As humans, particularly men, we give in to pride so easily. In the book of 2 Kings, we learn about Naaman and his pride. Naaman was a commander of the army of the king of Syria. He was a mighty man of valor as the bible described him. He was well respected and held in high favor. However, he was a leper. When he was told that a prophet in Samaria could cure him of his leprosy, he went and told the king who authorized him to go to Samaria. As Naaman arrived with his horses and chariots at the door of prophet Elisha’s house, he was humbled by the reality which was far different from his expectations.
2 King 5:10-12 “And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored, and you shall be clean.’ But Naaman was angry and went away, saying, ‘Behold, I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?’ So he turned and went away in rage.”
Naaman was accustomed to being honored but Elisha would not even give him a personal audience, instead Elisha simply sent a messenger. Naaman apparently had it all figured out. In his great need, he anticipated a way God would work, and he was offended when God didn’t work the way he expected. Because his expectation of how God should work was crushed, Naaman wanted nothing to do with Elisha. If the answer was in washing in a river, Naaman knew there were better rivers in his own land. Naaman submitted to his pride. Naaman’s servants eventually came to his rescue with a timely advice which Naaman listened to, faithfully obeyed and was healed of his leprosy.
As we reflect on our own lives, we need to ask some tough questions. Are we not like Naaman sometimes when we discount the simplicity of God’s response to our needs? We let pride get in the way and thus, miss our healing moments and God’s miracles in our lives. We let our own opinions based on our status come before God’s opinion. Like Naaman, we often think that God’s plan is too cheap, too plain, too common merely based on our own status. This is God calling us to put him First…we must surrender our ways and submit to God’s wisdom and vision for our lives.
Proud men are the worst enemies to themselves and forgo their own redemption. Therefore, we must pray to God to destroy all elements of pride in us and keep us humble and obedient to His words. We learn from Romans 10:3 that those that are for establishing their own righteousness will not submit to the righteousness of God…”For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.” Lord, I pray that you will keep us in total submission to your righteousness. Amen!