of Him.  He truly desires to give us good gifts.  (Matthew 7: 7-11)

A friend of mine was speaking with me about a church service she recently attended.  When I asked her where the preacher had taught from, she told me about Namaan and Elisha.  Later, I read from the Word and felt God speaking to my Spirit concerning this area in my life.

In 2 Kings 5 the Word tells us of a captain of the host to the king of Syria named Namaan.  The Word tells us that he was a great man with his master – the king favored him.  He was honorable and a mighty man in valour.  Obviously, people respected him.  He had led the Syrians in a battle against the Assyrians and had won.  He had distinguished himself among others…but for all of his greatness, Namaan was a leper.  This statement has always caught my attention.  Lepers were typically shuned because of the severity of the disease, yet Namaan had been able to continue on where he was.  He saw himself as great, he had accomplished great works…but he was a leper.  For all that Namaan was known for, one area of his life defined who he was….a leper.  A great man, but not completely whole.  A man who accomplished great things, but not completely victorious…”a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.”  2 Kings 5:1

Word was brought to Namaan, however, that there was a prophet by the name of Elisha in Israel.  Through the power of the name of God that this man spoke of, Namaan could be healed.  So the king sent Namaan to the king of Israel with a letter requesting that Elisha “recover” him.  2 Kings 5:7.  But when Namaan came to Elisha, he sent a messenger out to tell him to go wash in the Jordan seven times and he would be healed.  2 Kings 5:10.  Can you imagine the look on Namaan’s face?  He stood with his horse and chariot outside of Elisha’s home.  The king of Syria had given him a letter to the king of Israel in request of this visit.  Certainly, this wasn’t like any other healing!  Certainly, Elisha recognized who Namaan was!  “But Namaan 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?  Are not Abana and Pharpar; rivers in Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?  May I not wash in them, and be clean.” 2 Kings 5:11,12.  Namaan was indeed a man mighty in valour.  He was indeed a great man.  But he was also a prideful man and that pride hindered Namaan from dealing with the issue at hand.  He was a leper.

Because in Namaan’s own perspective of his greatness, he had already come to his own conclusion of how Elisha would minister to him.  Man to man.  Man looks on favour and might and honour.  Elisha would see Namaan as Namaan saw himself.  But Namaan wasn’t coming to appeal to man and mans flesh.  Namaan was coming to deal with the Spirit of God that worked through Elisha.  The Spirit didn’t recognize the flesh but dealt with the true issue of Namaan’s being.  Namaan was a leper.  In his pride of his accomplishments…in being caught up in who he was…in expecting God to work his situation out his way…Namaan almost missed his miracle.  He almost left the same leper because he couldn’t deal with the reality of the trial he was facing.

We become so consumed with our self in this life.  We become so accustomed to proving who we are to others that certainly God recognizes all this as well…We may not even notice that we have become prideful over areas in our life, but we do in ways.  We lose sight that God isn’t dealing in past accomplishments.  God isn’t keeping a log book and checking off to see all the great things we do so we can receive greater favor.  God is dealing with the reality of who we are and what we are facing.  For Namaan….he was a leper.  So, He striped him down out of his comfort zone of people treating him with a certain respect because of his position.  He sent a messenger to greet him.  He didn’t send him to the rivers where he was comfortable, but to the Jordan where he may have been viewed as he was…a leper.

The servant recognized Namaan’s pride.  They said in verse 13, “If Elisha had told you to go and do a great thing, (cause a spectacle) you would have done it!” A mighty show of a miracle for the mighty man in valour!  But rather, just go wash and be clean.

So Namaan – the leper, humbled himself.  Namaan took his eyes off of who he was and began focusing on what God was doing…and he was healed.

Are you struggling with a situation or certain circumstance in your life?  Check your heart…search for pride….Are you trying to prove something?  We can become so caught up in ourself that we never receive God’s blessings.  Quit trying to prove who you are and expect such acts of great deliverance when God is simply saying, “Wash and be clean.”




Author: Britney Wilkes

Copyright © 2010-2011 Devotions Of Grace Blog – All Rights Reserved

Published in: on February 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I can say, the Lord was talking to me today. I don’t remember how many times i’ve wanted things to happen according to the way i’ve planned, according to my will, leaving the will of the Father. Now i can see that i have pride in myself not my Lord Jesus.

    May the Lord God forgive me for this.

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