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Daily Devotional

May 16


by Henry T. Vriesen

2 Kings 5

Naaman, the captain of the Syrian army, was a rich and famous man; but there was a deep sorrow in his heart. He had leprosy, and no one could cure that disease. Now Naaman’s wife had a servant, a little maid who had been taken from her home in Israel, and carried away as a captive to Syria. One day she said to her mistress, “Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! for he would recover him of his leprosy.” Naaman heard this remark and decided to go to Samaria. So Naaman came with his horses and chariots from Damascus to Samaria. He took with him for a present a large sum in gold and silver, also beautiful robes and garments. He stood at the door of Elisha’s house.

Elisha did not come out to meet the noted man; he sent his servant to tell him, “Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.” But Naaman became angry, because Elisha did not treat him with greater respect. He forgot or did not know that by the laws of Israel no man might touch a leper, nor come near him. He said, “Behold, I thought, He will surely come out to me … and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?” So he went away in a rage.

And his servants came and said to him, “If the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldst thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean. Then he went down, and dipped himself seven times in Jordan … and his flesh came again like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God … and said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel; now therefore, I pray thee, take a blessing of thy servant.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none.”

But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, said, “Behold, my master hath spared Naaman … in not receiving at his hands that which he brought … I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.” So he followed after him and said to Naaman, “My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them,

I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of raiment.” And he gave him two talents of silver and two changes of raiment. And Gehazi stood before his master. He said to him, “Whence comest thou, Gehazi?” He replied, “Thy servant went no whither.” Elisha knew where he had been, he said, “Is it time to receive money, and … garments? … The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee.”

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