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Oct 27, 2006

The 7th Dip

Now that Naaman knows what to do, he goes to Israel to meet this prophet,Israelite servant girl told him about.
9 So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha's house. 10 Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, "Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan,
and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed."11 But Naaman went away angry and said, "I thought that he would surely 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 of my leprosy. 12 Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn't I wash in them and be cleansed?" So he turned and went off in a rage.
Naaman was convinced enough to go upto Israel, yet he was utterly disappointed by the solution given to his problem. Was dipping in a river the ONLY solution he travelled for? Was "it" that simple? Surely he could have performed such a thing back at his own place. Why was he called out so far to do so? I think, if he had known earlier he wouldn't even have bothered coming. Come on now, his problem was BIG wasn't it? Also he had been bearing this trouble for such a long time, so wouldn't it be great if someone did something similarly BIG to resolve it!!!! I'd think so too.
But looking at the situation, from outside the book, I think
  1. It wasn't so much about the "procedure" of healing, but of "obedience". Was Naaman going to be obedient enough to do what this man of God (whom he didn't know) asked him to do? This result of Naaman's choice to obey or not to obey, could bring him out of that situation or leave him in there.
  2. It was about "desperation" . Naaman had probably been desperate to try anything in order to get rid of his situation and was willing and even went down to being humble enough to listen to his servant girl's suggestion.
  3. It was about "humility". Naaman was a man of reason, he paid attention to people and that helped him a lot. His servants played an important role in his healing. This time, during his travel to the Israel nation to meet the Israelite prophet, when Naaman almost turns around and is about to walk away from that one step he was asked to take, to dip, his servants pitch in again "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'!" And once again, you know Naaman did listen to them and HE WAS HEALED.

It was an interesting journey for Naaman, not knowing what to do, pressed into desperation by that disease, he humbled himself to listen to his servants and obedient, to the point of doing the silly and simple, 7 dips in the Jordan river as asked by the prophet. If we were to analyse the situation, it would break up into several points of being "obedient" in little things, which let into the big victory. Redemption from that BIG issue that Naaman was once facing. Sure enough it all amounted to this :- " his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. " Dipping 7 times, might have felt weird too (I think). Every dip made with the expectation to see a change, but it doesn't come until your done with the 6th one, which still wouldn't show you any changes, but it was the 7th dip. Almost like going around Jericho so many times, until that last but one, which still didn't show any indication of change. But the victory was in the last one. In the very end of obedience. So with 6 unsuccessful dips, would the 7th make a difference? Yes it did. It did because it was the completion of obedience. It was being obedient till the end of the ordeal.

Conclusion: Naaman was(I think) a desperate man, he had had enough with his situation and though not so willing, but was made willing with the help of his servants who ushered him into obedience and therefore winning the battle against disease, that had followed him for long. If you're in a situation, in a condition, in a disease which is just not letting go of you. Find out what to do (not all procedures are the same for everyone, though all may have similar diseases or shortcomings), from the right source of information. If you have found out and are following the instructions towards your redemption, then stay on it. Don't give up at the 6th dip. Go on to full obedience. The reward awaits at the end of it.

Jesus said in the parable ""His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'Matthew 25:20-22

The reward is not for people who've given up in between, even in the last but one effort, but for those who've gone till the end. "Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life." Revelation 2:9-11. Even to the point of death, the last stop of all human beings. Be encouraged, if you're at your 6th dip, the 7th is the one that heals. It does matter that you've been obedient in doing the 6 dips, without which you would never reach the 7th dip anyway. God will bless.

1 comment :

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