The Journey is a daily devotional published by the Bible Reading Fellowship in Winter Park, Florida. I have enjoyed reading their daily devotionals for several years and recommend them to you. And that was even before they invited me to contribute to their publication!
In their current issue they are setting aside two months in order to do a “Bible book review.” Every day is taken from a different book of the Bible. I was invited to write about Judges, Ruth, I and II Samuel and I and II Kings. This week I have posted my daily contributions but be sure to subscribe to The Journey yourself (or recommend it to your church) as a regular devotional resource.
Read: II Kings 5:1-16
When Naaman, the Syrian military leader, got leprosy he was desperate enough to take advice from his servant girl, a Jewish POW abducted in one of his raids against Israel. He set off to find the prophet Elisha.
Naaman already knew exactly how his healing would take place. Elisha would “come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me” (II Kings 5:11). Naaman didn’t know how to get healed himself but he knew how Elisha would do it. And should do it.
Again we hear echoes of Job’s complaint, Eve’s justification, and too often, ours: I know how things ought to be done. I know what is right and wrong here. And that apple looks plenty good enough to me!!
Our habitual trust of our own judgement, our own opinion, leaves us constantly at odds with God’s greater plan. No wonder Jesus told us to begin prayers to our Heavenly Father by saying, “Thy kingdom come! Thy will be done!” It is not a desire that comes naturally to us.
The words of correction were already available in the time of Elisha and Naaman. “Lean not on your own understanding… acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).