Born in a River

Lesson 12

Naaman was a brave, rich, and famous commander for the armies of Syria who contracted leprosy, the most dreaded disease of Bible times. Leprosy meant isolation from loved ones and a slow, wretched death. A Hebrew slave girl who worked in Naaman's house said that if her master would only go to the prophet Elisha in Israel, he would heal Naaman of his leprosy.

Willing to grasp at any thread of hope, Naaman made the long trip to Israel.

With him was a small band of personal bodyguards and a king's ransom to pay for this miracle of healing. When Naaman finally stood before the humble house of the prophet, Elisha would not come out. Instead, he sent his servant with these simple instructions: "Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean." 2 Kings 5:10.

The prophet's command to wash implied that Naaman was dirty! Being told to wash seven times and in a muddy river, no less, was too much for the proud Syrian general. In a rage, Naaman spun his horse around and began riding home. But in order to reach Damascus, Naaman had to ride by the Jordan River. As he passed by, Naaman's servants urged him to try the prophet's advice. So he stopped his horse, slid down, and laid aside the armor that covered the awful evidence of his leprosy. Naaman slowly stepped down into the waters of the Jordan. Six times he plunged under the water with no results, but when he came up the seventh time, the leprosy was gone! His skin was as pure and healthy as a baby's.

Just as Naaman experienced restoration, you too can have a healing new-birth experience!