Day 8

Naaman –– The Barrier of Pride

There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian. (Luke 4:27, NRSV)

Naaman was a brilliant leader with a severe handicap. His successes on the battlefield did not erase the shame and isolation of his leprosy. The depth of his desperation can be measured by his readiness to accept the suggestion of a little Israelite girl who served his wife. Naaman went to the king for permission to visit Elisa the prophet. Perhaps he thought Elisha would be impressed to have such a celebrity for a patient. Elisa curtly dismissed the general with his prescription: “Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean” (2 Kings 5:10). Clearly, Naaman resented the treatment he received. Fortunately, he had some clearheaded and devoted servants. His submission to the simple treatment led to the healing of his wounds and scars. As he did with Naaman, God will meet our needs, but not on our terms. God is not impressed with our pride nor intimidated by our demands. When we approach God with the intention of earning his acceptance and love, we are pursuing a hopeless plan. God’s prescription is painfully simple: repentance, followed by wholehearted acceptance of his free gift of salvation. Is your pride standing in the way of a restored relationship with God? Confess your sin, and get right with him today. Pride is often the last barrier between us and God’s gifts.

What is God saying to you right now? Jot down those thoughts and pray them back to Him.

This devotion was taken from: The One Year Life Lessons from the Bible; June 22; by Neil S. Wilson

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