by M. Jolaine Szymkowiak

God's Favor for a Lifetime
M. Jolaine Szymkowiak
II Kings 5:1-15

Second Kings 5:1-15 tells the story of Naaman, a dignitary with leprosy. A servant girl overhears a conversation regarding Naaman's condition. She replies to the situation and Naaman is directed to the prophet in Samaria. Naaman is a captain in his king's army and requests leave. The king sends him to the king of Israel with great gifts, Naaman's king thinking the other king will be the one to heal Naaman. He and Naaman had forgotten the servant girl's words that the healing would come through the prophet, not the king.

When finally directed to the prophet, Elisha sends his servant to Naaman with instructions for Naaman to wash seven times in the river Jordan. Naaman is mad; the rivers of his home country should be just as good if the act of washing is all that is needed. However, Naaman's servant suggests that if Elisha had asked something hard of Naaman he would have accomplished the task, why can't he just do as the prophet said. Naaman does what Elisha says, goes down to the Jordan, does as requested and he is restored.

We find a slightly different story in Mark 1:40-45. A man with leprosy steps out, and asks Jesus to heal him, Jesus moved with compassion, touches him and tells the man he is healed. One thing about this story, Jesus tells the man to say nothing and to present himself to the priest for a blessing. Instead the man proclaims his healing to all who will listen making it impossible for Jesus to enter towns but has to stay in unpopulated areas where people could come to him from everywhere in the region.

Now you may say, OK, where does that leave me, I am no leper, I am a Christian, I know about healing, compassion and even the rewards of obedience, so where and what has it to do with me?

Depression is as isolating to us today as Leprosy was to the person of long ago. It might have been any skin disease: any skin disease was a time of isolation until healing ...

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