Text: “And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him: and he 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 he said, As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none. And he urged him to take it; but he refused.” – 2 Kings 5:15,16.
Comment: Naaman was a captain in the Syrian army, a respected and disciplined officer with several military conquests and honours. His valour endeared him to the King of Syria. But he had a damp to his joy, a sore calamity. He was burdened by a loathsome disease. He was a leper. With pomp and circumstance, he got to Elisha’s house with a large retinue of men and beasts; but the prophet did not come out to meet him; rather he transmitted his message through his servant to the Syrian saying: “Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean”. (2 Kings 5:10) Naaman later obeyed after his initial resentment and he was cleansed of the leprosy. In appreciation, he offered gifts to the man of God, which he rejected as in the citation for today.
The soundness of Elisha’s morality as a prophet of God was clearly demonstrated in his dealings with Naaman. His display of one of the cardinal principles of integrity – rendering help without expectation of a reward – is a good lesson for all true worshippers of God, as we now live in a highly materialistic world where greed has replaced nobility. In some climes nearly all facets of human engagement have been polluted with bribery and corruption. The Holy Scriptures saying: “The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.” -Proverbs 11:3.