Words from the Heart for Sunday April 7th, 2019
Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!”
2 Kings 5:13 (NIV)
Wash and Be Cleansed
Throughout much of Canadian history, Mondays were washdays. The actual process of washing involved three steps—soaking, scrubbing, and boiling. Soaking might start two or three days before washday, although this created problems in warm weather when the water quickly went stagnant. Stains might be treated just before or after this stage, using compounds that included everything from vinegar, onions, and buttermilk to chemicals like oxalic acid. Usually, though, the tried-and-true method was to scrub with a brush or on a washboard.
God will call us to do things that cause us to have to swallow our pride. There is a great illustration in the book of 2 Kings with a Syrian army commander named Naaman. He was a great man in Syria and respected by the king. Then he contracted leprosy and desperate for a cure, his Jewish servant suggests he visits Israel, whose God is able to heal. He makes his way to Israel and seeks out the prophet Elisha. Elisha tells Naaman to wash himself seven times in the Jordan River in order to be healed. The Syrian commander is incensed. He expected Elisha to perform some magic and heal him, but instead he send him to a dirty Israelite river. The rivers in Damascus were more lovely than the Jordan. Naaman’s wise servants get his attention in 2 Kings 5:13: “Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” What pride do you need to rid yourself of in order to be made whole?
These have been words from the heart.