St. John's Lutheran
2 Kings 5:13-19 New International Version
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’!” 14 So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. 15 Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.” 16 The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused. 17 “If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord. 18 But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.” 19 “Go in peace,” Elisha said.
Thursday - August 5
Naaman was a foreigner who received a word from God’s prophet and was washed clean of his disease. From that point on he would worship the God of Israel only. However, his duties as a general in the Syrian army required him to perform certain “official” functions, such as joining the king of Syria in rituals to other gods. What would he do? What could he do? Again, Naaman is given forgiveness. Elisha does not give him great acts of penance to perform every time he goes with the king. He does not tell him to run away and leave his old life behind. He forgives him! He said: “Go in peace.” God is not going to hold this against you. Even your future sins! Let that sink in. He has faith in the true God who has promised through the prophet Elisha that his sins will always be forgiven. What incredible freedom!